Aerial Yoga: A whole new experience

Guest post by
Nicole Avery, owner of Zone 3 Fitness, Scarborough, Maine.

If you’ve always wanted to fly through the air with the greatest of ease …

or hang upside down from a silk trapeze …

You don’t have to run away and join the circus, you can simply try aerial yoga!

Aerial yoga is a relatively new twist on the popular spiritual, stretching, posing and deep-breathing discipline of yoga. We thought it was definitely worth a try, so started offering aerial yoga at Zone 3 Fitness in Scarborough last December. We’re delighted to report that we’ve sold out every special session since.

Created by Broadway choreographer and Cirque du Soleil co-founder Christopher Harrison, aerial yoga was recently highlighted in the “100 Things to Watch in 2014” report from JWT of New York City, one of the world’s best known marketing & communications firms.

Our instructor, Kelly Corbin of South Portland, says that about two years ago, a friend introduced her to aerial yoga, and she was immediately hooked. In 2012, she went to Delaware for eight days of training. Now she’s teaching others the joys of “flying yoga”.

Everyone had so much fun at our first session in December that we decided to offer it again. Participants have ranged from experienced yogis to those who had never done any kind of yoga before. Kelly guided each of us through the movements and made modifications to fit each of our abilities or adjust for any limitations. It was a very relaxing and fun afternoon!

Linda Wade, 53, of South Portland, tried it for the first time this past Sunday, and loved it!  “I didn’t know if I would have the strength to do it but I wanted to try,” she says. “I’ve had upper back problems, but I feel really relaxed and my back feels the best that it has in a long time.”

The hammock is used in a variety of ways throughout the class — sometimes it supports the body in a deeper yoga pose, and other times it acts like a sling as participants do inversions and hang upside down. My favorite was the Shavasana at the end of the class. My body was totally relaxed and supported by the hammock. It feels like you are in a cocoon. It was an amazing sensation.

You might think that aerial yoga is more difficult than traditional yoga, but that isn’t really the case. Oftentimes, the hammock makes it easier to perform some of the poses, because there’s less resistance in the air than on the ground. “You get a much deeper, longer stretch.” says Kelly.

If you want to give it a try, you’re welcome to bring own yoga mat, but don’t worry about the hammock — those we supply! The class is for all levels. You don’t need any experience. We do have to limit each session to eight participants so that Kelly can give everyone individual attention.

For information about upcoming aerial yoga workshops, please visit the Zone 3 Fitness website or send us an email.

Guest post by Nicole Avery, owner Zone 3 Fitness, Scarborough, Maine

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Diane Atwood

About Diane Atwood

For more than 20 years, Diane was the health reporter on WCSH 6. Before that, a radiation therapist at Maine Medical Center and after, Manager of Marketing/PR at Mercy Hospital. She now hosts and produces the Catching Health podcast and writes the award-winning blog Catching Health with Diane Atwood.