What is Aerial (AntiGravity) Yoga?

Something I’ve been trying very hard to get better at is…exercising regularly!  I know this is probably hard for many – finding the time and motivation to workout.  I’m right there with you!  For all of those who are active, fit people and workout at least a few times a week, I ENVY YOU!  Read on to learn about my challenges with working out, and my experience with trying aerial (antigravity) yoga.  I’ll also include tips I think would be helpful for someone going to a class for the first time.

While I’m completely on board with exercising for your health, I struggle with finding a workout that actually captures my interest, and makes me feel engaged and energized.  The other challenge is finding a workout that fits me.  I have a petite frame, and am not very strong.  While there are people automatically categorize working out to be something someone does for weight loss (I get a lot of responses like “but, you don’t have to work out!”), I’m looking for a workout that can make me stronger but not bulk up.  Truth be told – I HATE opening glass bottles with the vacuum sealed lids because sometimes…it just isn’t happening!

In my search to find a fun way to workout, while not feeling like I’m actually WORKING OUT, I took to sites like Groupon, Amazon Local and Living Social, to find short term “memberships” or “workout packages” that were more affordable.  I found a 3 class package for aerial yoga (aka antigravity yoga) classes at a local studio.

Prior to attending the class, I did some research on the studio’s website for more information about what to expect and how to prepare – proper attire, class etiquette, the studio also posted information about people who have certain medical conditions or recent procedures who should not participate in a class.  If you are interested in trying out a class like this, I would highly recommend looking into this before going in the event you may have a condition or recent procedure (surgery) that may limit you from participating.

I also searched YouTube to see if there were any videos where I could see a class in action.  I found one posted by lululemon: https://youtu.be/x7TalnV6b1g.  Although, after actually attending the class, I didn’t quite feel that this prepared me for what I was about to experience.

In summary, aerial yoga is a class where a supporting “hammock” hangs from the ceiling.  Most poses are done using this hammock in some way – it’s either completely supporting your weight by sitting or laying in it, leaning into it, or hanging from it (yes, even hanging upside down).  The class size depends on how many hammocks are in the room, because each person attending the class must use one.  Hammocks are adjusted based on your height – the instructor will assist each student with this.

My tips if you’re attending your first class:
1.  Wear a fitted t shirt as a top and crops/leggings – on the studio’s website, they require t shirts be worn, and I agree because you are often learning into the hammock in the area where your shoulder and arm connect.  Even with a t shirt on, I left the class with marks in the shoulder/arm area.  I mention a fitted top because, you’ll be hanging upside down and will probably want your shirt to stay in place 🙂
2.  Be prepared to hang upside down and get the feeling of blood rushing to your head – there’s no way to avoid it.  And since long having done this since elementary school (or whenever I did that last) it was quite the sensation…I was not a fan.
3.  Don’t eat or drink anything right before class.  I didn’t have a bad experience with this, I was already too afraid to even think about it.  BUT – eat/drink something a couple of hours or so before you go, you’ll need the energy.
4.  This is more strenuous of a workout that you might think.  Especially, if you’re basing it off of the lululemon video!
5.  Make sure you don’t have a full agenda right after the class and the following day.  I was SO exhausted.
6.  Do not wear any jewelry, or you may get caught in the hammock.  I also removed my FitBit.

What I liked:

  • It was a unique way to work out and I tried something new!
  • Some of the poses were interesting and fun to do
  • This can be helpful if you need a good stretch
  • I got to hang upside down like SpiderWOman!

What I didn’t like:

  • Being upside down for too long.  Couldn’t do it as a kid…still can’t do it.
  • This took WAY more strength than I expected!  Lots of upper body strength that I didn’t have.  My arms were dead half way through the class
  • I felt only moderately engaged during class.  I’m glad they didn’t have a clock in there or else I would’ve been counting down the time until class was over.

Overall, I would say that this was a really good experience because I was looking to try something new.  I finished up my 3 class package, but will probably not be going back any time soon.  I may throw in a class here and there because overall I had fun.  However, I did feel like the class was a little longer than I liked…or maybe it was because I wasn’t completely into it, that it felt even longer (it was about an hour and 15 minutes).

The other classes I went to were different from the first.  The second class was much harder!!!  There was a different (brand new) instructor, and I don’t think he realized he was teaching the intro class.  I struggled through the class because I still need to build the strength to do everything he was guiding us through.  For the third class – I specifically went to a class that involved a lot of deep stretching because I need to work on my muscle flexibility, especially working in an office and sitting for the majority of the day…my legs are often tight.

Note: The above is 100% based on MY opinion!  There were others in the class who attend on a regular basis and completely love going.  Props to them!

Has anyone else tried aerial yoga?  Let me know what your experience was and how you liked the class you attended!  For those who haven’t tried it, let me know what you do to workout and give this a shot if you’re interested!

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2 thoughts on “What is Aerial (AntiGravity) Yoga?

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