How to Seriously Elevate Your Yoga Practice

If yoga is for the birds, well then hear me chirp, because today I took my practice to the skies.

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My instructor friend, Anna, and I embarked on a little yogi road trip today to Harmony Hot Yoga & Aerial Center in Milledgeville. I have made the 45 minute journey before to test out their Bikram classes, but today we were trying something else entirely, aerial yoga. Aerial yoga suspends you into the air using a fabric hammock. The suspension allows gravity to take hold in order to decompress and realign the spine, increase flexibility, release all tension, and relax.  Oh, and it is ridiculously fun!

(added bonus: it was Harmony’s one year anniversary, so all classes were free!)

The studio is gorgeous, with sky blue walls adorned with fluffy clouds and mirrors lining the front and side walls. Their hammocks are hung from steel beams, using cables that can support 5,000 lb cars and clamps that can sustain 2,500 lbs. The owner, Kay, began the class by explaining these measurements and maximums, I think, to put our minds at ease of the safety.

The hammocks can stretch to engulf the entire body like a silken cocoon or rolled up to act as a hanging strap. We performed typical postures, like cobblers pose and upward dog, but from the air. I thought I would be a little nervous, but I actually felt very safe and secure. You are never more than two feet from the ground. And, if you are as tall as me, you will most likely graze the ground the majority of the time. The experience mimicked flying. It wasn’t weightless, as the pressure of the hammock could still typically be felt as it supported the hips or ribs, but it was freeing, nonetheless. The whole experience was exhilarating, and we have already planned another trip for next week. I can’t wait to get back in the hammock and see what else I am capable of.

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To learn more about aerial yoga, head to www.aerialyoga.com. The site provides additional information about the practice, locations of nearby studios, and videos and demonstrations. In yoga, we talk about feeling grounded in our practice, the sensation of connecting with the Earth. Leave that all behind in aerial, and fly high.

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