Aerial Yoga With SNC

OK, I’ll admit it, I am not a yogi, but am always open to a new experience. When my wife asked me whether I would like to take an aerial yoga class on our off day in New Orleans, I said of course.  And luckily, I knew two willing participants who would join me: DR and Don.  And so we were off!

We walked down to Swan River Yoga and I knew we were in for a neat experience.  The entire building is a holistic center; behind the counter, there were numerous books on the practice (but I doubt any are more eloquent than Zoe’s post on The City Skinny just a few weeks ago); the second floor was devoted to all things yoga; while the third floor was reserved for acupuncture.  A cafe is in development towards the rear of the building which will specialize in natural and organic foods.  I specify these things to detail that this place practices what it preaches, and the entirety of what they do is dedicated to a healthy body, mind, and soul.

We had a wonderful instructor Viviane Wolf who led us up to the yoga studio.  DR is a far more advanced yoga practicer than Don or me, so he certainly took the lead a the beginning.  At the onset, we were doing some of the common poses with the aid of the hanging silk; again, as a novice, this definitely helped me find my center and establish my balance in poses that I never could have achieved otherwise.  We went through these for about 30 minutes and, while I did not ever feel overly taxed, I did notice that I was working up quite a sweat.  Maybe there is something to this yoga phenomenon…

Next came what I had been waiting for, the aerial inversions.  This is where things got fun.  We began by sitting back in the silk and using the span of our legs to prevent us from slipping to the floor.  Apparently, this is a starter maneuver, and we soon progressed to another movement where we positioned our feet underneath us, moved our bodies through the silks and tilted forward into the inverted position.  I will admit, there is something about seeing the ground rushing towards my face that made this transition far more difficult for me to just release and trust.  But once we all did, the fun had begun.  We worked our way into the “monkey" position, as Don so expertly displays here, before moving into the progression ending in “vampire”. 

Swan Don
Swan Don

As we reflected on our session at the end with our instructor, she told us the most impressive thing was how open we had been to what was a new experience for all of us.  And I think that is the purpose of what my wife is trying to do here; open our collective eyes to what is all around us.  I have walked into hundreds of gyms over the years, but I know that not everyone loves to work out like me.  So find what resonates with you and allows you to maintain consistency.  Because while there is no short cut to becoming a fitter and healthier you, it will seem much less of a grind if you are doing what you like.  So take a chance and go find it!  Aerial yoga, anyone?

Watch DR's Vampire Pose!