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Working Out? Try It Airborne With Aerial Yoga

Nancy Alkire Nancy Alkire Working Out? Try It Airborne With Aerial YogaNancy Alkire practices Aerial Yoga techniques at Movement Activities.
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Bored with the same old gym routines? Take your exercise to new heights with an aerial workout! There are many fun things about aerial classes but don’t say that I didn’t warn you about a few concerns.

Columbus Sports Connection recently started TRX classes. A Navy SEAL invented TRX, and it is tough, core work. The TRX room here is nice with a solid wood floor and large mirrors. Their TRX rigs are new, and teachers were friendly. The TRX classes I took stayed on the TRX itself more than another place and the workouts were very thorough. Large single-sex locker rooms with multiple showers. Off street parking. This neighborhood gym is located on North High across from the Beechwold Northstar. Amenities: 8. Workout: 8-10. Overall score: 8.5. First week free. Drop in $10.

Infinity Aerial is a small studio near Busch Boulevard with a variety of aerial workouts on silks, hoops and poles. I particularly enjoyed the pole class, and it really gave my arms a workout. They have Lyra hoops, which are not completely round but have a flat, trapeze-like section at the top that allows for different tricks than other aerial hoops. I took a yoga class that I found very relaxing. The three instructors I had at Infinity were expert and safety-conscious. Classes are capped at 6 people, and you need to register online. Strip mall parking. Adequate single restroom. Amenities: 8. Workout: 8-10. Overall score: 8.5. Drop in $18.

Fitness equipment space at Infinity Aerial.

Fitness equipment awaits at Infinity Aerial.

Movement Activities is an amazing place at 400 West Rich Street. The building is a 1915 factory a few strong stone throws from the west end of the Town Street Bridge. In one corner of this vast art space, Movement Activities has trapezes, silks, and other equipment including hoops, but mostly they do low-flying trapeze classes. Mikey Thomas and his assistants go out of their way to make sure that every student has a genuinely positive experience. 400 West Rich is also home of Strongwater Food and Spirits, so if your nerves are rattled by the trapeze work, you can go for a brewski after. This is not a suburban gym or yoga studio, but I felt safe and it was fairly clean. One unisex restroom. Street and off-street parking. Note: To enter, go to the southwest corner of the building and rap on the windowpane that says Movement Activities. Amenities: 8. Workout: 10. Overall score: 9. First class was free; after that $9 unless you are from out-of-town, then $18.

PAI Yoga and Fitness has offered TRX classes for several years. The classes I took were upbeat, expertly conducted, and had above average music. Their classes not only used the TRX but also medicine balls, hand weights and the floor for a high-gear cardio and core workout. PAI is at the back edge of Trader Joe’s strip mall off 161 in Dublin. The TRX and spinning classrooms face west onto the parking lot (yoga faces east). Two pleasant single-toilet restrooms. Lots of strip mall parking. (Note: at the time of this article’s submission, PAI was building a second fitness studio in Gahanna.) Amenities: 9. Workout: 9-10. Overall score: 9. Current price is $13 for drop-in.

Trapeze Yoga in practice at Movement Activities.

Trapeze Yoga in practice at Movement Activities.

Studio Rouge offers many, many pole dancing classes as well as aerial classes on silks and hoops. The studio is in a roomy second floor area above Snap Fitness in Grandview. They are very serious about pole dancing; classes are strictly separated and beginners are not allowed into other classes. The poles are very sturdy and there are large mirrored walls. Pole dancing is very athletic and more than flirty. Note: classes are for ladies only, but the owner said men could arrange private lessons. One nice restroom and a generous changing area. They also sell short shorts, sequined shirts, and very high-heeled shoes. Register online early as classes tend to book up quickly. Amenities: 9. Workout: 9-10. Overall score: 9. Drop in $25.

At this time, Yoga on High is the only full-fledged yoga studio in Columbus doing aerial yoga classes in silk hammocks. The traditional elements of a yoga class such as lunges, balancing and relaxing stretches, are present but obviously different. I found that I could get much deeper into balance poses by holding onto the silk and savasana in a hammock is really relaxing. After doing 3 of the beginner’s classes, you can enroll in the Level 2 courses, which do more challenging moves. Multi-toilet restrooms on the floor above the classroom. Generous off-street parking. Note: aerial classes are in the Yoga on High Teacher Training Institute at 1020 Dennison not at the Yoga on High building. Amenities: 9. Workout: 8-10. Overall score: 9. $20 drop in fee.

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It really surprises me to write this, but if I were to do any of these workouts on a regular basis it would be trapeze. Pole would be a close second because it was also fun, -it was different to be exercising “flirty”- and it was a killer workout. However, I found the trapeze work even more challenging and somehow more “organic” feeling. Also, Movement Activities’ Mikey Thomas led such good classes that I would definitely go back and take someone with me.

Aerial workouts can be both physically and mentally challenging. It is one thing to lose your balance doing a lunge in yoga and quite another to wobble 8 feet above the ground. Aerial classes are equipment-based and class sizes are limited. You may have to share equipment which you may not expect if you practice usual yoga. Also, with the exception of Movement Activities and Acro Yoga, class prices tend to be high. All in all, still a fun thing to try!

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