Winter has arrived in full force here in North Dakota, so that means that I need to get my southern butt back down to sunny Florida! I just booked my airline tickets for February, and I’ll be heading down there to soak up some sun and FINALLY learn aerial silks and hammock yoga!
For those of you who do not know what aerial silks are, here is a definition (the pictures say more than the words) of Aerial Silks according to Wikipedia: Aerial silk (also known as aerial contortion, aerial ribbons, aerial silks, aerial tissues, fabric, ribbon, or tissu, depending on regional preference) is a type of performance in which one or more artists perform aerialbatic acrobatics while hanging from a special fabric. Performers climb the suspended fabric without the use of safety lines, and rely only on their training and skill to ensure safety. They use the fabric to wrap, suspend, fall, swing, and spiral their bodies into and out of various positions. Aerial silks may be used to fly through the air, striking poses and figures while flying…Aerial silks are an incredibly demanding art and require a high degree of strength, power, flexibility, courage, and grace to practice.
It all sounds and looks pretty neat huh!?!
Aerial silks is something that I have had my eye on and have wanted to try for a few years now, and this winter I finally have the chance to learn all I can in this neat art! I am truly just beyond excited to finally learn aerial silks. As you can see from the pictures above it looks like a ton of fun and amazing experience. Who doesn’t want to swing around and do fun tricks? Not to mention that silks are a great form of fitness.
One of the fitness studios I took lessons at, Vixen Fitness in Orlando, Florida, started teaching aerial silks right after we moved to North Dakota, and I’ve been dying to go back and learn silks for a few years now, so I decided there is no time like the present (especially since it is freezing here in the winter).
Vixen Fitness in Orlando, Florida is such a great place to take lessons. Not only do they have aerial silk classes, but they offer a ton of other classes ranging from Spinning to advanced pole. I first went to Vixen for pole fitness classes. I would have to say that pole fitness is the hardest fitness class I have ever done when it comes to using your arms and core strength. Of course, I was sucked in immediately and wanted to learn as much as I could. This brought me to private lessons with Allison.
Allison is a professionally trained dancer and was a National Junior Olympic gymnast as a child. In 2005 she discovered “aerial arts” and instantly became addicted when she realized she was able to combine the strength and grace of gymnastics with the expression of dance.
Allison was kind enough to teach me as much as she could as fast as she could. She is an amazing instructor, and I highly recommend her to anyone. Plus she is beyond sweet and totally supportive about anything and everything you could ever want to learn. Therefore, I will be doing my one-on-one aerial silks training with her during my 5 days in Florida. Allison understands how much I want to learn in those few days, and is ready to teach me all that she can. She has even suggested that we video tape everything, so that I have something to work from when I return home. If it is not too embarrassing I might share some videos with y’all. I cannot wait to get to Florida!
Allison also has her own website with online pole lessons. Online Pole Lessons is an amazing website with great lessons in which a beginner can learn the art of pole from their own home.
On top of aerial silk training I will be doing hammock yoga training with Allison at Yoga Girls Studio in Orlando, Florida. Hammock yoga is another class that came to Orlando right after I moved (I have all the luck right!?!). There are so many benefits to hammock yoga…Many newcomers enjoy working with the sling because with the help of gravity there is very little pressure or stress on the joints, especially the spine. Inversions are accessed easily with no strain on the neck, back, or shoulders. Gravity eases you into optimal alignment with very little effort, and deep postures can be accessed through relaxation and deep breathing. The relaxation response is heightened by the unique sensations accessed in aerial yoga.
Hanging in the sling makes your core muscles fire. It is so much fun you don’t even realize what a great workout you’re getting. Transitioning in and out of the aerial yoga postures builds upper body strength, and resting in the postures heightens relaxation for a balanced effort overall.
Aerial Yoga was designed for anyone of any age or fitness level. Complete beginners to yoga and/or aerial will be right at home.
Check out the video below to learn and see more about hammock yoga.
My long term goal is to bring hammock yoga back to North Dakota! I know so many people who would love and benefit from the classes. You have to admit you want to give it all a try just after looking at the photos and video.
Thankfully, I have a few months before I cram as much training in as I can. I’m going to need that time to strengthen my core and upper body, since I won’t be able to stay and take classes over an extended period at the studios like the lucky people who live in Orlando. Instead, I’m going to be learning as much as I can in just a few days. I already know that I will be using my core and arms to control my movements the most and they will need to be in great working order come February. So…you will see a lot more core and upper body workouts posted in the Workout page.
And…here is the core workout I did yesterday in between my spinning classes. I’ve also included links to a couple of the abdominal exercises that you might not have heard of or are unsure of.
- Frog Crunches
- Scorpions – Hint: Place your ball against the wall for better stability. If this is still too hard, do the exercise without the stability ball.
- Side Plank w/reach through