By Sharah Denton
For Erika Bennett, Owner and Instructor of Hang Out Yoga, LLC., her passion for aerial yoga elevated after taking a class in Tampa, Florida.
“I needed more aerial yoga in my life and knew others in our area would enjoy it just as much as I did. So after a lot of behind the scenes work
and research, Hang Out Yoga was born,” says Erika.
Other than a fun experience, Erika says that besides the obvious benefits of yoga such as increased flexibility and balance, aerial yoga also
provides the benefit of a better mood, less stress and increased confidence. However, Erika admits that yoga does not go without misconceptions one being that you have to be super flexible or in shape to take classes.
“That just isn’t true. What makes aerial yoga unique is that you have a partner the entire time, your sling! The sling helps you stretch and pose in certain ways that aren’t attainable on your own. This encourages utilization of your entire body, muscles you didn’t even know you had and results in a total body workout. Furthermore, all movements have a basic beginner’s level, which can then be altered to intermediate or advanced levels if you choose,” says Erika.
Erika encourages others to take a chance at yoga and not to be intimidated by the complicated poses. “Whether it’s with me, or with another yoga studio in Valdosta such as Sutherland Yoga Studio or Yoga Central. Don’t be intimidated by the complicated poses circling the internet. Everyone has to start somewhere, and a new year is the perfect excuse to try something new and get out of your comfort zone,” says Erika.
For Erika, her motivation stems from her clients. Only being opened since July, Erika has seen more than 600 people in her studio. People of all ages and abilities have participated in the classes she offers.
“Seeing their response after the class is humbling. Most come in nervous they won’t be able to do it, and seeing their sense of accomplishment when they leave is so gratifying,” says Erika.
At Hang Out Yoga, Erika says you have the opportunity to channel that inner child who used to hang upside down on the monkey bars. It really therapeutic to just hang freely. Not to mention it allows you to lengthen your spine and ligaments while easing tension on your joints.
“To describe aerial yoga in simple terms: it’s good for you, most any one can do it, it’s fun AND it’s relaxing. It’s a win-win that always keeps you wanting more.” she says.