In a town where wellness is the word, new Angelino and chef Lynnette Astaire navigates the weird world of working out in LA and shares what she eats to fuel her journey. Here, she explores hammock life with aerial yoga.
I know this is a fitness publication and all, and I’m sure you’ve watched the founders fly out the door for 5 am runs and grueling classes (see my Reformer post) but that ain’t me. Showing up to this class at 8 am was a task within itself. The fact that it involved hammocks made it even harder.
Speaking of the humble “hammocka”, I actually tried aerial years ago in Mexico. Your girl had a hammock tied to her backyard tree and simply called it “tela”, which in Spanish translates to “fabric.” However, since that wasn’t a proper class, I was looking forward to literally learning the ropes about this relatively new “sport” where yoga meets aerial acrobatics.
It’s incredible how flexible the body is with a bit of help. I’m sure we’ve all seen the fantastic photos of people piled up in some impossible looking pose and wondered how it was physically possible. Well, here is where you get the fundamentals to make that happen.
Although aerial yoga is all about acrobatic arts and anti-gravity asana, it’s also an accessible practice that can help with spinal decompression, ease in inversions, and better alignment in asana. Aerial yoga combines the strength of aerial arts with the flow of traditional yoga.
An evolution of yoga, of sorts.
My early morning class started quietly. With only a few of us in attendance, it stayed that way which in this case may not have been the best thing. Since I was the newbie, our teacher Sharyn kept an eye on me … which also helped to keep my eyes open.
The first pose, which was simply a cradle position, literally sent me into a light meditative state. I cannot describe this as anything other than the ULTIMATE savasana. What’s better than lying still on your back? Being curled up in a silky fabric, cradled like a baby, before anything else.
The only caveat to this whole thing is the slight swinging, especially for someone like me who starts to vomit at the sight of a swinging tire. Luckily, swinging is actually NOT part of the deal; it was just happening to this newbie because I didn’t know what I was doing and hadn’t learned how to control my movements.
Once in control, movements are slow and simple; graceful is the word. And, since you have more freedom of movement, you can move your body into more positions which can result in a deeper and more fulfilling stretch than traditional yoga offerings.
Some of the most basic poses involve simple stretches while seated on the hammock, while other poses progress to hanging upside down and grabbing your thighs, ankles or feet for support and balance, like the popular one-legged king pigeon pose.
Because gravity is working harder on your body than usual, your muscles work harder too. Aerial yoga is also a great core workout because you have to engage your core muscles to balance and stabilize yourself during your yoga session.
Aerial yoga is a refreshing change of pace that automatically makes you more alert and aware. You will likely also try to concentrate harder because you’re not used to being suspended in the air.
Despite hanging from a piece of fabric during all of this, I felt fine. The hammock is made of a high-density nylon that can support over 2,000 pounds and is held up by a number of support chains and straps which can be adjusted to a height that doesn’t go above a few feet — so don’t worry about falling.
Worry about sleeping.
3961 Sepulveda Blvd 100, Culver City, CA 90230
About Aerial Yoga
Also known as flying yoga, Air Yoga and Anti-Gravity Aerial, Aerial Yoga combines the strength of Aerial Arts with the flow of traditional Yoga. With the assistance of Aerial Hammock for suspension, many traditional poses are facilitated providing exceptional core strength and stretch gains with minimal compression and discomfort.
Who it’s for:
Good for: Jaded yogis, Cirquee du Soleil enthusiasts
Who it’s not for:
Arthritics, Vertigo, anyone with a hangover, cold or flu
What I ate:
After hanging upside down first thing in the morning I headed home and rewarded myself with a Red Velvet Smoothie. Get the recipe here.
About Lynnette Astaire:
Lynnette Astaire is a chef with 15 years of plant-based cooking experience and 10 years of fasting experience who healed her chronic disease through diet. She is the founder of Superfood School, a plant-based meal prep program that helps everyday eaters to get more plants on their plates, easily and deliciously.
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Series illustration by Chrissy Curtin