A few years ago I was in Vegas for a triple bachelorette party (yep) and we saw Cirque du Soleil. It was really cool. And I thought, wow, that’s something I could never do. Wrong (I mean also very right, but turns out I can swing upside down in hammock). Enter Aerial yoga. For those of you who haven't heard of Aerial Yoga, it’s yoga, with the support of a soft, aerial fabric hammock which allows participants get to explore, refine, and advance their normal yoga practice. Also, you get to swing upside down in the air which makes me feel like I’m at a Cirque du Soleil casting call. Vegas, here I come.
Typical to Cincinnati, OH, we’re a few years behind the trend. Aerial yoga studios have been around in LA and NYC for a bit now, and they’re now hitting the Queen City. Modo Yoga is a local studio, that has three locations in Cincinnati. There is one in Clifton, one across the bridge in KY, and one in Columbia Tusculum. I actually started going to Modo before I even moved to Cincinnati when I was coming in town to visit a long-distance boyfriend while in grad school. I’ve been a member since and swear there is nothing better than the feeling you get after sweating through a hot class. Side note, I do not recommend going the day after being over-served on red wine.
Recently, Modo invited Molly and me to check out their new Aerial room at the Columbia Tusculum location. The room, a small intimate space, can be accessed by walking through the men or women’s locker rooms. The room is quiet and private, perfect for learning a new skill. A number of hammocks hang from the ceiling and every person gets their own. The same rules for attire apply as normal yoga, comfy clothes you can move in and no shoes. Our class was a size of 8 which was perfect for the room size. One of our classmates was also an Aerial yoga teacher, and another classmate was trying Aerial for the first time. Our instructor, Hollie Nesbit, handled instructing our mixed level class with ease.
We did a mixture of poses from the typical Modo class, but just in a hammock. And yes, we flew and we went upside down. Hollie held off on the more complicated poses until the end, and walked through the class to make sure everyone was comfortable getting into said postures. My favorite was hanging upside down. It felt so good on my neck and spine to have that intensified release. The hammocks in Ariel allow participants to go a little deeper into poses which means a more intense stretch which I like. Also, it just feels really cool to have your entire body off the ground, in the air. It’s energizing. Actually, as I’m writing this, I’d like to amend my previous statement and say my actual favorite pose was Shavasana. Shavasana in Aerial yoga is straight heaven. You essentially cocoon yourself in the hammock and just lay while you rock back and forth.
Aerial class at Modo is offered Mondays at 7:30 and Saturdays at 10:30 and last 75 minutes. You’ll want to register ahead of time online or on the phone because class caps at 8 people. Also, come early so you can get set up. This class is honestly just fun to try. I recommend grabbing a friend and getting ready to laugh at yourself. If you’re a regular yoga practitioner you might find yourself learning new things about a posture, seeing it a different way, or noticing different benefits. If you’re not a regular yoga practitioner this might convince you.