Taking aerial yoga for a (nauseating) spin. —Donna Garlough
I AM TRYING TO FIND a fixed point to stare at until my queasiness subsides. But I canâ€™t find a fixed point. Actually, I canâ€™t see anything beyond the red fabric cocoon that envelops me. Thereâ€™s no way Iâ€™m leaving this yoga studio enlightened, or even relaxed.
Yes, yoga. Iâ€™m at South Boston Yoga, where three times a week, students come to bend, flex, and twist in midair with the aid of silk swings tethered to the ceiling. Aerial yoga presents a unique challenge: Since youâ€™re constantly trying to stay balanced, you work different muscle groups than you would in the usual, grounded practice. Watching the demo video online, Iâ€™m fascinated â€” itâ€™s a blend of vinyasa, trapeze, and a Lâ€™eggs commercial.
Certain Iâ€™ll suffer a mortifying face plant if I attempt an airborne Warrior II, I arrange a semiprivate session with my colleague Courtney for moral support. Our instructor, Joanna Keseberg, is no typical yogi. Sheâ€™s a circus performer â€” the fire-eating, stilts-wearing kind. Luckily, her lesson is for non-acrobats. To start, we nestle into a side-lying position inside the fabric and curl our bodies into balls. As I unfurl my limbs, I feel like a pupa metamorphosing into a stretchy butterfly. Itâ€™s odd, yet soothing.
Ten minutes later, though, I try my first inversion. With my feet skyward and my nose a few inches from the mat, Iâ€™m suddenly reeling. And, as the routine becomes increasingly complex â€” a tree pose, in which Iâ€™m standing on the fabric and slowly rotating; a supported sideways crane; a swinging dancer â€” full-blown motion sickness takes hold. Courtney, looking green, stops for a sip of water, but I grit my teeth and fight the urge to gag, all the way through the final meditation.
After class, we hightail it to the local bodega and each chug a bottle of ginger ale. Thankfully, the queasiness passes, and the next day, I wake up sore all over. The hurts-so-good aftereffects are so dramatic, Iâ€™m actually tempted to go back â€” armed with Dramamine, that is.
$15 (Drop-in rate), Classes on Tuesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays; South Boston Yoga, 36 W. Broadway, Boston, 617-315-7448, southbostonyoga.net.Â Â
Illustration by Kirsten Ulve
Source URL: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/2012/02/testing-a-new-type-of-boston-yoga/