After a beautiful sunny day in Brighton, Gemma and I caught the train to Reigate. That evening we would be taking part in an aerial yoga class hosted by Very Yoga! Although we were certainly not experts in the flexibility department, we were of course tempted by the relaxing effects of a yoga class. However, this was no usual yoga! This was a different take, and an increasingly popular style: aerial yoga. Hanging from hammocks, we would soon be feeling the benefits of deeper stretches and suspended postures.
Once we had arrived at Reigate station, we had a short 5-minute stroll through the town centre to the brightly-coloured front door of Very Yoga - you can’t miss it! Very Yoga is located on the second floor, and this is where we met Victoria, our aerial yoga instructor for the day. She was extremely friendly and helpful, letting us know what we would be doing in the session. After we filled in our health declaration form, she led us to the lockers where we could place our belongings. We then took off our shoes and socks and placed them in the shoe rack - although any feet-haters out there will be glad to know you can keep your socks on!
In the classroom, we chose our hammocks and positioned our provided mats comfortably below us. Victoria led the rest of our group to their hammocks, and adjusted them to hip height. She then took her place at the front of the class and pressed play on the relaxation playlist.
Firstly, and probably most importantly, we were all shown how to stretch out before we began trying some yoga poses. Victoria demonstrated how to use the hammock fabric to balance our bodies, so we would consequently warm our muscles up.
It was now time to flow straight into the yoga session. Beginning with a classic yoga mountain pose, we softened our breathing and focused on inhaling and exhaling during the class. Placing the hammock around us, we let the fabric hold our weight as we rocked from side to side. We then followed Victoria’s instruction and positioned our bodies into various yoga poses. These included many terms I was already familiar with, such as ‘warrior II’, ‘tree pose’, and ‘downward-facing dog’.
Becoming more advanced, we then used the hammocks to suspend from so we could perform a headstand. As per usual, my technique was slightly ungraceful and ensured a few giggles, but soon we were both upside down! My personal favourite was the butterfly, which saw us use the fabric to create a wing-like pose as our legs were deeply stretched. Victoria kindly assisted the group on how to correctly achieve each yoga pose so we could feel all of its benefits. These included increased muscle flexibility, improved back posture, better joint mobility, and overall body conditioning. Great stuff!
As a final relaxation technique, we sunk ourselves into the hammocks and took a few moments to close our eyes, letting our bodies take full advantage of the hanging sensation. We then took a final bow as our aerial yoga class ended. All smiles, Gemma and I were fully relaxed and rejuvenated. We thanked Victoria for a brilliant class and grabbed a glass of water made available next to the lockers. We would both fully recommend the class; a brilliant activity to give as a unique gift, or to book with a friend!