Misadventures in Wonderland: Aerial yoga
We sent Alice to try aerial yoga, which takes place in hammocks, in a gym near Arthur’s Seat
1. It’s not in the cosmopolitan Manhattan style loft conversion hide-out you’d imagine. I used to date a really pretentious guy who told me about these PH-balance water cafés in LA. That’s the kind of nonsense that comes into my mind when I hear of any kind of new fad yoga. (That guy also didn’t know we have avocados in Scotland – what he had to say isn’t important.) Anyway, aerial yoga takes place in the Crags Community Sport Centre.
2. Hammocks are brilliant. We had to get used to the material taking our weight before doing extreme versions of classic yoga positions. Which meant getting in the adult-sized purple papoose and practise lying down. Practise lying down? I’ve been training my whole life. I’m the Rocky of lying down. As someone who ignores all their mother’s calls, each time we did a yoga move on the mat I couldn’t wait to get back into the giant womb. After childishly working out that I could make it swing wildly, noticing the supporting beam had stripper pole fixtures on it, then realising I know what stripper pole fixtures look like, I started to relax. I cleared my mind of the fact I haven’t paid rent, or that I might’ve left my iron that I’ve never used on. I was Zen.
3. You shouldn’t exercise in front of a mirror if you want to cling to the wispy shreds of self-esteem you have left. There’s nothing like staring into your own cold, dead eyes while your stomach muscles try and escape through your pasty skin. It’s the same face seen in the hairdresser when you have to endure that awkward head massage by a 15- year-old.
3.1. I look really awful trying to get into a hammock.
4. Doing yoga is hard, but doing aerial yoga feels dangerous. No-one smashed their face into the ground (not that we would have, we were in safe hands) but when your head is hovering 8 inches from a wooden floor, it did feel like it could happen at any point. Generally the only thing we trust fabric with is not making us naked in public. The last thing you want to hear while in a fabric sling is ‘downward dog’.
5. It’s not so bad. Considering how much I was prepared to hate it, there was something nice about exercising and relaxing at the same time. I still don’t really know or care what a ‘core’ is – I’m not just saying that because I know my spine is listening, and I’m worried if I make it stronger it’ll rise up against me. I’m almost certain it’s something made up, like the moon landing or the ‘live’ part of yoghurt.
For more info see: aerialyogaedinburgh.co.uk.