Aerial Yoga..."Silk Sisters"... Say What?!
On Sunday I texted a few of my friends asking if anyone wanted to do an aerial yoga class with me-I was off for the week and for once I had nothing I *had* to get done so I wanted to do something for myself. I had walked by an aerial yoga studio in Winnetka a few times while visiting a nearby consignment store- I was intimidated to do it on my own and who was going to turn down the emotional (and possibly physical) support of a friend to go with?! I figured I had the time, why not? It was on my bucket list... I just needed to find a "victim" to go with me!
My friend, Audrey, responded that she was down to go-- so we booked a class for 9:30am the next day!
We got the the studio early, set up our yoga mats, got fitted for the appropriate heights of the silk hammocks and were ready to go.
The class started off with a warm up and then moved to core/strength/ cardio/ balance workout with the silks-- I think the best way I can describe it is as a full body "bootcamp" and every ounce of your fat fighting against you. I realized I had been lying to myself and that truly my upper body strength is completely none existent. There is no pretending when your wrists and arms are wrapped in the silk and the exercise is to pull up your entire body up similar to a pull up.
I thought I signed up for aerial silk dancing like they do in the circus or those acrobatic shows ...but it was not.
AND THEN... during planks to head stands- my 90 degree angle went to a 180 and I somersaulted like a bowling ball into the girl in front of me.
Audrey and I came out of that class in immense pain. Every fiber was shaking. We went out to lunch and we couldn't even laugh or the vibrations from the laugh caused a stomach muscle burning sensation.
We went our separate ways and I was content. I tried the class, got my instagram pictures, I was never going back. There was no way I was going to subject myself to that torture no matter how beautiful the outcome. I had my Peloton spin bike at home- that was enough. I would just take a couple of "arms" classes on the Peloton phone app and would just forget what that yoga class did to me.
Until Audrey texted me at midnight asking if I was going to show up for the 6 am class the next day.
She had signed up for their $99 unlimited month special and I looked at Gabriel and told him what she was up to and he said to do it to- I had nothing to lose I was off for the week, $30 for one class or $99 for the month? He's like just go a few times this week, its $100 you'll see you might like it. Reluctantly I signed up. It was 2 against 1 and I was losing this argument.
So I left my beautiful and warm and cozy and soft and luscious bed at 5 am the next day barely able to lift myself up and drove back to AIR.
This class went much easier because I already knew what the silks felt like - the 50 minutes flew by and after class our teacher spent a lot of time with us showing up fun pictures and taking more photos. It was so relaxed and fun I couldn't wait to sign up for the next day.
Day 3 went even better. Once again a new teacher- it's so fun to see everyones diverse teaching styles and abilities- so far all the classes have been very different from each other and Ive been learning so much not only about aerial yoga but my own abilities and about myself- what drives me and how I react to defeat.
I think the reason I walked out of that just class saying I wouldn't do it again if because I felt "defeated"- I did the entire class but my plank wasn't as strong as I wanted, I couldn't do the full body pull up on my own to get into the "diaper wrap" on my own (see I told you friends are great for physical support too!)-- I don't tend to participate or do things I don't excel in - I'm a perfectionist and being in a group setting where you aren't your best makes you feel incredibly vulnerable. The reason I decided to stick out this unlimited month is I need that to change- it's okay NOT to be the best at something and improve as you go - a way to measure your success- this one just happens to be in a public way and I am trying to get over it. People will always have something to say and you might not be everyone's cup of tea but you shouldn't live your life on the notion of what someone *might* say or think or do. In fact that shouldn't really matter. And in my head I can advise myself that all I want but to actually take that advice is a lot harder.
Ive never liked group fitness - back to the notion of someone always better than you and its a competition even if its actually not- I don't like the gym, there's too many people and too many distractions- that's why we got the Peloton bike- I can compete with people on the leaderboard and have them push me but I am in the comfort of my own house. When I finish riding and drop to the floor to recover in my tomato red face - no one sees it but me. There was NO way I was going to go to the gym not knowing what I was doing therefore my "fitness" options have always been more "out there" (trapeze classes, rock climbing, kayaking, biking) as opposed to a regular gym. The aerial yoga class sizes have been very small (the most we've had so far have been 5 people) and it's a lot more intimate and comforting. You get the same full body workout in a different way and I realized I was a lot more comfortable with this. Of course it was going to be hard- with biking I only work on my legs, very little on the arms and this type of exercise demands your upper body, not lower. This was going to be a class I could do and be able to measure my growth over a period of time- and it was fun! I didn't want to sign up for another thing I would create every excuse in the book not to go- but by day 3 I was excited. I got my new routine down and am excited to continue it past the 30 day pass I bought.
Knowing what to expect (feel of the hammock, names of the poses) brings comfort but there is also an element of excitement knowing each class will be different and some days will be more "flying" others more groundwork- but I can't wait to see how progress goes.
I mentioned in the "Goodby 2018" post- G and I were going to be a little more selfish with our health this year versus as travel focused as we were last yearning order to deal with a few health/ internal things we have going on. In order to skip going on medications to help with a few different things we are both making a stronger push and effort to eat even better and to get more active- this has to be more than the average "New Years resolution" or the consequences are real. I am really hopping aerial yoga does become "my thing" along with my current love for cycling.
I've signed up to run the virtual Amerithon challenge which is a virtual race you compete in by logging miles you have walked, ran, biked, or swam without leaving your own neighborhood to complete 3,521 Miles. across 13 States- all of America, The medal is so cool and every time you complete a section of a certain distance you put that part into "your America" until you're all done. My goal is to be done by December 31, 2019. Today is January 9th and I'm at 112.6 miles- wish me luck!
Please if you want to try out aerial yoga and are looking for someone to do a class with- please dont hesitate to reach out to me, even if we dont really talk! And if you dont care about me being there and just want to take the class- you can try it out for $1 with the code AIRCHICAGO when you sign up- more info on their instagram page at Air Winnetka!
I can't wait for the upcoming Saturday class- convinced a new friend to come along!
While I was doing one of my Peloton classes, one of the instructors, Robin had said something that really stuck with me-
No one is going to raise your bar higher that's up to you. What is 8 seconds to push past your mental "I can't"? That is such a short amount of time in comparison of your whole day. You're going to give up because of a few seconds of pain? You're already miles ahead of every person sitting on their couch- You chose to woke up and hustle- you're a boss. You've got a crown of sweat and a soul of fire. you CAN do this!
The Everyday Girl