Suspended Animation

Aerial yoga provides a lift for those looking for a twist on their exercise regimen


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Hanging out has never been synonymous with exercise.

But the rapidly growing trend of aerial yoga has got practitioners doing just that.

At several metro Detroit studios, yoga moves are being executed in the air through the use of fabric hammocks.

“It’s a fun way to get into yoga postures that are maybe too difficult for people to get into on the ground,” says Victoria Birk Hill, marketing director of Yoga Shelter in Grosse Pointe. Students are suspended in fabric slings that are draped from the ceiling by professional riggers. The hammocks give students the ability to “fly” through poses and postures. Benefits include removing pressure on the body, Hill says.

Micha Adams, an instructor at Yoga Shelter and Detroit Flyhouse, says the practice gives you “incredible upper-body and core strength. Within a month, people have lost 5 pounds.”

The technique also offers a psychological lift. It has helped students overcome their fear of not being strong and allowed them to conquer positions they thought they couldn’t manage, she says.

Aerial yoga has a strong following in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Miami. The trend, which emerged in the 1990s, is credited to Christopher Harrison, founder and artist director of New York-based, AntiGravity.

Here in metro Detroit, Yoga Shelter offers a four-week workshop for $80. Detroit Flyhouse has eight-week sessions for $130, and $24 drop-ins.

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