Fitness Takes Flight at Aerial Fusion

Fitness and exercise goals top the list of many young professionals’ resolutions; nearly four months into 2012, those who have committed to a regular fitness routine have likely created a habit out of exercising. The downside? They may have hit a plateau or they may be bored with their routine. If you are looking for an activity that challenges your strength and flexibility and helps you to relieve stress and tension, you need to check out Aerial Fusion with Kelly McCann at Free House Dance Plus in Calgary.

The inspiration for Aerial Fusion came after Kelly attended an aerial yoga arts workshop in Maui in 2011. As an experienced yoga teacher and an established dance artist, teacher, and choreographer, Kelly blended elements of yoga, pilates, and dance to create a class that allows students to safely defy gravity while getting a great full body workout and mental release. 

Movements are done with a silk hammock that helps to support and suspend areas of the body in the air. This improves strength and flexibility, decompresses the spine, drains lymphatic fluid, relaxes the nervous system, and teaches proper physical alignment of the body in various positions. Whether you are a total beginner to core strength exercise and yoga or more experienced, you will be able to participate in Aerial Fusion and be challenged appropriately.

The 90-minute class begins on the floor with centering and breathing exercises and is followed by a warm-up that strengthens and stretches the body. You then move through a series of movements that focus on the upper body and the lower body, transitioning into aerial flying and inverted positions and sequences that challenge the entire core. During the cool-down phase, the aerial hammocks are opened up and, while being suspended in the air in your silk cocoon, you perform deep stretches to relax the nervous system.

I had the opportunity to drop in on a Sunday morning class and was greeted by a studio space well-suited to the goals of the class: open, airy, bright, and peaceful. Although I have some experience with pilates, I’ve done very little yoga and my flexibility leaves much to be desired (tight hamstrings from working at a desk all day!). Nonetheless, I was able to work through the movements and soon I was hanging upside-down, holding a flying plank, and maintaining a split-leg position with the silk hammock wrapped around my legs and arms. If you are open-minded about what your body can do, you will be able to participate in this class. More importantly, do not worry about looking ridiculous in this class; every single person was focused on flowing through the movements and working to the best of their abilities.

Spring sessions of Aerial Fusion begin on Monday, April 30 at Free House Dance Plus. Classes run once a week for ten weeks at a cost of $228 + GST. For more information and to register, click here.

Photo credit: Ashley Irvin