Aerial Yoga

So, you’re curious about Aerial Yoga, but not sure it’s right for you?  This new style of yoga has been sweeping the country, attracting those who are curious about Aerial Arts and want to give Aerial Yoga a try.

What makes it a perfect fit for everybody?

Benefits of Aerial Yoga:

  • The aerial hammock is used to facilitate alignment often hard to get in a yoga class.
  • The aerial hammock creates both instability and buoyancy which creates long, lean, flexible muscle.
  • Deeper stretches are created.
  • The workouts are full-body and functional, making your workouts support your other activities.
  • The joints are supported while the daily compression of gravity and sitting is eased away.
  • The workout is deep, but also relaxes the mind.
  • The body becomes more oxygenated for greater energy, more restful sleep, and better circulation.
  • There is no need to climb an aerial silk or do pull ups!  It is a great way to introduce yourself to other Aerial Arts.

 

 

So, what can you expect from your first Aerial Yoga class at Ascend Flow Arts? 

  • When you arrive, grab a hammock, unroll your mat under the set of hammock hooks you want, and clip in so the hammock rests at hip height.  (An instructor will help you!)
  • All classes start and end with an opening meditation, while seated inside the gently swinging seat.
  • We warm up with small movements that mobilize the spine, shoulders, and hips.
  • The class progresses to a fluid movement sequence and then standing poses
  • Core work and backbends are also included!
  • Strength conditioning and optional inversions end the hard work.  These inversions are fully weightless and create no compression in the head or neck, which give luxurious traction to the spine!
  • We cool down and end by resting, fully cocooned in the hammock with a guided relaxation.

Aerial yoga is a 6 week course held Wednesday nights. Our next course begins January 25th. Ready to feel lighter and more fit in the new year?  Come fly with us!  Contact info@ascendflowarts.com

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December 2016/January 2017 Schedule

December 4th 2016-January 18th 2017 (Closed December 22-31st)

Sunday
10:00- Mixed Level Youth Aerials (CWL)
10:00- Fabric/Hoop 1 (BW)
11:15- Fabric/Trapeze 3 (KT)
11:15- Fabric/Trapeze 2 (BW)
12:30-Student Practice
Monday
5:45- Mixed Level Youth Aerials (BW)
5:45- Fabric/Hoop 3 (CWL)
7:00-Fabric/Hoop 2 (CWL)
Tuesday
5:30-Student Practice
6:45-Fabric/Trapeze 1 (KM)
6:45- Fabric/Trapeze 3 (CWL)
Wednesday
5:30-Fabric/Trapeze 1 (KM)
5:30- Fabric/Trapeze 2 (KF)
7:00- Creative Exploration for Advanced Aerialists (KT)
7:00- Aerial Yoga (KM)

What do I do in Student Practice?

Student practice is a great way to work on your aerial skills. It lets you focus on what you need to work on and build strength faster to make the most out of your classes but it can be intimidating for some people. Since it is not an instructor lead class some students have trouble knowing what to do with their time. Here is a list of how to make the most of our Student Practices.

 

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1.  Always start with a warm up

Warming up is essential, even when you are not in class. Not warming up properly can result in injury very quickly. You should spend about 15 minutes on the ground warming your body up for the air. A good rule of thumb is to start with some cardio and basic conditioning such as ab work, push ups, or burpees. From there move to yoga based movements and stretches. Be sure to pay special attention to warming up the shoulders, wrists, and hamstrings.

 

2.  Practice your climbs

Climbing is one of the most effective silks conditioning. It really tests your stamina and puts your whole body to work. Just like in class chose two climbs and work on both sides. Climbing is exhausting but you can always take a stretch break afterwards. The great thing about Student Practice is that you can work at your own pace.

 

3. Choose skills/tricks to work on

Try to choose a few tricks to work on in advance. It is best to keep a journal in your classes so that you have a reference of what you are learning. We are working on producing aerial journals with illustrated movements and note pages but for now any old notebook will work just fine. Pick a few tricks to focus on that you know well enough to keep yourself safe without guidance but that you need to clean up. Don’t forget to work on your bad side too!  Try to work on a vertical and a horizontal apparatus in each practice but choose a focus apparatus to devote most of your time to.

 

4.  Work on transitions, stamina, and creativity

See how many movements you can string together without coming down to the ground. Try to stay in the air for a whole song and just keep moving. This is great for building your tolerance in the air, working on transitions, and forcing creativity within movement. If you are working on an act this is where you would want to put your run throughs. Try not to skip over everything else and only run through your choreography. Every part of this list will help you in improving your act though you are able to choose how much time you spend in each section.

