Tales From The Mat

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By David J. Ramoy The Pineapple Contributing Writer There are certain things that naturally go together. Peanut Butter and jelly, popcorn and movies, and oh yes, yoga and flying. I’m referring to aerial yoga of course; A combination of hatha yoga postures being performed while suspended from silky linen cloths that are attached from the ceiling. Regular practitioners swear by it, saying it has significantly deepened their own practice and increased flexibility. Aerial yoga allows the student to go deeper in their asanas and perform more complex stretches; resulting in a plethora of health benefits both mental and physical. In this month’s Tales from the Mat I had the pleasure of interviewing Sherri Henschke, the Director of Delray Aerial Yoga/Bamboo Garden. She was kind enough to tell us about herself and her popular studio. Hi Sherri, tell us about yourself, and how yoga has benefited your life? My yoga journey, or I shall say, transformation, began in 2011. I was looking for something that I’ve never done before and my daughter told me about yoga. After taking just one class I immediately fell in love with the practice. I then decided that I wanted to learn more about the history, the poses and the benefits, so I decided to go to Yoga Teacher Training and get certified in order to share my passion with everyone. While in school the one benefit I noticed, besides becoming more flexible and mentally more patient and relaxed in my daily life, was that I lost 52 pounds. It was such a transformation for me mentally, physically and spiritually that I could not wait to get out there and teach. As my practice grew stronger I took on different types of teachings such as chair yoga, aerial yoga, yoga for athletes. I received my Aerial Certification through Boulder Circus Center and have been teaching aerial for two years now. I have also had the same 40 seniors for two years as well, and have watched them grow, from sitting in the chair doing yoga, to being able to come into full poses off the chair….it warms my heart to see their transformation. I will continue teaching and growing my practice for the rest of my life. What is aerial yoga? Aerial yoga uses a soft, silky aerial hammock suspended from the ceiling, providing zero-compression inversion therapy for the body. This type of inversion is highly beneficial for relieving neck and back pain, and helping to fight depression, anxiety and stress. It has also been shown to help lower blood pressure and aid in treating insomnia. This unique form of yoga also helps to increase flexibility and range of motion, along with building strength. You essentially enjoy traditional yoga postures, as well as new poses suited especially for the aerial hammock. The students job is to simply relax and let gravity help you deepen your yoga poses and uplift your mind. Are there any extra benefits to this type of yoga? The swing is a tool to use gravity to deepen poses and correct alignment Will the straps hold me? Yes the silks hold up to 1000 lbs of weight 🙂 Do you have to be an experienced yoga student to do aerial? You do not have to be an experienced yoga student to do aerial yoga because yoga is not about looking like a pose, it is about taking your mind inward and breathing. The breath is the most important part of any yoga practice. You listen to your body. If you laid in savasana in the swing for an hour and used your pranayama (breath), you would be doing yoga. It does require some different muscle groups, but as you practice more often, you build strength for the practice. It is about having fun, smiling and letting yourself go. What are the difference and similarities between aerial and hatha yoga? Hatha yoga is part of the lineage of where yoga came from……aerial is something different, yet we do some of the same things such as flowing through poses and sequences, as well as adding in upper body work, core work, and strength building poses. Where do we find information on classes? Please check out our website www.delrayaerialyoga.com. We look forward to seeing you soon! My experience of taking Sherrie’s class was nothing short of excellent. Whether I was standing, seated, doing inversions or balancing postures, aerial yoga expanded my practice to another level. If a stronger core and additional flexibility is your goal, then aerial yoga is certainly the way to go! Namaste Check out David Ramoy’s website for class times and more. www.davidramoy.com Davidramoy@gmail.com