WRITTEN BY: Mariah Demery
Not knowing what to expect from your first aerial yoga class may be what is keeping you from signing up. Though the idea of hanging upside down may be a little intimidating, a beginner aerial yoga class can be the answer to your fitness prayers going into 2020. As someone who recently started going to classes again to improve my overall health, returning to the hammock was daunting. I realized how much I had forgotten, as well as what came back to me naturally after two years away. Want to know what to expect from your first class at Altitude? Follow along!
What to bring: For your first class it is imperative you bring the right gear to fully embrace the experience and have a great workout. Be sure to dress accordingly to avoid potential hangups while you fly.
A water bottle: This may seem a bit obvious since this is a workout class at the end of the day, but it is important to stay hydrated during the class. At times you may feel dizzy or lightheaded (especially after hanging upside down). In my experience, staying hydrated also helps your skin and body adjust to the pinching from the hammock fabric.
A yoga mat: Though mats are provided for you, if you have your own I think it's a great tool to bring to ground you and give you a sense of familiarity. This class will challenge your body in new ways, but the pay off is great. Pro Tip - I spray my yoga mat lightly around the edges with my favorite essential oils to help me feel at peace when I take quick breaks.
A good attitude: The instructors realize that this is foreign to newbies, and trying something new can be challenging. Being open and willing is the best place to start in order to truly benefit. You have to trust your body, the hammock, and your instructor in order to enjoy the class and the results afterwards. Set your intentions toward experiencing something new.
Helpful Tips: When taking your first class there are some things you should know in order to feel as secure as possible and have fun.
BREATH: Remember when I mentioned you can get dizzy in this class? Not breathing through it and getting tense is usually the reason you will feel lightheaded. It's crucial to breathe throughout the entire class. At the end of the day you know yourself and your body. If you need to take a break, the instructors are very understanding and will help you through it.
Stretch before you stretch: If you haven't worked out in a while, like myself, or have prior conditions or injuries (also like myself), I suggest a quick stretch just to get your body warmed up. This can also aid in helping you lift your body into the hammocks without wobbling.
You aren't drowning or falling: Your first time upside down is going to feel strange. We are not used to being in that type of position, so it can feel like you are falling or drowning. At times, you may even feel nauseous as you get used to this feeling. Pro Tip - When drinking water take small sips during the breaks. Even if you feel out of breath never guzzle it down. Once again, trust the hammock. The instructor will guide you to make sure you are secure. If needed, they will physically help you into proper positioning for optimum posture and results.
After class you should feel completely stretched out and more relaxed. Post-workout, drink plenty of water to help flush toxins out of the body. You can also take a few minutes after class to take fun pictures of the positions you learned. This is a great opportunity to try out something new by yourself or with friends. The beginner class is really about learning and having fun at the end of the day. Once you start to feel more comfortable, you will really start feeling unstoppable. Positive reinforcement is given earnestly throughout class. It is designed to help with balance, flexibility, relaxation, and fitness. Like any other fitness class, it is what you make it. I recommend checking out the Level 1 Aerial Yoga class at Altitude Fitness to literally get into the swing of things. As you continue your aerial journey and look to advance, higher levels are available.
Join me as I document my progress and talk about my post and pre-workout routines in order to see great results for my adrenal fatigue. More blogs coming soon!