Swinging at the park, somersaulting and turning around quickly have all become my body's arch nemesis since having my children. I have been fraught with that head-spinny, car sick feeling any time my feet and head are orientated that wrong way...
So it was an apprehensive drive behind the factories on Willandra Drive on Sunday. What was I getting myself in for?!
Our Social Sunday event for June was Aerial Yoga at the Myndful Yoga Studio in Epping. Aerial (or Anti-Gravity) Yoga is becoming incredibly popular and so it was such a great opportunity to be able to give it a go.
As soon as we walked in the door, we were greeted with a warm smile and the calm, yet assertively confident, style of Nicole. We instantly felt like we were in safe hands - which is always reassuring when you're about to hang yourself upside-down for the best part of an hour!
Once inside the studio, the hustle of the outside world was left behind. The silky, rich purple hammocks were floating in the air and we all found our way to each one. Nicole deftly set the hammocks to our height and we were set to go!
We started with some gentle poses using both the hammock and our feet - it was a nice way to get accustomed to the feeling and to learn to trust the strength of the hammock (they, by the way, are rated to hold 500kg. In Nicole's words, unless you are a baby elephant, you are safe!) We slung the hammock behind our upper backs for a while, then used them under our hips for a supported downward facing dog.
Then, it was time. Nicole expertly instructed us on how to fold the hammock safely so that we could tuck enough of it under our tooshies - and before we knew it, we were up in the air, sitting in the hammocks! Some of us got a bit of a swing up, which means that we didn't use our abs enough.
Under Nicole's gentle and clear instruction, I was about to be thrown well and truly outside my comfort zone. We were about to invert (go upside down) for the first time!
Holding the pillars with a white-knuckle grip, I leaned backwards, tucked my legs around the pillars and found myself facing the floor.
Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.
I had to keep reminding myself to breathe, deeply and calmly. Butterflies were churning in my stomach. It is so hard being outside your comfort zone, outside the safety of what you know and feeling a little uncomfortable. Not knowing the outcome (even though, the logical side of me knew, without a doubt, that I was completely safe at all times under Nicole's guidance). But if I hadn't have stepped myself outside of my comfort zone on Sunday, I wouldn't have been able to experience Aerial Yoga. I wouldn't have tried something new.
And importantly, I wouldn't KNOW that yes, actually, I CAN do it!
Nicole guided us through the rest of the class, always encouraging us to try more, let go a bit more and enjoy the Yoga style for what it is. She was incredibly rapt that in a class of almost all complete beginners, we were all able to invert at least once.
The class finished off with the most luxurious, restful and quite cocoon. Being completely supported by the cocooned hammock was the most wonderful feeling, and one that I am so glad that I got to experience!
Thank you Nicole!
Myndful Yoga Studio
1/51 Willandra Drive, Epping