Most people think of a hammock and automatically think, ‘nap.’ But at The Om Factory’s Foundations Aerial Yoga class, a hammock is just another part of the fitness regime.
Okay, it’s more like most of the fitness regime. And napping isn’t entirely out of the question — but more about that later.
I went to my first Aerial Yoga class after being coaxed by a good friend who I routinely go to yoga with. We appropriately picked a 75-minute ‘beginners’ class, and while I was initially nervous about taking a class longer than an hour, but by the end of the class I didn’t even realize the extra time.
While I go to yoga a few times a month, I’m still far from flexible, but was excited to try a new method of practice.
Aerial Yoga uses a soft, suspended fabric (like a hammock!) to combine classical yoga moves with elements of aerial acrobatics. While the thought of swinging like a circus trapeze artist–or the idea of falling right out of the sleeve and breaking my nose–freaked me out a little, that’s far from what actually happened during the class.
Our instructor led us through the steps of becoming acquainted with the suspended fabric, and showed us how to hold the fabric to stretch, then swing while standing. We later went through various moves that had us balancing in our seats, suspended upside down and even flipping through to do a complete 360 using the fabric.
While I found pulling myself up with the fabric harder than I imagined—not because of the actual fabric, but because of the strength required to pull yourself up each time—it wasn’t outrageously difficult. Our instructor went at a slow pace and gave variation options for the more difficult poses and twists.
Untangling my way through the super soft sheet helped decompress my spine, concentrate on living in the moment, and focus on something other than my problems for an entire hour and fifteen minutes. Though it wasn’t the super sweaty, super intense workout I’m used to, it was a great reminder to try new things in terms of fitness on a regular basis.
At the end of the class, we got to cocoon in our hammocks for a full song our instructor played. I may or may not have napped…and I’m not ashamed to admit it.