- Your toes are just accessories, you don’t actually need them (balancing, finding your centre, avoiding windmilling your arms when in tree pose)
- It’s YOUR practice, do what feels organic (I’m sorry, there is nothing organic about some of these poses (king pigeon pose??), but I take your point – wiggle it if it feels good)
- Do not let go of the rope (otherwise things go bump and it hurts)
- Look at your nose, not your neighbour (especially if you have neck issues)
- Look at your toes, not your neighbour (you can cause temporary paralysis or at the very least, it really hurts)
- Wear comfortable, loose clothing, but not too loose cuz you spend a lot of time in downward dog
(and you thought yoga was for wimps!)
I went back. Playing with the silks was just too much fun (see my first blog about aerial yoga “Hang like a monkey and chant ommmmmmm” and www.p3yoga.com). Once I got comfortable with getting in and out of them, I could concentrate on the actual poses! On the semi-technical side of things, this type of yoga is great to stretch out your back and do all sort of bendy poses without worrying about falling down or crushing your hips into the floor or basically, no gravity! and by using the silks, you get a great stretch and work out on different bits of you than floor-bound yoga.
On the cool side, wrapping yourself up like a wonton in the silks is just such fun. (I don’t know the proper name for this yoga pose – sorry!). Laying full out in the silk feels like you’re in your own little cocoon or desert tent or something equally exotic.
Some of my fave poses:
– pigeon pose – one leg in the silk, the other one up off the floor, gently swinging
– cobra – simple, but restorative with the silk around your armpits
– side plank – I’m not very good at it yet, but love leg support by the silk and upper body working stretching out of it
– forward fold – one leg in the silk and then….bring the other one up and cross at the ankles – great for building trust in your own body strength.
too bad I can’t hang a silk in my condo!!
Aerial Yoga. Sounds like a blast, no? Well, it was. We were all beginners so the class was more about what to do and how to work with the “silk” than traditional yoga. Throw in a few giggles at the beginning for good measure too. You have to master the floss and cross first (more about that later), but, c’mon, if someone said to you that you could do a dancer pose while upside down and hanging hands-free, doesn’t that sound cool?!? Some things I learnt in the class:
First, just to clarify, it’s not actually silk. I love the stuff especially being Chinese and a girl, but am not about to stretch out like a plank 5 feet in the air in something that has been excreted from a worm. Not that trusting. All the equipment is rated for WELL OVER a person’s weight. 1000 lbs. Even my horse would be ok…..if he could do yoga.
Second, there are a few basics to know. Like how to get into the silk without trapping your hand beneath your butt or that just because you like the colour blue, doesn’t mean that’s the silk for you. So the first was the “floss and cross” – a pretty graphic secure pose. Basically, bunch up the silk so it’s like a rope and thread that between your butt cheeks (that’s the “floss” part in case you weren’t keeping track) and then cross your legs so that they are on opposite sides of the silk. You have to work pretty hard at this point to fall out, but it’s still scary to let go!!
Third, those artists that do the aerial acrobatics for a living deserve more money. Seriously. Just moving around from pose to pose or getting in or OUT of the silk requires more dexterity and upper body strength than I thought. And the whole thing requires core strength.
Fourth, once a person gets the hang of it, this will be seriously iced.
Favourite pose of the night: Superwoman flying down to rescue a cat
Check it out at http://www.p3yoga.com