My 1st Aerial Yoga Class
By Eimear Lowe
Ok full disclosure, I’m not a yogi or a gym person. I’m not even a jogging person, despite my brief flirtation with it. No, I’m a zone out, once-a-week yoga kind of woman, who gets excited about long walks. And here I am, in my 1st aerial yoga class and I’m anticipating PE-grade humiliation and apologising for my limitations. I’m practically preparing my, ‘I’m sorry it’s just not for me…’ when I realise, what do you know?... I love it! Turns out, with Michele’s intuitive instruction, even I can do this! I can’t do a headstand in real life, yet first class, here I am, in a full inversion, supported by a hammock, head over feet, in something called ‘frog.’ After the initial rush of blood to the head, I experience this wonderful feeling of freedom and release. It’s such a spiritual moment, of what Michele likes to call “zoning in.” I feel zen, and in the moment but I’m also free and focused and strong.
It’s what I imagine joggers feel like, quietly amazed at what their bodies can do. Leaving the world behind. There’s also something so delicious and fun about standing up in a hammock, suspended from the ceiling, that it’s hard not to laugh. I am by no means the best in class, but differing levels are accommodated for, and there are easier adaptations for every move, even looking around the class, it’s just so cool seeing what all these bodies can do.
Another thing is that Aerial can really deepen your existing yoga practice. With the added stability and support of the hammock, the aerial class is enabling me to access the health benefits of full inversions, when I can’t manage a forward fold in my mat-based yoga class. I’m super excited about this, as the many benefits include: easing mild anxiety and depression, giving your heart and lymphatic system a break, by helping circulation, as well as lymphatic drainage and of course, literally seeing the world from a new perspective! Always helpful. I’m also reliably informed that aerial is good for cellulite, which is very exciting news indeed. (Surprisingly, upon leaving,) Michele instructs that the inversions are also beneficial for releasing tension in the neck back and shoulders & indeed can be tailored to provide extra release. For my part, I realise I have experienced a release in my shoulders, neck and head, which is just lovely. I must have been carrying more tension there than I realised.
I experienced such a child-like feeling of triumph and delight at the sheer newness and novelty of it, but I also have the knowledge that I can build up to deeper moves. The class followed the familiar yoga class structure, even starting on the mat. By the end, after one of the best meditations I have ever had, I left with such a feeling of accomplishment and sheer delight that I am counting the days till my next class.
I’m super excited about adding aerial to my existing yoga practice.
Clothing wise, yoga gear is perfect for your aerial class, just nothing too flowing on top, or you might cover your eyes… close-fitted tops are best!
A 4-week Aerial Yoga course begins Wednesday, September 21st @ 8pm for €50 and there are 2-hour Intro to Aerial workshops monthly- the next is Sunday, September 18th 2-4pm for €25. Text Michele at Soul Space to book: 086-854-0023.
Eimear is a writer, artist and intern at Soul Space, follow her experiences with all things Soul Space here on the blog, or follow her on Twitter @EimearLowe101