Hanging By A Thread

I have been lucky over the past several years to meet and develop a ‘real world’ friendship with a number of great fellow bloggers. One of those is Lynn from Life After 50.

We actually live relatively close to one another and this week Lynn invited me to join her to try something new – to me, not her.

I know – you’re shocked. Me. Something new.


In a large old industrial building in Bowmanville – behind this wonderful heavy metal door – I met with Lynn to give aerial yoga a try.

If you aren’t familiar with it, aerial yoga involves using a large silk hammock to support, stretch, and invert the body through a series of yoga moves.

Meet Lynn!

It sounds intimidating but I’m game to try most things at least once.

I’m not exactly the most graceful and coordinated person in the world and I had visions of tying myself up in knots, but seriously, this was fun and a great way to stretch as much – or as little – as felt comfortable.

I took this photo while also hanging upside-down. To be more accurate, I could have posted this photo inverted the way I shot it …. but you know … it would have looked weird.

Would I do it again? Absolutely!

Well … maybe not this … yet.

Stretching is so important to our bodies – especially as we age – and this was a different way to gently stretch the entire body and workout the core at the same time.

I do acknowledge that it might not be for everyone. It is gentle and, as in all yoga, you work at your own ability, but inversion can cause queasiness.

Trust me on this one – my stomach still thinks it’s hanging by a thread.

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This post was brought to you by Thursday Doors, a weekly photo feature hosted by Norm Frampton at Norm 2.0.

110 comments

  1. I’d like to try that! In one of my weekly yoga classes, we do an inversion every session. I can finally get up into the L-shaped pose. I imagine the silk hammock would be helpful.

    Jude

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  2. Whoa. Okay, I found the photos I asked for, and aerial yoga looks as intimidating as I imagined. I ‘yoga’ at classes and at home several times a week. I love yoga, and stretching, and meditating. But this takes it to an entire new level. I need to wait a while to try, since I’m still recovering from a concussion, and inversion postures are counterproductive still. Namaste.

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    • The brain takes a long time to recover from a concussion so I don’t blame you for wanting to be cautious with inversion. Good call!!
      As intimidating as it looks, I was actually quite surprised at how ‘forgiving’ it is. It makes it easier to stretch if your balance isn’t very good.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. That metal door is cool
    And you gave just enough pictures and words to get a feel for your experience – and love how you reminded readers about how individual a yoga practice is….
    πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’ve seen this and it looks impressive. Scary, but impressive! We actually have an inversion table for spinal decompression that my husband uses when his back is bothering him. My sciatica has been really bad lately, so I tried it out. I don’t like the blood rushing to my head in inversions, but it did help! Aerial yoga looks more fun though! πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Wow Joanne, I’m so impressed with the aerial yoga. I don’t think I’d ever heard of it; I’d be worried I’d end up on my head!
    I love that you are able to meet up and pursue “in person” friendships with fellow bloggers. I long to meet some of me new online “friends”!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Joanne, I LOVE aerial yoga!!!

    We just tried it for the first time in Ubud, Bali and I was hooked. So much so that I bought the hammock to bring home to Sri Lanka, thinking we were going home in ten days. But we ended up extending and I shlepped that heavy thing with all the metal hooks, for three months all over !! Cursing it for its weight but now that we are home I cannot wait to hang it up and get upside down again.

    So glad you tried it and liked it. YAY!!!

    Peta

    Liked by 2 people

    • I remember your post and thinking how hard it looked … definitely not something for me. In fact I considered turning down Lynn’s invitation to join her.
      I couldn’t have been more wrong!

      After dragging that hammock around for 3 months (!) I’m willing to bet it’s going to be a priority to get it up and functional asap πŸ™‚
      There is something very freeing about ‘flying’.

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  7. This looks like something I will… never try! I would not tempt the vertigo gods again… it was challenging enough to get that sorted out the last time my crystals got dislodged.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Hi, Joanne – This was definitely a win-win session. IRL friendships with other bloggers can be absolutely amazing. Being able to engage in a fun new activity at the same time only adds to the enjoyment. For years (literally), I resisted hot yoga. When I finally tried it, I never looked back. I can no longer remember what all of hot yoga fears were about!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Funny you should mention hot yoga. It’s something that doesn’t sound appealing to me at all. I don’t handle heat very well and I have visions of passing out in class. Epic awkward moment.

