Monday, December 3, 2012
I love love love discovering new forms of physical activity. I've never much been into organized sports, but I love movement and exercise and finding new ways to challenge my body and improve my fitness.
I heard about aerial yoga a while ago and started scoping the city to find classes, but couldn't find one that fit my schedule. Then I saw a WagJag deal for 4 classes for $24 and I couldn't resist. After all, most studios charge that much for just one class! I had never heard of the club before, and it's not particularly convenient for me, but I figured I'd never find a better deal.
The class is offered at 10am on Saturdays at the Cardio Go King West Club in the Entertainment District of Toronto. Cardio Go has 4 locations, but only this one offers aerial yoga. It was clearly a popular deal as I bought the deal months ago but could only get space in a class this past weekend.
It involves doing yoga poses, core exercises, and inversions suspended from a hammock-like contraption that hangs from the ceiling. It fully supports your weight and you are rarely touching the floor the entire time.
I will caution you, this is seriously intense! I would not do it if you are pregant, nor is it a good idea for anyone who has any sort of back, shoulder or neck injury. Frankly, I don't actually think it's appropriate for anyone who doesn't have some degree of physical conditioning. I was very pleased, however, that despite my relative lack of flexibility, coordination or agility, I was able to do everything. I think my brute strength and extensive yoga and pilates experience helped. The other newbie in the class beside me was not so lucky. She struggled to follow the teacher's directions and to execute virtually everything.
While everyone is required to sign a standard health club waiver before taking the class, I was surprised that the teacher did not ask anyone about injuries or limitations. She did ask if anyone gets motion sickness. Although I do, big time, I didn't say so because I felt fine even though I had a belly full of oatmeal.
It was really an amazing experience, partially because it was just so different from anything I have ever done before. It also allowed me to do inversions, which I generally avoid in yoga, because I hate doing anything that puts pressure on my neck. It just doesn't feel comfortable and makes me feel claustraphobic. In aerial yoga, you are suspended in mid-air so there is no compression on your neck. I still didn't love being upside down, but I could tolerate it, which is more than I can say about inversions done on the floor.
What I didn't expect, was the major focus on core work. Holy moly cow! I was a wee bit worried I'd be hurtin' the next day, but I actually woke up feeling awesome on Sunday, and was in top form to go the the JCC, do my hard-core weights workout and teach my spin class.
I have 3 more classes and I am excited to try it again now that I know what to expect. The question is, what should I try next...?