Last Sunday, I took an Introduction to Aerial Fitness Circus Workshop with my friend Karen. She bought a groupon for the workshop earlier this winter and asked if I would go with her. I love trying out new ways to get and stay fit so I jumped at the chance to try it even though the idea of me doing “Aerial Circus” conjured up not very graceful images in my head. Willing, yes. Graceful, no (but working on that!).
The workshop was through Go Ninja which is a part of Bareknuckle Murphy’s Boxing Gym in Manchester, NH. When you first walk in to the gym, there are colorful silks hanging down from wooden beams on the ceiling and a boxing ring in the background. Our instructor, Heather Murphy, was super welcoming and made us feel comfortable with her sense of humor and no bs attitude. She ran our group through a warm up that included jumping jacks, downward dogs, planks and a few different stretches for our hip flexors and wrists and had us introduce ourselves. Once we were warmed up, she showed us how to tie a knot in the silks that would be supporting our bodies while we were in the air. If you are afraid of heights, have no fear (or not too many) we made our knots low to the ground since we were all beginners. Heather told us they have a “no falling” rule and none of us wanted to break it! She stressed that we needed to learn the foundation of each move and how to activate our core before we could go on to crazy complicated stuff. She made the moves look so easy but some require a ton of strength and all require trusting in yourself (and in the silks) for support.
We had a blast! I got sweaty palms just watching Heather do some tricks on the silks but once I got on it and felt how strong it was (the silks are rated for supporting 2000lbs) and could feel how close the floor was, it became a lot less scary to lift my legs up over my head and go into an inversion or stand on the rope with both legs. It was a little difficult to get comfortable with how the silks felt pressing in to my back/waist but they had little foam “noodles” you could use to pad the area – it helped a lot!
I definitely plan to take more aerial classes. I actually can’t wait! It was super fun and challenging!
In addition to the Aerial Fitness Circus classes, Go Ninja also offers Modern Dance, Pilates, Aerial Yoga, Mixed Martial Arts and workshops for kids and moms. They also offer private sessions and can host parties. This workshop would make a great alternative for a healthy bachelorette party or girls night out. If you want to try something new and build confidence – check them out! The best way to make exercise a consistent part of your life is to find something you really enjoy doing. Don’t be afraid to try new things! Everyone was a beginner once!