Each week we send a member of the USC team to try out one of our weird and wonderful activities so you know exactly what to expect. This week we defied the laws of gravity by practising yoga while suspended in the air…
What is aerial yoga?
Aerial yoga or “anti-gravity yoga” combines traditional yoga with moves inspired by pilates and acrobatics, all aided with suspended hammocks or ‘silks.’
This yoga class is about deepening your stretch and releasing tension through yoga movements and aerial acrobatics.
What can you expect?
Fl’air Studios lies under the railway arches of S-Bahn Jannowitzbrücke in Berlin’s Mitte district. The huge arched ceilings of the studio make it the perfect space for the many aerial classes they host – including acrobatics, yoga, hoop and more.
It truly is a beautiful space with a view of the river spree from the tall windows. Multi-coloured silks dangle decoratively from the ceiling suspended over yoga mats. Our teacher suggests I take a silk which isn’t too high up, because “we don’t want you to fall over, do we?” No, we don’t.
How was the workout?
We begin the workout by lying “like little snakes” in our aerial silks. It was a lovely feeling to lie suspended in the air in a silky hammock.
We then began some traditional yoga postures such as downward dog with one foot hooked in our silks. It was challenging to use my core to stabilise myself while concentrating on the exercise.
We then put both feet in the silks and leant forward and back to stretch out our hamstrings. I could feel how the silks deepened all of these traditional yoga stretches, especially the twists where we sat with our full weight on the silk, lifted our knees and twisted either side.
Everything was going smoothly until I turned to see the entire class hanging upside down, cocooned in their silks like a colony of flamboyant bats. The teacher saw the look of terror on my face and came over to help me get into position. “Grab the silks high up, put your full weight on it, turn and hook your feet next to your hands.”
I did as she said and slowly rotated in the air like a Rotisserie chicken until I was hanging upside down like everyone else. “Now do 20 sit-ups.”
We then moved on to shoulder and headstands using the silks to balance us. This was tiring especially after all of the core work we’d done throughout the class. However the teacher was encouraging and gave clear instructions that prevented me from losing my balance.
Our final move of the class was a suspended shoulder stand within the silks. We hooked our shoulders so that we could lean our full weight against them and then had to jump and turn upside down.
This was even more alarming than before as my legs were fully extended. I lasted about 10 seconds before all the blood rushed to my head and I decided I’d spent enough time upside down for one morning.
Then it was time to turn into a little snake again and lie in our cocoons for Savasana – probably my favourite Savasana ever.
How did I feel after?
I felt light-headed because I’d been upside down for such a long time. However I felt relieved of tension, especially in my shoulders and spine and felt like
I’d had a fantastic stretch.
The day after I felt light and flexible and relaxed from the suspended Savasana in the silky hammock.
Benefits of aerial yoga
The silks give you a much deeper stretch which drastically improves your flexibility
Suspension in the air releases tension in your bones and muscles
Because you need to balance throughout the class it’s an intense core workout and is great for strengthening your spine
Hanging upside down is a great mood-booster and stress-buster
Don’t forget to bring…
Water and yoga clothes – everything else is provided for you.
Want to try out aerial yoga? Pay a visit to Fl’air studios and try out one of their innovative aerial fitness classes.
Urban Sports Club has tons of yoga partners in Germany, Italy and France. Take a look at our site to see what’s on in your area.