Can yoga classes be fun?

I hate stretching. I struggle with mindfulness. I can’t sit still. So don’t count on me to be your yoga buddy.

I don’t even consider yoga “exercise”. It’s not that I’ve never been sore after yoga, I have. The issue is that in most yoga classes I’m either running through my to-do list in my head or I’m yawning.

My lower back and neck, however, love yoga. This is why I decided to spice things up by trying out the weirdest yoga classes NYC has to offer.

My first attempt was naked yoga. It’s a great story to tell at parties, and I can see how it teaches you to love yourself but I just wouldn’t do it again. Ever. That shit was freaking awkward. After that class, I was still on a hunt for something that stretches my lower back while simultaneously scratching the endorphin itch.

In the past couple of weeks, I tried two more classes: aerial yoga and primal movement yoga.

Swinging upside down at Om Factory

I gotta say, one of the main motivations for doing aerial yoga was to see my clumsy, inflexible husband stretched on a piece of silk fabric 😂 Yeah, I dragged him with me, of course, I did! and yeah, he was the only guy there.   

via GIPHY

We walked in and positioned ourselves in front of our own fabrics, which hung from the ceiling. There were maybe 12 other people there. I noticed right away that we could easily install an aerial yoga setup in our bedroom – all you really need is a hammock and a way to affix it to the ceiling.

After a 15 minute warm up on our mats and some planks using the fabric, we were ready to try the inversions. We wrapped our feet and legs around the fabric and flipped ourselves upside down.  No one vomited (though 1 person thought about it…). The instructor made sure to explain every step in detail and she offered help if/when needed.

 This is what our inversions looked like. It was super relaxing to be in this position! Photo credit: zyiayogagirl 

For Shavasana we laid inside the hammock as if in a cocoon, hugged by the silk fabric. It felt fantastic. However, I could only relax for 2 minutes because soon after Camilo started snoring and I was embarrassed as hell. “Payback for making me do this” he said after class. Fair enough.

This IS Camilo every time he does yoga. via http://perpustakaan.blogspot.ca/2009/12/yoga-cats-2010-calendar-by-dan-borris.html

All in all, I loved how low impact the aerial yoga exercises were and it was definitely the most interesting stretch I’ve ever done. The experiment was definitely a success and I was eager to for the next yoga adventure.

Yoga and roll

Circuit of Change studio provides a mixture of martial arts, primal movement and yoga classes. And yeah, you guessed it, I just wanted to see Camilo hopping around on all fours.

Primal movement is actually really good for your body. and so much fun!

I walked in not expecting much – it’s a NYC studio after all – no space, lots of sweaty people, weird smell, no changing room in sight. At first glance, it checked out. But then, I entered the studio space and was shocked – it was by far the nicest workout room I have ever seen. The windows were huge and warehouse-like, and the lights were dimmed. There were candles spread around the room. There was even a fireplace! It was a perfect ambiance, and I sort of wished I could move in there (no joke).

A post shared by Ashley Ludman (@ashleyludman) on

 Photos don’t really do the studio justice – it’s so much better in person! Photo cred to @ashleyludman 

The class itself comprised of fast-paced kicks, punches, squats, and burpees. Intertwined were the downward facing dogs, and warrior poses. There was time for everything – yelling and fist-pumping, meditation and primal movement exercises. If you didn’t know what to do exactly, you’d just let your body lose and let it do its thing. No one was watching anyway – everyone is gasping for air and trying to survive.

My favorite part? The class was intense but playful at the same time. It was freaking perf. And it was definitely my thing.

I got a few more classes on my way out. This one is definitely a keeper.

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