      IF I should ever get the opportunity to go, perhaps I should reconsider.

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  9. What a fun thing for the two of you to do together! I’m not overly coordinated so I expect someone may have had to untangle me from hanging upside down. I agree we could all use more stretching and this looks like a fun way to do just that!

    Liked by 3 people

    • I admit I needed assistance a couple of times. When you’re trying something new for the first time, getting tangled up is to be expected … at least, that’s my version πŸ˜‰

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    • I was about to say I couldn’t imagine someone falling out of the hammock, but I then thought better of it. I’d prefer not to tempt the gods πŸ˜‰

      On a positive note, the fall wouldn’t be very far πŸ˜†

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I can see how great this would be for the body. Years ago I did a yoga class where we stood on our heads. I had so much energy I went home and washed the car. I have never had that much energy since so I think being upside down would have definite benefits.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I have never been able to do a headstand so this hanging upside-down thing was quite a unique experience for me.
      Strangely, I did not feel a rush of energy but in fact the opposite – very lethargic.

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    • Apparently, inversion isn’t a great idea for people with vertigo. Apparently it messes with the equilibrium in the ears which of course is already a problem for people with vertigo.

      If you’re really interested in it, maybe you should find out more. Perhaps there are modifications to the inversion that can still give you the benefits.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Good for you, if you think it’s necessary to keep feeling young:) Biking (cycling) was the only sport I cared for, but in Holland they use it as transportation, lol, not as a sport. I stretch and climb stairs daily when I do those 9x 7 feet paintings:)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sue, it does look intimidating, but once I got over my initial anxiety, it really wasn’t at all. Perhaps it was our great instructor because she provided easy to follow direction and alternative positions – like any good yoga instructor would. If you like yoga, I think you would enjoy the variation.

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  12. OMG, there’s no way I could (would?) ever do that, but I really do admire you for trying it. I must spend at least 10 minutes of every gym visit on the stretching mat, and I curse each and every one of my bones and muscles the entire time. But thankfully I’m safely on the floor. You’re brave! – Marty

    Liked by 2 people

    • I applaud you for going 2-3 times a week! I miss the regular yoga class I use to attend … the instructor moved and her replacement just wasn’t the same. I find I don’t stretch nearly as much on my own as I would in a class setting.
      hmmm – maybe you’ve inspired me to find a new studio nearby!!

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      • I’m actually doing my routine at home. It’s a routine designed to build bone strength and it’s so easy just to do it at home. This morning I’m off to the gym for me walk because with wind chill, it’s about -8 and the park doesn’t seem that appealing. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Wow, looks like you reached Nirvana with that door and the yoga find behind it; in days past we used to see those stories in the supermarket newspaper rags claiming Yogis defying gravity and doing levitation (photos of them floating off the ground but in reality they jumped while in the sitting position while someone shot a photo when they were off the ground for that split second) – but you guys were truly levitated! I tried yoga ONCE and while the instructor advised us to do only what you were capable of, macho me tried to do the stretch with butt and legs against the wall upside down (like standing on your head) and that was the move that ended all – it aggravated my pinched nerve in my neck and I got the worst case of vertigo and that ended yoga for me permanently. I wish I could do that elevated yoga though to take the weight off the joints while doing stretches but I guess I’ll have to look for a swimming pool.

    You do live life on the edge, Joanne! ;-D

    Liked by 2 people

    • OUCH!! A pinched nerve in the neck does not sound good at all!! I’ve been told that vertigo is really unpleasant so I can appreciate your reluctance to try anything that could trigger it again.

      Definitely look for a pool offering AquaFit classes. Like anything, it’s what you’re willing to put into it, but I found it to be a challenging workout that was kind on the joints. When I broke my collarbone, AquaFit classes gave me a way to stay active while I was recovering.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I love yoga stretches and have a little routine of 10 I do to stay limber, but I’ve never heard of this!

