There I was, in a double ankle trap in plank position. My arms were visibly shaking and my core was on fire. I heard Andrea, who is typically the sweeter, gentler instructor give the cue to begin push-up’s and that’s when the doubt started creeping in. I could almost see the words GIVE UP in bold, bright red flashing in my head like an emergency signal. I flipped my head to the side to avoid the sweat from running into my eyes and that’s what I saw it: the studio’s no-nonsense motto etched into the wall. Clear your mind of can’t. As I focused on my breath and lowered myself 90 degrees closer to the earth, my brain’s S.O.S. signal blinked off. Newly empowered, I lifted my head and opened my heart towards the sky.
I did it.
I started attending aerial yoga back in November and two months later, I’m still at it. I legitimately surprised myself at how much I fell in love with it. I’m no stranger to yoga in general but this, this was something totally out of my comfort zone. I remember attempting my first inversion and being terrified that the hammock secured to the rafters wouldn’t hold me (even though it supports up to a thousand pounds) and I would surely fall to my death (a mere 6 inches below). But when I succeeded, I felt exhilarated and I couldn’t wait to try it again.
With every class, I feel more and more confident with trusting my body to support me. I never would have thought wrapping myself in fabric and swinging through the air would become my favorite form of exercise, or that it would even work for that matter–but it totally does. The beauty of doing yoga suspended in midair is that it allows for deeper stretches. Hanging upside down alone is such a delicious stretch for your spine; take it from someone with back problems. I feel better than ever, just within these last two months.
I’m not going to sit here and pretend I haven’t already been here before–excited about exercise and getting fit. After the novelty wore off I fell off that damned train. Again.
But (there’s always a but isn’t there?) this time feels different. Maybe it’s because I’ve actually found a form of exercise that suits me or that I’m actually not only seeing but feeling results. What I do know is that this time around, I’ve told myself two things: keep things simple, and clear your mind of can’t.
I think I’ll borrow that motto personally, for 2014 and encourage you to join me.
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