 

5.  Conditioning

I know conditioning can be boring but it is a necessary evil. Try not to skip over it. Conditioning consistently is what will progress you the fastest. Choose a few conditioning exercises from class. Focus less on getting tricks and more on using your body correctly. Keep track of how many repetitions you are able to do before getting tired so that you can work on increasing that number in the future. If a conditioning move is starting to get easy ask an instructor for a harder progression. Try not to let yourself get stagnant here.

 

Hopefully this helps students organize their practice time more efficiently. Most importantly Have Fun and Be Safe!

 

 

 

Student Spotlight – Samantha Jacoby

Introducing: Samantha Jacoby

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Who are you in real life? Job,family,lifestyle,etc.

In real life I am a vascular sonographer working under vascular surgeons in a physician’s office. I eventually plan on going back to school for my masters degree, but am not certain what I want to get a degree in. I currently live with my boyfriend and two cats in Greenville. I have a pretty laid back lifestyle in general, but I do love to travel! I’m also a foodie.

What was your fitness background when starting aerials?

Prior to aerials I had absolutely no fitness background, unless you count going to the gym maybe a hand full of times. I actually lost around 60 pounds over the two years prior to joining ascend, which is when I decided I needed to step it up and become more physically fit.

When did you start taking aerial classes?

I started taking aerial classes once a week at Ascend in March 2015. The first time I experienced aerials was in January 2015 at an introductory course.

What’s your favorite apparatus?

My favorite apparatus is Lyra. I feel like transitions from trick to trick make much more sense on it. I also love how tricks can transfer from Trapeze over to Lyra. It is also an interesting apparatus because you have so many options on where to do tricks, such as on top of or within the Lyra.

What changes have you seen, physical and mental, since you started aerials?

I have biceps! This has helped tremendously with other physical activities, such as Go Ape, which I may not have done so well at prior. Mentally I feel more confident, I also feel like I found something that was missing from my life!

What do you think is the biggest thing you have overcome since taking classes?

I feel like the biggest thing I have overcome is devotion to coming into a fitness class. Nothing caught my interest before, so I could never stay motivated to go day after day. But currently I am taking two to three classes a week!

What’s your favorite thing about ascend?

I have to say my favorite thing, aside from learning aerials, is the people! The instructors are awesome, and you get to know them as more than just your instructors. Also, the other aerial students are all awesome! There is never a dull moment!

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Challenge of The Month – Sequences

The challenge of the month for July is based around creating transitions in your sequences. Take your sequence and connect the tricks with your own transitions. This is designed to get you thinking outside of the box! Don’t settle for the easiest way. Be creative and really make it your own adding what you need to get from place to place.

Appropriate for: Level 2 and above

Challenge:

Spell your name and that is your sequence. The tricks/poses are vague enough to add your own interpretation as long as you are completing the movement in some way. Make it your own! Share your name sequence video with #ascendchallenge to get feedback.

A- Splits

B- Music Box

C- Candle Stick

D- Hip Key

E- Arabesque

F- Cross-Back Straddle

G- Hitch

H- Crocheted leg

I- Catchers

J- Dancers footlock

K- Footlock

L- Ankle Hang

M- Rebekah Split

N- belay

O- Footlock Roll Around

P- Sleeper

Q- Iron Cross

R- Knee Hang

S- Coffin

T- Spin

U- Double Footlock

V- Drop

W- Split the Silks

X- Egg Beaters

Y- Gazelle

Z- Up and Over

Student Spotlight – Adriene (Eiffes) Howle

Introducing: Adriene (Eiffes) Howle

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Who are you in real life? (Job,family,lifestyle)

I’m a sales account manager for large chemical company working in specialized food ingredients. Its an intense job with my sales territory covering over half of the US and Canada. Travel is frequent and often last minute which makes attending regular classes a challenge! I was also just married in April and my husband and I have a wonderful life with our new German Shepherd puppy, Bodie, and our cat, Booger (yes we actually named him that).

 

What was your fitness background when starting aerials?

I was, and still do, spend a significant amount of time working out in the gym a few days a week (though its a bit less now with aerials). I typically weight lift for a few hours, both free weights and body weight exercises, and then finish up with a run. During the winter, my husband and I spend more time skiing and target 15 ski days each year. I also did gymnastics when I was younger and continue to love working on handstands and cartwheels.  In spite of this, aerials is still a great workout for me. Strength is defined in so many different ways and no matter how in shape you are there is always an element to improve upon.

 

When did you start taking aerial classes?

October 2015, so its been about 8 months now.

 

What’s your favorite apparatus?

I love the silks! I feel its such a unique, challenging and beautiful apparatus requiring both grace and strength. The silks are still fairly intimidating, but I think that only intrigues me more. I watch performances online all the time and am constantly amazed at what these individuals can do and the work they put into their training. Each trick or climb I learn that gets me remotely closer to becoming that fluid and powerful is the greatest feeling!

