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To gracefully twist, turn, stretch and somersault whilst suspended in the air with the aide of silk-like fabrics, sounds like a magical performance by Cirque du Soleil’s trapeze artists. It is, however, one of the many fitness trends to have gripped KL’s Instagram with gorgeous, gravity-defying poses, called Fly or Aerial Flow Yoga.
Despite her hectic schedule, Shan, a 30-year-old in Marketing, is keen on following a healthy and active lifestyle. When it came to signing up for a session of Aerial Flow Yoga, the idea of practising the aesthetics of yoga on a hammock is what appealed to her most along with taking on the challenge of performing the exercise in the air. “I’ve always wanted to try Aerial Yoga but I’ve been too intimidated by the complicated moves,” shares Shan, who also happens to be a normal yoga practitioner.
Conceptualized about a decade ago by fitness gurus in New York to make exercise sessions more enjoyable, Aerial Yoga is a combination of traditional yoga asanas, acrobatics and dance moves done suspended in the air with the help of a hammock.
Overcoming her initial concerns, Shan describes her first flight with Aerial Yoga as “a pretty awesome experience! I had a lot of fun during the class. After trying it, I realised that it’s actually not that hard and the entire session is so therapeutic.”
It is therapeutic indeed! These out-of-the-box workouts are no gimmick: A new study from the American Council on Exercise (ACE) found that women who did three 50-minute aerial yoga classes a week for six weeks lost an average of two and a half pounds, 2 percent body fat, and about one inch from their waist.
When compared to other exercise routines, Shan explains, “It’s not as intensive (compared to other forms of exercises); after the workout I feel refreshed and stretched out. The hammock really did help with the overall yoga experience. It complements the stretching, and it’s really different from doing regular yoga.”
24-year-old from Advertising, Lydia, who attended the class for the first time as well, agrees with Shan, comparing Aerial Yoga to other workouts as “far more relaxing”. Lydia, who enjoys baking during her free time is more familiar with cake ingredients than with workout gears and techniques. Continuing to describe her first experience with Aerial Yoga, she says, “It helped me stretch my whole body out and helped me stay calm throughout the entire session as exhaling and inhaling was important for this class.”
Aerial Flow Yoga is known to feature some interesting poses. “Hanging upside down!” shares Shan excitedly was the most fun part of the workout session. “Felt like my spine got a chance to straighten and my blood flowing throughout my body.”
Lydia adds in “It was a refreshing feeling actually, being upside down with all the blood rushing down to your head. It helped me stay calm. I have a problem with my back as my posture is really poor as I tend to hunch a lot due to my height. But, I felt this yoga class helped me with that.”
“Yes, definitely,” says Shan, “It’s not too intensive and the instructor did show us some easier poses for newbies and helped correct our posture.”
As someone who has never performed ordinary yoga, Lydia too agrees that Aerial Flow Yoga is open for everyone: “Of course! I had absolutely no experience with yoga of any sort and I still managed to do each of the stretches.”
Clearly you don't need to be an acrobat, far from it, to learn and love aerial, or antigravity, workouts.
“I personally feel people who have back problems and scoliosis should go for this class as it helps to strengthen your core muscles and increases spinal and shoulder flexibility,” explains Lydia.
Offered by Fitness First, the Aerial Flow Yoga sessions mainly aims at relieving compressed joints and correcting muscle imbalances. It also allows you to achieve greater flexibility, traction of the spine and improved blood circulation, giving you altogether an elevated workout experience for your mind, body and spirit.
As an AIA Vitality member, you can get up to 50% off Fitness First gym membership so get ready to take exercising to the air. Learn more HERE.
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