Back in October of last year, my friend Karen organized a fantastic bachelorette weekend for me. One of the highlights of that trip was waking up bright and early on a Sunday morning, after a night of lots of champagne, wine & cocktails, and heading out to group fitness class. We did SurfSet and it was SO MUCH FUN.
When it came time for me to organize Karen’s bachelorette weekend I knew I wanted to do something similar. My friends are pretty adventurous and we all know each other so well that we don’t embarrass easily. I did some digging around and found a yoga studio not far from Karen’s house, where the party was taking place, called Ebb n’ Flow studio. It seemed like a lovely studio and had pretty good review. Then I realized that they offered an AERIAL SILKS YOGA CLASS!
Yes. YES! YES!
I signed us up for a private group class immediately.
I sometimes forget that our group of friends can be…loud. I don’t know any other way to put it. We laugh a lot. A *few* of us are loud talkers (me!). And we love to talk. So when we walked into this lovely and serene studio I got a little nervous. Would the instructor be annoyed with us immediately? Would everyone have fun? Would it be too serious?!
We were greeted by Kim, our instructor and maybe the owner of the studio?, and I was immediately at ease. She was friendly, upbeat and happy to see us. She gave off that ultimate yogi vibe that I so desperately wish that I had. Do you know what I mean? That I’m so cool but don’t try to be anyone but me personality? Yea. That is Kim. She told us a little bit about the various spaces in the studio and invited us to look around, grab a mat and head into the studio.
The studio is comprised off one larger yoga room, a Reiki room, the aerial yoga room and a room in the making that will feature local artist’s works. They are also in the process of painting a gorgeous mural.
The aerial room is set up for 9 people to participate. It is intimate and cozy, but still with plenty of room to swing around and be a nut.
Kim started off the class with a few instructions on how to use the fabric and then we started with our class. Obviously this was a beginner/get used to using the silk sling, or hammock, so there was not as much flow as there was laughing while trying to do different poses. I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed the stretch I got when doing typical poses in the sling. For instance, I was able to go so much deeper in my poses because I had support from the sling. On a typical day there is NO WAY that I could get my leg straight out in front of me and then bring it to the side, but with the sling, I had support so I could easily move my leg back and forth while opening my hip flexors. It was amazing! And it was FUN!
We did inversions. We sat on the sling like a chair. We swung around! It was like being a kid on a swing at some points! I was sweating so much but barely noticed because we were having so much fun.
So a few things…
The fabric can be a little uncomfortable at times. I found that any time the fabric was bunched up, it really dug into my skin. I checked with a few of the skinny chicks in my group and they said the same thing. I think it a lot like spinning. You go and your butt hurts so much you can’t sit down for the next two days. But you keep going back and suddenly you don’t need the gel seat. I think that is similar with the fabric.
You NEED to wear a shirt that covers your armpits and pants that cover the back of your knees. If you don’t, you will regret it. Ebb n’ Flow has a great FAQ section about the class that states you should do this and we all followed those instructions. I’m so glad we did! It would have been an awful class without that layer of protection.
No fear! You have to trust your instructor, the fabric and yourself. There are times where you just kind of flip over and are upside down. On purpose! I don’t know about you, but I don’t do a ton of inversions and especially not without someone supporting me. To have the fabric there feels very surreal at first until you finally just realize the connection between you and the sling.
Like any traditional yoga class, we ended the class with my favorite yoga pose, Savasana. I put this picture up on Facebook and instantly got comments about being “Pod People”. I can’t lie. I felt like one too.
I get a little claustrophobic sometimes so I had to play around with my arm placement to get it so the fabric wasn’t touching my face and I didn’t feel inclosed. It kind of looked like I was making a gang sign on my forehead with my hands and my elbows were pushing the fabric away from me. I finally got it just right and really found myself relaxed and in the moment.
Overall, the class was amazing. The combo of the studio, Kim (our instructor) and the fabric slings was unique and fun. I like the incorporation of traditional yoga poses with the fabric and the ability to do many poses that my lack of flexibility would prevent me from being able to do otherwise.
Ebb n’ Flow offers a beginner Aerial Yoga class that they recommend you take a few times before moving into the regular Aerial Yoga class. I imagine that one flows a lot more and there is probably a little less laughing and grunting. 😉
I wish that Ebb n’ Flow was closer to Boston. The space is so welcoming and feels like a place that could be a permanent yoga home for me. I know I will definitely be returning to the studio to give it another try and I’m pretty sure my friends will be joining me.
*Thanks to my friend, Jeanne, for most of these photos! She was injured and couldn’t participate but offered to come and take photos. We have a TON of photos, but I don’t know how much my friends would appreciate me putting their business on the internet. Just know that they had a good time too!*
If you are in the MA area, check the studio out!
Ebb n’ Flow
Northborough, MA 01532