New Heights

> Disclaimer: I was offered a free 1-month trial of ClassPass in exchange for a review of my experience with the different classes and studios I tried. I was not compensated in any other way. All opinions are mine and my own.

So, yesterday was my last day of my trial use for ClassPass... And today, I activated my membership for full time use! Hooray! I'm so happy and thankful for ClassPass and their fantastic team for allowing me to try it for a month. At this point, I don't know what I'd do without it! I've been spending so much time in the gym in my building on the treadmill that I can't stand being in there for cross training too (maybe except for the Smith Machine!)

In this post, I wanted to recap one of my favorite studios that I visited during the month of February. Through my Instagram posts and first ClassPass blog, it's easy to see that I adored Mile High Run Club, especially when Dash 28 gets me my three miles in towards my half marathon training. But today I wanted to focus on something even less conventional than a treadmill speed training studio. If you follow me on Instagram, you've already seen me hanging upside down! Read more about my experience here :)

 

Studio Anya

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I. Am. In. Love!

This studio has the most adorable decorations and we all know how important the "feel" of a studio is. I've never done antigravity yoga before so this was definitely an experience. Add in the fact that I'm afraid of heights... Well, let's just say, it took a bit of adjusting to and a bit of time to really trust the hammock. (I know what you're all thinking: "Circus girl is afraid of heights? Pfffft." But yes. I am terribly afraid of heights!)

I took this class without any prior experience so it was a bit of a challenge for me and I should have worn a shirt that covered my underarms -- the skin felt a bit raw afterwards but there wasn't any actual damage. Studio Anya does offer a FUNdamentals (more a of beginner/basics) class if you're interested but are a little weary of diving head first into it.

So, what exactly is antigravity yoga? The specific class I took was "Antigravity Fitness: Flying Fitness" and Studio Anya explains it on their site as:

AntiGravity® Aerial Fitness is an exhilarating fusion technique combining the strength and grace of aerial arts with the inner calm and balance of traditional yoga. Utilizing the Harrison hammock as a suspension device to enhance spinal decompression, muscular weight resistance, alignment, and deeper stretches, AntiGravity® Yoga provides not only a comprehensive total body workout, but also soothes the nervous system and quiets the mind through floating meditation and Savasana. In this aerial flow class, you will float, fly, and laugh your way to an elevated state of you.  – 75 min

Let me explain it in "Risa"-terms. Basically, you use the hammock in various shapes -- sometimes you'll use it like a jump rope, sometimes you lay it in like a hammock, sometimes you'll sit in it like a swing. You'll also have to pay attention to the instructor to make sure you get into each pose correctly and prevent injury. Some poses are similar to what you've probably done in a yoga class, such as the shoulder stand. Others, not so much, like the vampire (it looks as cool as it sounds.) So think less acrobatic, more yoga without the ground. Don't underestimate the workout! There's core strength and arm strength involved but the Savasana at the end in your hammock with your legs and head covered makes it totally worth it. 

classpass nyc studio anya
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Some of my takeaways were:

  • It helps if you've taken a yoga class or two. If you know a bit of terminology for some poses, it'll help a bit. I'm sure it's a bit different in the FUNdamentals class.
  • Definitely wear some type of top that covers your underarms and legs.
  • Don't be afraid to laugh and giggle! There's a big mirror at the front of the room and as much as we'd all like to take ourselves seriously, some of those moves... well, some of us just aren't able to get into them as quickly, gracefully and/or smoothly.

If you have a chance to take one of these classes, I highly recommend it. It's so much fun and you'll leave with a sense of "Holy sh*t! I can't believe I just did that!"

A reminder before I sign off... Push through your comfort zone. You never know what you'll find or what you'll achieve :)

P.S. BIG thank you to Nike Women for the amazing tights! They're some of the most comfy things I've ever put on my body!

A photo posted by Risa Xu (@risaxu) on