Aerial pilates brings a whole new to twist to pilates. It literally turns it on its head as you learn to invert with the support of suspended silks. Following many of the principles of pure pilates such as breathing, control and flow; aerial pilates adds a new dimensions. You will develop great strength and balance, plus a new relationship with your body as you manoeuvre it and hang upside down.
Aerial Pilates is for everyone, as the class is adapted and has many options, but for those who have been doing matt pilates or yoga and want to try something new, it is amazing. Along with traditional principles of pilates: breath, control, precision, concentration, centering and flow; the use of the silks allows us to add further dimensions namely in the forms of: strength, suspension and inversion. Aerial Pilates is performed with silk hammocks suspended from the ceiling and is a great aid to pilates as the suspension element helps to align the body, release tension and decompress joints. The silk also helps us to incorporate the ‘pull’ movement to our workout, which is so often left out. In today’s world of sitting and working at computers we become hunched with weaker posterior (back) muscles. With the use of silks we can now incorporate many pull movements to develop strength in the back, opening of the chest and thoracic area and improved posture. Aerial pilates really does take the benefits of regular pilates just that little bit further.
A Typical Class
A typical class starts with breathing exercises to centre the body and mind and ready yourself for the movements ahead. As with all pilates classes, this class is about centring, breathing and control. The next 45minutes are about you engaging with yourself and your silk. After breathing we move into some controlled mat work where we always start with some spinal imprinting to switch the core on and engage the vital muscles needed for the session. We also use the silk to engage the hamstrings, glutes and abdominals through some half-suspension exercises. After this we may move onto some strength work and start to really use the pull motion of the silk to engage those back muscles. In between all these movements we focus on the breathing, flow and stretch. We only perform a small amount of repetitions with perfect form and then enter a stretch to continue to release the muscles.
After we’ve finished our mat work and some strength work the fun (for some) starts to begin. Not everyone is comfortable upside down, but we build up to this gradually and support is always hands on to help you in and out of positions. No one (including me) gets it first time, so it’s all about progression. The inversion work helps to relieve tension and is wonderful for creating space between joints, especially your vertebrae. Whilst inverted we may relax or we may manoeuvre into either strength or stretch exercises. Either way, everyone works at their own pace and comes up as and when required. Don't be put off if you feel you can't achieve this element. It takes practice, but everyone gets there in the end. Trust the silk!
After we’ve practiced our inversion, whether for strength or stretch we move into quiet time and relaxation. This is your time at the end to re-centre yourself, calm the mind and body and mentally prepare for the day ahead. Often in today’s world we are rushing from one thing to another. Time to be with yourself, your thoughts and hearing you body is infrequent. Having this element built into the class ensures you at least get five minutes. You can wrap yourself away in your silk cocoon any which way you like, then close your eyes and drift away. You’ll be surprised just how comfortable they are!
Aerial Pilates is £7.50 per session on a PAYG basis with classes currently held on:
Tuesday 6pm with KT Chaloner.
NB: We will be adding to our timetable in September and launching 6 week courses.