Jazmin hates anything that feels remotely like legitimate exercise while Alyss thrives on that feeling of getting a really good workout. What happens when two young women with completely opposing outlooks on (and willingness to) exercise try out the fitness class of the moment? Here’s where we find out...
What happens if you put two, respectable, mature young women in a room with giant hammocks for an hour of aerial yoga at Gym Box? They act responsibly, with grace and poise and do not laugh and giggle, of course. Spoiler: we did laugh, we did almost fall out of our hammocks, we did have a go at lying down within the sheets of fabric hanging from the ceiling so we looked like giant caterpillars.
Another spoiler: aerial yoga is a lot harder than it looks and is really fun. The premise of it is, turning traditional yoga literally upside down using suspended hammocks. This means you get all the normal yoga benefits, but can hold challenging postures for longer, which in turn allows your joints to decompress. Let's see how we got on, laughing aside.
Alyss: I’d just got back from holiday and felt a bit hazy, hadn’t worked out in over a week and felt like a potato so the thought of doing yoga felt GOOD. Gym Box is an incredibly cool, if not slightly overwhelming, gym - that being said, this class was in a lovely pink room and made me feel all zen. I liked the look of it straight away.
**Jazmin: **TEACH ME HOW TO FLY! Let's go. Floaty yoga, come at me.
How difficult is it?
**Alyss: **For the first 25ish minutes I felt like I had it covered. I was doing all the moves, feeling like a pro and then we had to go upside down. I found this part super hard, Jazmin on the other hand, nailed it. I wanted to be Jazmin, but alas I was still Alyss and still felt sick every time I tried to propel my body upside down.
**Jazmin: **It's actually really hard once you work out what you're doing and get your head around the fact that you have to approach the yoga element a bit differently. I was quite happily getting my yoga pose on for a while before I realised that I wasn't distributing my weight properly. Then came the overstretch and the realisation that my core strength is non-existent. BUT I did manage to hang upside down and hoist myself into the air for a while. I felt very smug.
Do I need a working knowledge of exercise beforehand?
Alyss: Yes and no. Yes because the class requires quite a lot of knowledge if you want to go fast. If not, the teacher does have to come around and show you how to get into certain positions. That being said, that is TOTALLY fine – I imagine if you were to start going on the regular you’d pick it up pretty quickly.
**Jazmin: **I mean, understanding the basics of yoga would help you out a bit but I don't think you need to be a fully fledged yogi to get along with the class. Just don't be scared to ask for help when you get tangled in the hammock thing because that definitely will happen.
Can I fit it into a lunch break?
Alyss: We did exactly that, and it was fine. You could nip over at 12.45 and be back at your desk by 1.45 – 2pm at a push.
**Jazmin: **It was actually really nice to do it over lunch because normally, with the majority of classes running for at least an hour, you can never quite get away with it. But this class was 50 minutes long and people who had to rush back to the office quietly slipped out while we did the cooldown.
Could I take a mate?
Alyss: I’m glad I had Jazmin there just so we could take pictures after for comedy purposes. I’m not glad I had Jaz there because she was really great and I, unfortunately, wasn’t. So, depending on how you want to leave the class: either laughing, or crying at your aerial yoga abilities, you decide.
**Jazmin: **Yes, take all the mates. It's a really laid back class and Alyss and I didn't feel awkward about laughing at each other like we normally do in stricter, traditional yoga classes.
**Would I need to shower after? **
Alyss: We didn’t…are we gross? We’re not gross. Are we? You don’t really sweat because it’s more about engaging your core muscles, so no I can confirm we are not gross for missing the showers.
**Jazmin: **I feel like 'need' is a strong word. I don't think you *need *to shower. But I fully understand that showering after exercise is the done thing.
Was it fun though?
Alyss: I really enjoyed this, I didn’t think I would because yoga isn’t normally my bag but it was challenging enough to keep me interested. I also felt really calm afterwards, and given that my mind was racing beforehand, it gave me the hour of chill I needed.
Jazmin: You guys. I had the best time. It was probably as close to flying without wings as I'll ever get and I'm not mad about it.
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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.