Saturday, August 4, 2012

Putting silk on a goat...

"Put silk on a goat, and it is still a goat." ~ Irish Proverb

Wrapped in a cocoon of indigo silk with gentle music playing and a bit of sunlight peeping through the ends I allowed my mind to wander over the last hour...

Vertical Fitness was once again the host of today's adventure, but today I had a comrade in the ever intrepid Dana! We arrived in time to watch our instructor affix the apparatuses to the ceiling in a colorful array of hammocks.  We were guided to two of the slings lower to the ground, being that neither of us is much more than 5 foot tall. Not being the most coordinated creature on two feet this meant I had less distance to fall, as I was certain I would at some point due to the nature of the exercise.

Much like traditional yoga classes our mentor of the day, Stephanie, began class with an brief introduction and a comforting promise to adjust all poses to fit our level of proficiency. After a brief warm up it was time to begin using the bright fabrics dangling before us. With a gentle tone, soft smile and repeated guidance, Stephanie led us through a series of poses with one foot through the loop of cloth, and one on the floor. Following this was a series of floor abdominal actions with both feet elevated in the material and torso on the ground. Then it was time to hoist ourselves up into the silks. Simply standing in the crook of the silks set them swinging, which we were soothingly assured was normal and would abate in short order.

While the class settled in to our new heights Stephanie informed us that we would experience pressure where the silks supported our weight. For the heavy of body and those bearing busted feet, be aware, she wasn't whistling Dixie here, she means - your weight is being supported by the fabric, and it will let you know by pushing back. This can also be a bonus, in that it is much like using a lacrosse ball/foam roller to do a bit of myofascial release, again, not comfortable, but useful. The swaying motion was strangely soothing, and suited the general genial mood of the class and teacher. Lots of smiles and encouragements as the new comers jounced and wobbled through the poses. The one inversion we did was spectacularly fun, head down, hands free, I felt like a tree frog for a few minutes. Full of giggles for me, and it looked ever so lovely on some of the long and lean students with their hair trailing the floor.

As in so many yoga or pilates classes the hour rounds out with some gentle relaxation techniques. We sat in them like a swing, and then slowly expanded the silks to their full widths, and lay in them like hammocks. Though that isn't really the word I want to use here, it is considerably more comfortable and comforting than any backyard hammock. You are cradled in a swath of silk from your head to your feet, and for us Shire-kin shorties we have fabric to spare and are totally encapsulated but for the errant sunbeam. Guided through a series of structured relaxation exercises while weightlessly floating in a monochrome world, I did indeed feel the peace that yoga classes are meant to impart to participants. When we once more exposed ourselves to the world, it was a heartfelt and thankful "Namaste" that I delivered to our aerial instructor.

The poses I enjoyed most were the suspended bridges, both those fully and partially supported by the silks. The inversion was easily the most fun, and the cocoon at the end the most relaxing.  It was a well done class, that even a beginner like myself could enjoy.

Putting silk on a goat, may mean it is still a goat, but it is now a FABULOUS goat wrapped in purple silk, so hush up and let it prance about a bit. <--- My take on aerial yoga, from your earth bound B!

Not having a vast knowledge of yoga I cheated and looked these up online after class, the poses we covered were as follows: warrior, tree, half moon, bridge, triangle, planks, forward fold, cobra.

1 comment:

  1. It was a great time! I hurt like the dickens today, but I loved every minute of yesterday. Even the inverted pose which scared the death out of me.