Happy (Aerial Yoga) Birthday Party to Nathan!

19 Apr

Today we celebrated my sweet Nathan’s birthday … with an Aerial Yoga “party” hosted at Riverside The Studio in Mount Vernon!

Aerial_Pigeon1

Given Nathan’s history with  what we dubbed Hanging Yogs,” I thought it would be the perfect celebration to check out an official Aerial Yoga class.

Aerial_Thomas

 

Aerial_Nate

*      It was a celebration on many levels!   *

Aerial_Matney_2

If you’re not familiar, here’s a slice of Nate’s Back Story:  Nathan healed his low back injury–a vertebral disc herniation at L5-S1 (for which 2 different surgeons, upon reviewing his MRI, recommended emergency spinal fusion … they were surprised that he had bladder and bowel function given the way his disc was pressing into his nerves)–by stumbling upon what we call hanging yogs … he discovered a photo of someone hanging upside down from a silk sling and it piqued his interest.  With more research, he found that lots of people with disc herniations find tremendous relief from unloading their discs by hanging upside down (usually on an inversion table).  This inspired him to rig a hammock up at the house and hang upside down for a few minutes throughout the day.  Over time, (coupled with mindfulness, a daily yoga practice, and physical therapy) his disc herniation healed. We were so grateful Nate found aerial yoga and opted to heal his back in a natural way!  And I personally have his journey toward healing to thank for inspiring my decision to go to Physical Therapy school!

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We’d never been to a “real” Aerial Yoga class, so I booked this private party through Riverside.  It was a simple process–just call them up and schedule the date, then turn in release forms for all members of the group (unless you are a member of Riverside, then they already have your forms on file).

And today was the big day …

Aerial_Vrksasana

We were greeted by Miranda Keller, a friendly yogini who got us acquainted with The Studio.  They provided all the yoga mats and everything we needed.  Miranda helped us set up our silks to the proper height to match our bodies, put on some soothing music, and coached us into a meditative pose inside the yoga silk.  We tuned into our breathing lengthened our spines … and the class began!

Aerial_Matney

I was expecting it to be fun, but I was completely blown away!  The class was a skillful mix of strength & stabilization postures, with stretching, balance, meditative moments, and restorative yoga.  Miranda helped each of us find the pose that fit our body ~ she was so attentive and helpful ~ and we explored some really fun inversions (hanging upside down in Vampire was definitely a hit for our group!).  We giggled, we breathed fully, we stretched deep ~ I was quite impressed by how using the yoga sling really helped activate some deep core stabilizing muscles that don’t necessarily fire when I practice standing poses on the floor.  In a hanging version of Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana, for instance, having one leg on the ground and the other leg in the sling required a great amount of stabilizing that isn’t normally required: I felt muscles in my deep core and hips that have apparently been a little less than active in my floor yoga practice!  What an enlightening experience …

Aerial_Nadya_Muscles

I am so exited about this new way to practice, bringing a new awareness to my body and my approach.  I can’t wait to go again!

If you are interested in joining a class, it’s easy!  Miranda currently teaches at The Studio on Mondays & Wednesdays at 5:30pm and Thursdays at 10am.  Click here for the current schedule.  You don’t have to be a Riverside member to join the class ~ you can just drop in (but they advise to call ahead to reserve your spot).

Aerial_VampireAbove, Nadya in “Vampire.”

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Happy Birthday, Nathan!

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Horray for healthy spines and happy birthday celebrations!

Namaste.

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