Paul Corbin was looking for a new way to get in shape and add some excitement to his workout routine. After becoming bored with the same routine of lifting weights and running, the Frankford resident was introduced to aerial yoga.
Aerial yoga is performed using various yoga movements, suspended a few inches in the air. This unique form of yoga revolves around counteracting gravity. Being suspended a few inches in the air releases tension on the bones and muscle, increasing flexibility.
“One of my friends is a fitness expert and took me out in her backyard one afternoon and she had a long piece of cloth hanging from her tree,” Corbin said. “She had me climb in and we began doing some exercises. I loved it so much. I felt like I was floating on air.”
Corbin has added aerial yoga to his weekly workout regimen and has already noticed some differences in his body.
“Among the benefits I have noticed is less back strain, strengthening in my core and more flexibility in my shoulders,” Corbin said. “The best thing about it is you can do this anywhere. You can do it in your backyard, or favorite park. It is easy and accessible.”
The practice is a relatively new addition to the many ways of doing yoga. Its creator, Michelle Dortignac, started holding classes for this particular practice in New York City in 2006.
“Due to the novelty of aerial yoga, many may think that this is not for beginners and may get a little nervous on seeing the trapeze,” Dortignac said. “But once they realize they’re only a few inches off the ground and that there are soft mats underneath them, they become more trusting of the equipment and more confident in doing the exercises.”
Matthew Flowers and Maryline Dossou are students reporting for Philadelphia Neighborhoods, the publication of Temple University’s Multimedia Urban Reporting Lab.