Aerial Yoga

I Was Floating Upside-Down
by Rebecca Peters

This week I tried aerial yoga at Studio Yoga & Barre in Spirit Lake.  There are very few instructors or studios in the Midwest that offer this type of yoga.  Silks, or large slings of fabric, are hung from the ceiling.  You can really enhance your stretching by utilizing the silks in different yoga poses, and do poses that allow you to be completely suspended in the air.

My instructor was Amanda Jorgensen, who also owns this yoga studio located on the top floor of Allure & Co. on Hill Avenue.  She started the class by telling me the basics of what I could expect, and stressed that it is important to listen to my body throughout (and breathe).  We started with simple poses and stretches that allowed me to feel more comfortable with silk.  As I explored different poses she told me what comparable yoga poses they were most similar to.  My shoulders were tense when I entered the studio, but much of that tension was eased by winding the silk behind my shoulders and leaning forward ever so slightly. Just a small movement or shift could make a huge difference!

Once I was more comfortable with the silks, I wanted to try a couple simple aerial poses where my body would be completely suspended off the ground.  The first pose I tried required a forward bend into a downward dog yoga pose. Then the came the challenge!  Lifting my right foot off the ground was simple, but I was terrified to lift my left foot, even though I was supported by the silk and still balanced with both hands.  I eventually lifted my left foot and it was then time to lift my hands upward, one at a time, to have the feeling of floating in air!  I was supported completely by the silk!  It was more difficult for my brain to accept than my body, but what a thrill!  Next I tried a backwards pose that allowed me to flip upside down.  The most challenging aspect was accepting that I could let go with my hands.  Eventually I did let go, and laughed with a mixture of pride and shock that I was floating upside-down!

Hear more about this adventure in the Vacation Okoboji podcast!

I hope you are inspired to try aerial yoga at The Studio Yoga & Barre in Spirit Lake.   Learn more about The Studio Yoga & Barre and other fun adventures in the Iowa Great Lakes area at

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