 

What changes have you seen, physical and mental, since you started aerials?

I’m starting to see an improvement in my flexibility and have certainly improved my grip strength. It never occurred to me how important strong hands can be!

 

What do you think is the biggest thing you have overcome since taking classes?

My fear of heights! I tend to become paralyzed the higher up I go on anything, which naturally makes doing tricks in the air absolutely terrifying. Now that I’m growing more comfortable and more confident in my abilities, I notice that the height is not nearly as daunting.

 

What’s your favorite thing about Ascend?

Its a great atmosphere with wonderful people teaching you new things to push your body to new limits or learning new tricks right along with you. After a stressful day at work, Ascend is my favorite place to work off some energy on the silks or the trapeze while spending time with new friends.

 

Tell us a fun fact about you!

I’m always asked what sports I played in high school or college or what event I’m training for to explain for the amount of time I spend in the gym. The truth is that I never played any team sports when I was younger, not even outside of school, and I haven’t competed in anything other than a few races in my 20’s. I work out as hard as I do purely because I can and I enjoy it. I love pushing myself to do more and the feeling of accomplishment I have after.

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Six Simple Ways to Take Your Silks Practice to the Next Level

Have you ever felt something was missing from your routine? Are you tired of the same-old-same-old?

Here are six simple ways to improve and add interest to your sequences without having to learn new moves.

Learn how to spin

Spinning can add such a beautiful touch to really simple poses. Practice adding a spin to your sequences and maintaining it throughout. The easiest way to start playing with a spin is by getting into a hip key and then gathering up the tail and moving it in a circle. What are some other positions that you can start a spin in? How can you keep it going? It can make moves more challenging when adding the force of spinning but the results are well worth it.

Tip- Make sure you are on a silk with a swivel!

 

 

Change your body shape within a pose

For the audience to get the full effect of what you are doing you have to stay in a pose for longer than you would think. What may seem like forever to you could be just enough time for the viewer to register what is going on. Practice staying in your poses a few seconds longer. However, just because you are in the same pose, or trick, doesn’t mean that you can’t switch things up. You can change your body lines within the same trick to get a completely different look. Take a simple inverted split and stay there longer, double stag the legs to add interest. You can apply this to most tricks. There is usually a simple change in body position that will add so much interest within a pose. Think about expanding and contracting your body and changing up your arms and legs. How many body shapes can you flow through in one trick? You probably spent a decent amount of time getting into that wrap so make sure that you make the most out of it.

 

Mix up your tempo

Sure you can stay at a steady pace through your whole sequence but that’s not always the most interesting approach. Changing your rhythm can add drama to your piece. See where you can slow down or speed up to make your movements more of a story. How can you make it more engaging? Think of how you can use speed to control what the audience focuses on. You can spotlight certain movements by slowing them down. How can you use it to convey emotion? Would you throw the tail like you are angry or place it like it is delicate? Take a simple foot lock roll around sequence and see how much changing the speed throughout really brings it to life. Even small changes can be really effective.

 

Make shapes with the silks

There are so many poses in the silks where our hands are free. We get so caught up in what our body is doing that we can forget about all that gorgeous fabric below. You can play with the tails of your silks to create something new. You can spread them out like wings, or frame your body within them. The possibilities are endless. Just explore and play and love what you create.

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Incorporate the ground

In aerials the ground is frequently forgotten about. You don’t always have to use it but don’t forget that it is still there. Some of the best acts I’ve ever seen build from the ground up. Think of aerial as three dimensional dance. If you aren’t using the ground you are leaving out an entire axis with which you can move. How can you use the silks and the ground? Try wrapping your wrist in the fabric and leaving your feet on the ground. See what kind of movements you can make. What can you do on the ground before going into the air? Sometimes starting on the ground really helps your act become well rounded. Incorporating the ground is also a great way to kill a minute of that song you’ve always wanted to create an act for but it was just too long for an aerial piece. Everybody has that 4 or 5 minute song that they are in love with and just don’t have the air stamina for yet.

 

Make your transitions as beautiful as your poses

Rushing through your transitions looks messy. It’s really not all about the tricks – half of the time the audience doesn’t even know where the trick begins and ends. Sometimes our minds forget that we don’t turn invisible in between poses. It is really easy to get so focused on the end game that you rush the journey there. Don’t rush. Think of ways to make your transitions smooth and seamless. It could be as simple as slowing them down and stagging a leg as you’re twisting into your wrap, or as complicated as creating your own new transition that showcases your flexibility, strength, and grace. Whatever you choose is fine as long as you have an awareness. Transitions can be the most beautiful and enticing part of a sequence. You already know where you are going now how can you get there in the most visually appealing way. Transitions can really help make a sequence your own.

