Now there’s yoga in the air.
Aerial yoga (which is also sometimes called “anti-gravity yoga,” which sounds like something that requires a spacesuit and top secret security clearance at NASA) has found its way to a handful of studios around Maine in the last year or two. That means we get to do yoga and have the pleasure of hanging from the ceiling at the same time. Lucky us!
Just like mat-based yoga (pro-gravity yoga?!), aerial yoga helps improve flexibility and strength with a series of poses and breathwork. Except now there’s a silky-fabric hammock involved (or split silks that have been tied in a knot to form a sling).
The hammock does make some of the poses more challenging (for example, a plank is decidedly harder when your feet are held aloft by the fabric. And your Warrior 1 will feel notably less stable when your forward foot is wobbling in a stirrup made fabric, rather than firmly planted on the ground as it usually is).
But challenge is good! And in trade, aerial yoga offers perks that mat yoga just can’t compete with.
Inversions! They’re a whole different story with aerial yoga. You’ll learn how to hang, float and relax upside down. And and while these poses may seem daunting, they’re easier than they look. With some guidance from the instructor, first-timers will find themselves bottoms up and rightfully proud. That said, going upside down can make you dizzy or even nauseated at first, so be aware.
You might take to it right away – you might not.
But depending on the class, you’ll still spend much of your time right-side-up.
The silks can help deepen a stretch, even when you’re feet are still on the ground. And because the fabric moves, your balance will be challenged, too.
But if you want to get in the air, there will be plenty of opportunity for that, too.
You don’t need to have yoga experience to try aerial yoga. You don’t need hanging-from-the-rafters experience, either. An appreciation for levitation might help. And the openness to try something new that may feel awkward at first – or make your head rush – well, that’s a skill for life.
Check out the upcoming beginner workshops at venues in Portland, Biddeford and Brewer to get experience in the fundamentals before signing up for the regular class. (The beginner workshop is actually a requirement at a few places.) The workshops are open to all experience levels (and body types, too. The hammocks support weight up to 200-250 pounds, depending on the aparatus).
Take an aerial yoga class at one of these Maine studios:
40 Main St., Biddeford
Evo Rock + Fitness
65 Warren Ave., Portland
146 Ocean St., South Portland. www.tulamaine.com
152 US Route 1, Suite 12, Scarborough
OM Land Yoga
72 Center St., Brewer