    Hanging by that really long scarf seems a bit scary, but the ladies looked neat doing it. The image you made of them is great!
    You’re amazing. I’m not sure I’d try it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It was not something that was on my list of things to try, but when the opportunity presented itself, I thought why not!

      That silk hammock is quite large. At the end, we actually lay inside it fully stretched out. There’s a feeling of being cocooned … perhaps not great for those who are very claustrophobic. I had some reservations at first because I am, but I enjoyed the feeling.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Stretching is one of those things that I don’t particularly enjoy doing, but feels so good afterwards.
      That, and the fact that I want to delay being a stiff, twisted old pretzel for as long as possible 😏
      I’ve seen what inactivity does to the aging body and it’s not pretty. I plan to go kicking and screaming all the way πŸ˜‰

      The instructor was great … and more than willing to get my camera for me when I realized what a great photo I could take upside-down!

      Like

  15. Reblogged this on Life After 50 and commented:
    One of the unexpected surprises when I started blogging, was the friendships that are formed all over the world. I am so grateful to have met my friend Joanne who lives relatively near by and who is always up for a new challenge!

    We recently connected & when I suggested she join me in giving aerial yoga a try, she was all in! Although I have now been a few times, it was Joanne’s first time. I so admire that her sense of adventure never stops her from trying new things!

    So great to spend time together Joanne! Who knows what fun we shall get into next!

    Liked by 3 people

    • This was not on my radar at all. In fact I doubt I would have ever considered going … but when Lynn suggested it, I thought ‘why not?’.
      Yeah, I was intimidated at the very beginning, but that dissolved right away. A good instructor will put you at ease from the very start.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Wallowing? Goidness Joanne, I do so love your adventurous spirit! πŸ’• I don’t know how well I could pull off the yoga but I’d definitely be like a kid on a playground and bound to pull off some sort of awkward Bridget Jones moments. Lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • That handstand looks amazing, doesn’t it! This was a woman in the intermediate class ahead of ours. I’m pretty sure that if I tried a handstand, it wouldn’t look anything like this 😏
      Getting back up does require a certain amount of core strength, but you also use your hands on the silk to pull yourself up – or at least I did πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I’ve never heard of aerial yoga! It looks fun, but I think I might worry about dizziness too, or all my blood running to my head, or falling off! Ha ha. Good for you for giving it a try! I looked it up and we have a lot of aerial yoga in Portland OR too. Do I dare?

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I’d loooove to try this. I take a floor stretching class after my weight workouts some days, and it feels great, but these nice, long, gentle stretches would be even better. I still hang upside down at any playground with a good bar, so hopefully my brain would adjust to this, too!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hanging upside down is supposed to be very good for us … stretches the spine and increases blood flow to the brain. Good for you that you still take advantage of children’s playgrounds to do that! I’m pretty sure I’d never even get up on the monkey bars to try it 😏

      Liked by 2 people

  19. This was so much fun & I love that you are always up for trying something new! So great to catch up with you yesterday, hopefully we can connect at aerial yoga or otherwise very soon! Impressed with those photography skills btw! Hugs, LπŸ’•

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh – the hanging upside was easy. It was the being right-side up afterwards that proved a bit more challenging πŸ˜‰ Definitely not for those who suffer from vertigo.

      … and yes, Lynn does look fabulous and is the NICEST person πŸ’•

      Liked by 2 people

      • I spent most of my childhood hanging upside down from the scaffolding of houses being built on the street where I lived. A whole jungle gym – though one boy did break his arm jumping onto a pile of sand, and I badly twisted an elbow – but we did have fun!

        Liked by 1 person

  20. Ooh! I’d want to try it, I really would, but I get the vertigo, so if you were queasy… Umm, sad for me. It’s wonderful to try new things, and behind a cool door, even better!

    Liked by 2 people

  21. This looks like fun! I’m glad you took a chance on this and tried it. I used to take a hatha yoga class with an instructor who incorporated Thai massage stretches into it. For me it wasn’t about being graceful, it was about feeling good after doing the stretch awkwardly. Same for you here?

    Liked by 3 people

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