(Excuse the face of sheer concentration for a start)
A little over a year ago I decided to try something different to pole. The city I live in is also home to multiple studios which offer a range of classes. The ones I wanted to try were Aerial Hoop, Aerial Hammock, Aerial Yoga, Silks and Trapeze, but picking up a couple of Flexibility classes probably wouldn’t have hurt either! However, being a student there’s no way I’d have been able to afford them all, so I went with hoop. The studio I chose to learn with are called Inverted and they were just wonderful, it’s also pretty cool because they offer student discount for their classes, something I would rarely pass up. The class was great and I knew I had some strength in me from previous pole and my core exercises but in the end it was my slippy grip that made things difficult. For some reason I have stupidly sweaty hands that occur at the worst times. I use Dry Hands when I pole and I swear I spend more time wiping down the pole than I do actually poling.. It does help me grip better although I’d love to try out different kinds and hear what other sweaty people use, but back to hoop.
I found the class very challenging, totally different to anything I’d done before. The room was set up with four different hoops, two were slightly bigger and the other two were suspended higher, I was put at ease by the thickness of the crashmats. Since I was a little rusty, not having poled for a while, I needed some assistance to pull myself up onto the hoop and once up I was a little nervous with the hoop turning around and moving. We begun with a great warm up and started learning a cool routine with a variety of different poses, three of which are pictured below.
I could hold myself in the poses but since I was wearing leggings and not my normal shorts, the ability to stick with my legs was taken away. I have stronger lower body strength but you really need strength all round to manoeuvre around the hoop. I loved my class, I went back to another and it is definitely something I’d like to try again this year! Hoop made me feel really graceful, although the lack of grip made me nervous I especially enjoyed how fun it was to slide from one position to the next, in my second class we even learned how go from one position called the ‘Birdie’, pictured below, into a forward flip around the hoop *gulp*..
We finished the class with a cooldown and massive stretch, I was so thankful for this. Remember that warming up, cooling down and stretching are important pole/aerial friends! Aerials can be for anyone though, if you can push yourself to try new and fun things and they might just end up becoming your new favourite hobby! It took me so long to build up the confidence to be in a class with people. Anxiety was getting the better of me and the thought of people laughing if I couldn’t do something right totally put me off but it turned out to be the complete opposite like everyone was telling me. Classes are meant for learning, not everyone is going to be pro, most likely they’ll be beginners thinking the same way you are. ❤