Fashionably fit for 2015

Fashionably fit for 2015

Antigravity aerial introduction class

$345 for 10 one-hour classes, Upside Motion (www.upsidemotion.com)

What it is: A combination of aerial acrobatics, dance and yoga.

It promises benefits such as stronger core muscles and upper body strength, better posture, reduced tension in the neck and spine, as well as improved flexibility in the hips, spine and shoulders.

Review: I have always harboured dreams of becoming an aerial acrobat after being enthralled by Cirque du Soleil performances.

So, I was excited by this anti-gravity class which was inspired by the acrobatic moves of aerial performers, and it did not disappoint.

The instructor, Mr Ming Lim, started the session by introducing us to the hammock.

It is a strong but flexible nylon fabric used by professional acrobats and it is attached to sturdy metal chains which hang from the ceiling.

I was assured I would be snug and safe in it; the fabric is apparently strong enough to hold a 200kg baby elephant.

In the first 20 minutes of the class, I had a good stretch while sitting on a yoga mat and pulling on the hammock.

However, the real fun began once I got in the hammock.

I was able to stretch freely and easily without any pressure on my joints, especially my knees, which always hurt during yoga classes.

I did find one part of the class tricky: a downward dog yoga pose (where both hands and feet touch the ground) with the hammock tucked under the hips.

The fabric pressed rather painfully on my hips and lower abdomen; something which Mr Lim had already warned me about as I was not flexible and have tight hip flexors.

However, I was told that after attending a few more classes, this move would be a breeze.

My favourite part of the class was when I had to hang upside down with just the fabric wrapped around my hips and my legs wound around the rest of it.

This took confidence, as I was afraid that I would fall and break my neck.

It helped when I followed Mr Lim's instructions: Breathe and relax.

As I did so, the fabric wound tighter around my hips, making me feel more secure.

The last few moments of the class were unexpectedly therapeutic.

The lights were switched off and I was told to stretch out in the hammock and close my eyes.

As I lay cocooned inside, I was brought back to how I felt as a toddler sleeping inside the gently rocking sarong in my grandmother's home.

Although I did not break much of a sweat during the class, I felt recharged afterwards.

My lower back, which tends to ache, also felt comfortably stretched out.

The next day, my rarely used abdominal muscles ached.

I was pleased, as this meant that my core muscles had been given a workout during the class.

GLADYS CHUNG

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