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AIRYOGA Flying High

 Aerial Yoga - Photo by Tracey Incau
Aerial Yoga – Photo by Tracey Incau

“Aerial yoga itself has been around for a while, It got really popular in the states back in the late nineties so it has actually been around for a while and there are a few brand names that have popped up, but AirYoga is our specific brand,” says AirYoga co-owner and instructor Ashley Lau, who describes it as “…a very particular style”.

When asked why aerial yoga has become so popular, he says, “I think people are interested in moving in different ways now, they’re sick of just running on treadmills or lifting weights – movement for movement’s sake, I guess? This is quite different, it feels great, the inversion in particular takes a lot of pressure off the body so people with back pain or whatnot can still enjoy exercise, and it’s fun more than anything.”

The story behind the studio is an interesting one. “Trevor and I (Trevor Aung Than) are old friends. When I left to join the circus just by chance he also got a job offer and wanted to take a bit of a break. He went to work with Circe, so he sold up his business and moved to Macau, worked as a physiotherapist on their resident show there, and pretty much in tangent I went to China to study at the Chinese Acrobatics School and then both of us moved around internationally for a while, myself training and performing, him working as a physiotherapist with athletes and performers.

“Then when we came back to Perth we wanted to find a way to leverage some of the things that we’d learnt, and that’s where we started AirYoga. In many ways, it’s a less intimidating way of getting people into our style of training. Sometimes people see the stuff they see on stage and it looks very intimidating and they think ah, no there’s no way, but the AirYoga hammock makes that style of training very accessible, and fully regressible- there’s always ways to make it easier and there’s always ways to make it more challenging as well.”

For those versed in ground-based yoga, what differences can be noted after their first aerial session? “Whenever you start any active you’re always going to find it difficult, you’re always going to feel more sore than you usually do,” points out Lau. “That’s not usually an indication of how hard the work out is—it’s usually an indication of moving in patterns you haven’t moved before, so there’s usually that aspect.

“Yoga on the ground with no props pretty much means that you’re exclusively pushing, you don’t get an opportunity so much to do the pulling work, and that’s one of the big advantages of any sort of suspension work—you can start to move, you can pull as well and you always want to be moving, pushing and pulling. You want to be doing both aspects. You’ll find even if you’ve been pushing your entire life, your pull will be weak. One doesn’t necessarily help the other, they are different types of strengths, and so you want to stay balanced like that.

“The other big thing you can’t get with any other form of exercise is that inversion so when you’re hanging from the hips you’re pretty much doing it effortlessly which is great because you can feel that extension through the spine specifically.”

For information on the various services offered at the AirYoga studio located in Leederville, go to airyogaperth.com.au

 

GILLIAN O’MEAGHER

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