Hi, my name is Becky and this is how my journey starts…
It was 4:30 on a Wednesday afternoon; an attorney I work with was stuck in a mediation and there was no way it was going to finish in time for her to make it to Belinda’s 5:30 AIReal Yoga class… it was too late for her to cancel, so she asked me if I wanted to go in her place. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but I was up for the challenge. By 6:35 I realized my life had changed, and I would be back for more.
I am fairly new to yoga, but I grew up as a dancer, so I love the flow, grace, stretching, and focus elements yoga offers. When I walked into my first AIReal Yoga Class, I was intrigued by the fabric hanging from the ceiling in a circle around the room, and I was little intimidated by the small class size, knowing there was no way I could blend into the back of this class. I took a few deep breaths, found my heart center, and determined to keep an open mind, being joyful and relaxed.
There were many elements and postures to the class that I recognized, except they utilized the silk hammock. Towards the end of the class, we did what is called a lotus inversion (when you go upside down) and it was a little terrifying, exhilarating, and finally relaxing!
For a few months, once a week, after work, I would take an AIReal Yoga class with Wren or Belinda.
Like many yoga practices, we ended in savasana, but in here we are truly weightless, suspended in the silk hammock like a cocoon, completely relaxed.
As I was leaving the intimate yoga studio, I noticed the rest of the facility: the Cirque du Soleil apparatuses suspended from the beams far above, the most amazing kids, teens, and adults doing these magical things on them that I could only dream of…
...and indeed, that night, I dreamt that I was flying too.
One day I was sharing my excitement with my husband, and I convinced him to take an Introduction to Aerial Class with me on a Saturday morning (and on Saturdays, he sleeps in.) Laura was our teacher. She introduced us to some of the circus aerial apparatus, the Silks, Hammock, Trapeze, and Lyra. We stretched and learned proper form (shoulders down and back), how to climb (and come down, hand over hand), and how to sit up in the hammock.
In my very first class, Laura had to help me tuck into the hammock because I wasn’t strong enough to pull my hips up and over or maybe I was afraid to trust the silk. I never knew my hands and fingers could be so tired and sore. I could only keep my grip on the trapeze for 15-20 seconds at a time. It is challenging, but I won’t give up because I am getting stronger, and I able to do something new every time!
For now, my desire is to perfect my climbing, the standard and the russian, I want to climb to the top and I want it to look effortless and beautiful. The silks go so high, but I am getting braver every day. I know it might not seem like the most glamorous trick, but climbing is the foundation and the most important skill on the silks. I really enjoy learning new things on the hammock because I feel supported and secure, and my hands don’t get tired like they do when I am practicing with the trapeze or lyra.
Now that I’m really using my body at The Aerial Studio, I’m finding I’m naturally making more time to stretch and move my body in life. I am focusing on my core strength, flexibility, and upper body. I am seeing great results on an ongoing goal that I have had since I was a child. I am striving for the day I will be able to do the splits again, and the center splits for the first time!
Thanks to that fateful Wednesday afternoon, my life has become vibrant again, and I am excited about the possibilities ahead.
Until next time… keep soaring!