Classes We Love: Aerial Yoga
What it is:
This South Boston Yoga class is like traditional yoga…except for the fact that it’s performed on silk swings hanging from the ceiling. Oh, that.
Sometimes, the swings are used to deepen or improve upon traditional yoga poses like downward dog and forward fold, and some movements are totally unique to the class. During the hour and a half class, exercises range from the tame—using the swings to achieve an extra-deep stretch in the hamstrings or shoulders—to the crazy, like inversions and hanging totally horizontal. Some poses are major ab and arm workouts, but you’re rewarded with an incredibly relaxing five minutes of laying in the swing, hammock-style, at the end of the class.
Know before you go:
Anyone can do this class, but you should feel comfortable going upside down. You’ll have the support of the swing, but it’s still a bit nerve-wracking to hang suspended with only a strip of cloth holding you up.
That said, you shouldn’t be intimidated by the aerial aspect of the class. Some things are difficult, but in many ways the swings actually make tough poses like half moon easier—especially for the flexibility-challenged among us. And if you’re the kind of person who sits wide-eyed on your mat when instructors in regular classes demonstrate inversions (we feel your pain), this is a great way to ease into the oh-my-god-how-do-you-do-that side of yoga.
Welcoming and laid-back. The instructors are friendly and non-pretentious, and plenty of people in the class had never tried it before. Instead of super zen silence, there’s plenty of smiling and laughing in this class—and we dare you not to laugh when you’re hanging upside down face-to-face with your neighbor.
If you’re curious but not quite ready to commit to a membership, the good news is your first class is only $5. After that, drop-in classes are $15 and a monthly membership is $150. There’s also a student discount which makes single classes $12 and a monthly package $120.
What to bring:
Despite the amount of time spent in the air in this class, you do need to bring a mat. Since this class is a bit more athletic than many yoga classes, we’d also recommend bringing water.
The bottom line:
This probably won’t become your every day yoga class, but it’s a great way to update your practice if you get bored with constant sun salutations and warriors. Aerial yoga is fun, challenging, and relaxing all at once. Even if just for the cocoon-like final rest pose in the hammock, this class is worth trying.
South Boston Yoga, 36 West Broadway, Boston, 617-315-7448; southbostonyoga.net.