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        Hey guys! It’s week one of the summer shape up series and I thought we’d start it with a bang! Kristen and I thought we’d get adventurous and tried our hands at Cirque du Soleil aerial yoga! Aerial yoga is a type of yoga practice where yogis use silk hammocks attached to the ceiling to help deepen poses and get in to poses that may be difficult. The result is a stunning practice reminiscent of Cirque du Soleil aerial acrobatics! Seeing people do crazy gravity defying yoga positions was definitely intimidating but we sucked it up and signed up for a beginner class anyways so here’s my take:

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        Walking in the class was a cardio workout in itself with how nervous we were! Even as a beginner class, there were people stretching using the hammocks and preparing for the session ahead. Not wanting to hurt ourselves, Kristen and I waited until the kind instructor came up and showed us how to pick a hammock with the correct height and how to start using it. The first few moves were fairly simple, we used the hammocks to deepen a simple runner’s lunge and pigeon pose.

        Next, the sequence shifted to rely more heavily on the hammock. We moved on to a boat pose using the hammock. This move was really fun, it reminded me a lot of being a kid and hanging off the play ground. But it wasn’t easy! In order to not swing around, you really had to use your core. The instructor was wonderful at correcting our form so we didn’t hurt ourselves.

        It’s hard to envision what these poses look like so here’s an awesome video to get you visualizing the practice. Don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it looks! You’ll be amazed at what your body can do!

        The next pose was the fun pose you probably envision when you think of aerial yoga – reclining angle pose. This looked super intimidating but as soon as you let your fears of flipping over and falling on your head go, it was pretty easy to get in to. It really helps stretch out your back but it did put some pressure on the hip bones and wasn’t super comfortable.

        We ended the practice with my very favorite pose – shivasana in the hammock. The hammock stretches around you like a cocoon and gently rocks you. AMAZING.

        Overall, we thought aerial yoga was really fun – I’d highly recommend it as it helps get you out of your comfort zone and try something new. Form is everything with this workout though so if you have any injuries, I would hold off before trying this practice.  It was so much fun, challenged your core and a great experience! Aerial yoga can get pretty expensive though unless you have a hammock in your house so I’d recommend scoping out places that let you try a class for free or a Groupon like Kristen and I found. If you love it, most places have memberships to do aerial yoga and regular yoga that are much more economical than drop in passes. And if you’re really into it? Try this aerial yoga sequence from the Yoga Journal at home!

        pink4

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