Trying to Fly

In an effort to try new things, I signed up for an aerial yoga class in my neighborhood, Williamsburg Brooklyn. The studio was more like a raw, industrial rehearsal space than a yoga studio. I was nervous, and the twenty foot silks hanging from the rafters did little to provide any comfort.

Class began with a few rounds of cat cow, a couple of sun salutations. All seven students seemed at ease except for yours truly, who couldn’t help feeling anxious, nervous, like standing in line at an amusement park for the “killer-death-ride”. I was soon at the front of the line, and moved off the mat into the silks. I can’t even begin to describe the sequence or recall any specific poses; we practiced shoulder openers, hip openers, all off the ground. It was like nothing I had ever done.

Feeling out of my comfort zone and crazy dizzy, I took a seat on the mat and watched with awe as these yogis hung upside down in baddhakonasana, levitated in pigeon, and floated in savasana. All my teaching, ground down to lift up, was lost in this environment. Poses had no beginning or end but just dangled. The teacher was surprised when, at the end of class, I waved and said, “see you soon.” As my post said, “Try a thing you haven’t done three times. Once, to get over the fear of doing it. Twice, to learn how to do it. And a third time, to figure out whether you like it or not.”—Virgil Garnett Thomson. One down, two to go.

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