Fitness adventures: that time I tried aerial yoga

Fall marathon training season is officially over–and all of a sudden, my built-in workout plan is no more. While I’m still running, some niggling knee pain and a colder/darker season have made this a great time to revisit my favorite yoga spots (love to Coolidge Corner Yoga and Yogaworks Back Bay!) The void left in my fitness life also gave me with a hankering to try new things, so today I’m going to recap the aerial yoga class I took at Om Factory Yoga in New York City.

I’ve been wanting to give aerial yoga a shot for years–I LOVE anything that involves heights and getting off the ground (flying trapeze, anyone?) and I was bummed when South Boston Yoga stopped offering classes. So I scooted off during a family trip to NYC for Thanksgiving to take a beginner’s class at the Om Factory Flight School.

Location/atmosphere: Obviously this studio isn’t in Boston, but for anyone who lives in/spends time in NYC they’re located right outside of Union Square. The studio has big fabric loops rigged from the ceiling, and can accommodate about 15-20 students. The silks/hammocks (which you can see hanging out in the photo below) are adjusted for each individual student.image2 (1)

The basics: Aerial yoga is probably less traditional yoga than acrobatics type work, but it’s a fun fusion and the silk loops provide a really neat way to “float” your body weight up off the floor. Classes involve a ton of movement and playing around–sense of humor 100% required!

The workout: The class started with some standard breathing/stretching and then proceeded into a series of guided moves using the silks. The instructor was very specific and demoed all of the moves, which made it easy to follow along. We did corework, backbends, and upper body work using the silks to support our seats, backs, arms, and legs. I absolutely loved using the silks to invert and backbend–taking your feet off the ground makes it super easy to use gravity and get really deeply into the poses. There is an incredible amount you can do with silks, and for an inversion junkie/heights lover like me it was a total blast. If you were one of those kids who always wanted to get the swings to go up and over the top of the swingset, this class is for you!

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The takeaway: I had a fantastic time and loved getting to play around and take some photos after class. While my arms were pretty sore the next day, this wasn’t the most intense workout (thank goodness, because I had just finished an 8 mile loop around Central Park). It was a super fun challenge, though, and well worth it if you’re ever in the ‘hood. Boston studios, get on it–I’d love to try again!!

Stay tuned for more upcoming recaps of my fitness adventures–up next, I try my first bootcamp class.

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