No matter where you are in your training you can always add interest without having to learn a whole bunch of tricks. It’s okay that you don’t know every move yet. Be creative! Don’t be afraid to add your style into what you are doing. That’s what makes performers so amazing to watch!  When you give a piece of yourself to sequences instead of just going through the motions people connect with that. Once you open up your mind to all of the possibilities you will have so much more to offer than just “tricks”, you will truly captivate people.

June/July 2016 Schedule

June 19th 2016 – July 27th 2016

Sunday
10.00 – Fabric/Hoop 1 (CL)
11:15- Fabric/Trapeze 2 (BW)
11:15- Fabric/Trapeze 3* (CL)
12:15 – Open Practice (BW)
Monday
5:45 – Fabric/Hoop 3* (CL)
7:00 – Fabric/Hoop 2 (CL)
7:00- Fabric/Trapeze 2 (KT)
Tuesday
5:30 – Open Practice (BW)
7:00 – Fabric/Trapeze 1 (BW)
Wednesday
5:30 – Fabric/Trapeze 1 (KF)
5:30 – Fabric/Trapeze 2 (BW)
7:00 – Fabric/Trapeze 4* (KT)
Make-up Policy Overview
Make-ups can be done at your current level or any level lower than yours, as well as in open practice. You get two make-ups per course that must be completed before the end of the session unless special permission is given. Please fill out this form to request a make-up:
You will only get a response if we are unable to accommodate your request

Student Spotlight – Rachel Barczak

Introducing: Rachel Barczak

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Who are you in real life? Job,family,lifestyle,etc

My name is Rachel Barczak I am 32 years old and I work full time with children and teens on the autism spectrum.

 

What was your fitness background when starting aerials?

Before I started doing aerials I did not consider myself particularly strong or athletic. I had always been skinny and sometimes went to the gym but I was not incredibly physically active. I had the idea in my mind that women just could not do pull ups. I walked around with my shoulders up by my ears.

 

When did you start taking aerial classes?

I started doing aerials around 2011 at another aerial studio after signing up for a beginner’s workshop and surprising the hell out of myself when I was able to climb the rope up to the ceiling. When they showed me how to climb, my first thought was there’s no way I will be able to do that. But I thought what the heck and tried it and I was able to climb a little bit higher and then a little bit higher and then a little bit higher and then all the sudden I was tapping the ceiling. I started taking classes at Ascend in 2014.

 

What’s your favorite apparatus?

My favorite apparatus is trapeze.

 

What changes have you seen, physical and mental, since you started aerials?

Circus has changed the way I think about my body and how I feel about it. I never used to feel particularly “proud” of my body, but now at age 32 I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in and I’m proud of the way I look. I’ve changed what I do at the gym in order to get stronger for aerials. I’m doing workouts at the gym that I know I would not have been interested in otherwise because they are too hard/boring. (Lots of core work, running, cardio) But if they help me do circus better and longer then they’re totally worth it in my mind.

Practicing circus has also changed the way I react to unfamiliar and uncomfortable situations. Sometimes when I do a trick that feels new to me or pushes me out of my comfort zone, I’ve learned that I just have to do it and trust that the instructor is correct and trust my own ability. It’s taught me to be okay with feeling uncomfortable and okay with feeling a little scared and taught me to approach it with curiosity instead of just avoidance.

 

What do you think is the biggest thing you have overcome since taking classes?

The thing I love most about aerials is that you can see tangible results. I go into class and see a trick and think oh wow that’s really hard I can’t do that. But then I try it and work on it for a few weeks and maybe get a little stronger and then I am able to do the trick. It is such a good feeling and it’s almost addicting. I think back to when I was first starting and how hard it was to get some of the tricks down. I probably spent months trying to get a hip key. And now I can easily do that and I think back to how hard I worked to get there and feel really proud.

 

What’s your favorite thing about Ascend?

My favorite thing about Ascend is that there are small classes and that there is always something new to learn. I am also really grateful for the opportunity to perform in student showcases.

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Rockwood Park – Ice Cream Festival

Come out with us and spend a day in the sun with your family! You can see us perform at the Ice Cream Festival in Rockwood Park June 25-26! Rockwood park is such a beautiful location and there are so many amazing vendors and activities at the Ice Cream Festival. Plus, ICE CREAM!

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It is only $5 to attend and the best part, kids 12 and under get in free!

 

“Experience family fun for children of all ages at the New Castle County Ice Cream Festival at Rockwood Park. Featuring vendors, live music, local restaurants, crafters and local creameries serving the region’s best ice creams, you won’t want to miss this!”

 

We had an amazing time last year and are looking forward to seeing everyone again!

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Images By Jump Shots

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