Have you ever attended Cirque Du Soleil and thought “I wish I could be an aerialist!” Only to realise that you’re petrified of heights? Yep, me too. However, with the help of a silk hammock I was able to channel my inner aerialist at Singapore’s Upside Motion.
With two studios located in the heart of Singapore, Upside Motion is starting to generate buzz. Along with Pilates and Xtend Barre classes, they offer AntiGravity Aerial Yoga, which is a fusion of traditional yoga, dance and aerial acrobatics. Be prepared to achieve and hold poses you might have previously thought impossible, minus the neck or shoulder strain you could otherwise feel on a mat. And get ready to make handstands or inversions look like a piece of cake.
This suspension training program is safe and low-impact. It’s targeted at increasing flexibility, improving posture, all while strengthening and toning the body. With emphasis placed on opening your hips, back and chest, a series of poses and stretches are done either upright, or inverted. Part of your body weight is unloaded onto the swing as you perform these exercises. This helps reduce undue stress on your spine or joints, and re-align the body each time you are inverted.
As I was feeling tight from a gym session the day before, I could feel the benefits of these lengthening and strengthening exercises straight away. The tightness was quickly relieved, in fact, it was starting to feel like I was being massaged. Once I was told that the “hammock” could hold more than 100kg, I was convinced this would be my only time to shine as an aerialist. Gulp.
Along with warm-up mobility stretches, we did a variety of inversions and performed a series of mid-air flips. Ironically, after the hanging and dangling, I jumped off the hammock feeling energised, and a little more grounded. Feeling newly invigorated, I discovered I had gained new body-awareness doing poses in a different aerial dimension. I built mental confidence for when I will eventually practice similar movements off the swing.
It is completely normal to feel slightly weary in the first couple of sessions. Feeling like you might slip off the swing is also another expected emotion. But with confidence, and comfortable, stretchable clothing that covers the shoulders and upper arms (to avoid possible fabric abrasions), you will be ‘flying’ in no time.
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