Aerial Yoga: An Elevated Experience

By Kathy Walsh

DENVER (CBS4) – These days, there’s a fitness trend that’s above the rest. It’s called aerial yoga. You could think of it as a little Cirque du Soleil for amateurs.

Aerial yoga has been around for a few years. Recently, we went to a class that turned some Barbarians into believers.

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(credit: CBS)

“Through the nose, inhale. Open mouth, exhale,” said Rebecca Malandra, instructor and owner of Atherial Fitness in Denver’s Highlands neighborhood.

Her class started out like typical yoga.

“Spread through those big broad shoulders, please,” she said.

But then, 15 strong, sturdy rugby players tried some silk on for size, attempting to climb into blue hammocks hanging from the ceiling.

“I think my friend over there needs a little help,” said Malandra referring to Kyle Hitt.

Hitt and the others are Denver Barbarians, the Barbos, a rugby club that’s been around for 50 years. But on this day, the players were open to trying something new.

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(credit: CBS)

This was their first aerial fitness workout. They were encouraged to try it by their physical therapist, Purvi Desai.

“It’s just the perfect adjunct to their physicality as a whole,” said Desai of Sports Rehab Consulting.

At Atherial Fitness, dangling from the slings helps you channel your inner acrobat. It put the Barbos in interesting poses, stretching their hips and engaging their core.

“It definitely works all the small muscles that aren’t used to working,” said Hitt.

Malandra says being suspended in silk takes fitness to new heights.

“Feeling like, wow, I’ve been challenged in ways that I’ve never been challenged before,” she said.

If you hang around here, you’ll get a different perspective while developing balance and flexibility in an elevated experience.

LINKS: Atherial Fitness | Sports Rehab Consulting 

Kathy Walsh is CBS4’s Weekend Anchor and Health Specialist. She has been with CBS4 since 1984. She is always open to story ideas. Follow Kathy on Twitter @WalshCBS4.