Always looking for a new adventure, my friend asked me to join her in an aerial yoga class. You hang in cloth suspended from the ceiling, she told me; all quite safe. We committed to an upcoming class at the only aerial yoga studio in town.
As the yoga date drew near, I wanted to be prepared. I watched a video, thanks to the New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/video/health/100000000789079/gym-class-trying-antigravity-yoga.html) and read a quick article (http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/26/gym-class-antigravity-yoga/). This is going to be fun, I said to my friend.
We arrived at the yoga studio early. The studio was pretty and smelled nice. There were a few ladies twirling and swinging in their aerial wraps. Experienced, I said to myself. We met one other novice and became fast friends.
The instructor was very pleasant and the class of about 15 had a nice mix of abilities. Our first move involved jumping into the fabric and wrapping ourselves into a cocoon. I was surprised at how difficult it was to jump into the fabric, I wondered if I should have worked on the TRX a little more. Ugh, why do my arms feel so weak? Once seated on the cloth, it was necessary to maneuver my body and feet while unraveling the cloth enough to create a cocoon. Having experienced getting wrapped up in the bed sheets and falling to the ground I wondered, how many newbies fall out of these things? Besides getting really hurt, I will be really embarrassed, I kept thinking. When does this become fun?
Ah, success! I was finally encased in the fabric. My excitement was quickly erased by the overwhelming human smell within the cocoon. The fabric stunk! I could not get the thought of the terrible odor out of my mind while trying to enjoy that sense of Om the instructor was preaching. Perhaps I just have a very keen sense of smell and I’m too sensitive, I thought.
Come out of the cocoon and stand on the floor, our instructor requested; then she showed us some really nifty yoga moves. She was smooth and moved like an acrobat. I marveled at her arm strength. As we stood together listening and watching, one of my friends commented about the smell. All together we replied, yeah, it really stinks! I found myself quickly glancing at the instructor, to see if she heard us.
It was kind of okay for me to feel like I was alone in my feelings, but after our common refrain I could not fully engage in any of the yoga moves. My thoughts went from smelly body odor to other sordid communicable things, like head lice, skin lesions, and fungal infections. Having been encapsulated with a whole bunch of other people’s DNA, left me praying that I get out of this unscathed.
Once the class ended I wanted to get home and take a shower. The instructor and I exchanged pleasantries and asked me if I would return. Of course, I said as I said to myself, when pigs fly!