Despite being called anti-gravity yoga, the class involved very little 'om' and plenty of weightiness. Whilst there were some poses and stretching involved, it's an active class that challenges your core and upper body strength as you try to keep yourself from crashing out of the sling – the warm-up alone had my arms shaking.
We started by hanging in different ways from our slings, which were suspended from a rig. Each variation woke up a different set of muscles and had us more and more wrapped up in the fabric. It's a credit to our instructor that I didn't tie myself in knots but the tiny three-person class helped to make sure we had help when we started to look a bit lost.
The most complicated part was getting into the sling. We followed our instructor in opening up the surprisingly long fabric and pulling it around ourselves, until we had enough tension (and trust) to flip upside-down. Slightly disorientated, I was surprised to find myself in a comfortable hammock – lying down in a cocoon of fabric. The key was to follow each instruction and to have enough confidence in the equipment and in yourself to throw your body around without hitting the floor beneath (although there was at least a yoga mat underneath each of us).
The rest of the class was a mixture of muscle-burning conditioning exercises and aerial stunts, each one using the sling to hold, support, stretch or challenge you. Enough of these sessions and you’ll be running away with Zippo's!
Unfortunately, after just one class, I’m not sure I have a circus-ready act but I’m pretty keen to get an aerial sling installed in my garden for practice.