On Spring Break 2016, I was in Sarasota, Florida visiting a dear friend. She and I love yoga but she really wanted me to go with her to an aerial yoga class. Well of course I would try it! And who knew Sarasota is known for their circus performers? I didn’t. So when Yoga Strong - Barre Fly came to Cleveland, I knew I would try aerial yoga tricks again!
I’m a bit of a daredevil. I have gone skydiving, flown an airplane, completed a 50 feet high ropes course and taken flying trapeze lessons. But don’t let that fool you, I’m somewhat afraid of heights. Yes, you read that correctly. Depending on the situation, I can get butterflies looking down from on high. I just learned to push through it and enjoy the experience.
Aerial yoga is not for the faint of heart. You will be flipping upside down, twirling around while hanging from your feet. Your heart will race and you will be uncomfortable.
Yoga Strong-Barre Fly is located on Prospect between 9th and 14th streets in downtown Cleveland. But what makes this place different from some of the other studios downtown is the combination of disciplines. They have combined barre classes with aerial techniques, yoga with weights, and high intensity, full body workouts with the hammocks. Fear not, they still have traditional yoga, pilates and barre.
The night I went, I learned The Monkey, Hanging Pigeon, Flying Heron, The Secretary, and more in one hour! We started off warming up using the aerial silks. We did lunges, forward bends, planks, just to mention a few with either one leg or foot in the hammock. Once we were loosed up, it was time to get into some positions.
The first things to know is that the hammock should be at hip height when standing on tiptoes. This is to prevent hitting one’s head on the floor when hanging upside down.
Before I go any further let me reassure you that the silks are anchored in the ceiling and can hold up to 3,000 pounds! So we’re all cool on that one.
I got into position and flipped backward into The Monkey. Yes, I did scream. I screamed a lot. When you are twirling around upside down then back right side up, you might let out a yelp or two.
Overall here are some things to note:
Curvier women may experience more discomfort due to pressure from the silks
You should wear a long sleeved shirt to reduce the strain under your arms
Bring your own mat for the warm up
If you are prone to motion sickness, this may not be the experience for you
Binding can cause bruising but the instructor likens it to cupping or myofascial therapy
Upper body strength is needed for this class
Yoga Strong-Barre Fly is a beautiful studio with an amazing bathroom with showers. Mats are available for a $2 rental fee but they have a fully stocked boutique with clothing, mats and snacks for purchase.
Their prices are competitive at $17 for a drop in as well as several class package options. If you aren’t ready for aerial yoga, they offer Yoga for Beginners.
Yes, Black Girls do Circus Tricks!
See you around town!