Karen Applegate Explains More About Aerial Yoga at Future Fitness in Cherry Hill, New Jersey

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Karen Applegate, Aerial Yoga Instructor: Photo Credit: Alison Mastrangelo

Karen Apple gate began her fitness career began in 1982 when she took her first aerobics class. She fell in love with it and shortly after got certified to teach.

As the fitness industry evolved, she stayed up to date with the latest fitness classes and got certified to teach most of them. Eventually, she added personal fitness training and earned certifications from the AFAA (Aerobics Fitness Association of America) and ACE (American Council on Exercise).

Her love of exercise and movement kept her in the business, and the demand for both yoga and pilates professionals grew so she ventured and studied both disciplines. Applegate is now a registered yoga teacher (with the yoga alliance) and is certified to teach mat pilates and pilates on studio equipment. Two months ago she was offered the opportunity to become an instructor of aerial yoga so she joined a group of talented instructors and began the study to develop our practice.

Just recently she went back to teaching spinning classes and who knows what is next. Fitness has been an important part of my life and a career that has allowed her the opportunity to schedule her work around the job of raising two beautiful daughters.

Q. How is aerial yoga different from regular yoga?

A. Aerial yoga uses a hammock made of soft fabric as a tool to assist the participant with traditional balancing postures to deepen stretches and encourage greater joint range of motion in postures that might not otherwise be achieved in a floor yoga practice. The hammock lifts and holds some of our body weight and takes pressure out of the wrist, hands, neck and shoulders. Participants naturally move into proper alignment, achieve inversions without straining their joints and relax/surrender more effectively in the fabric. While aerial yoga shares many of the traditions of other schools of yoga it offers new options, variety and playful fun.

Q. What are the benefits of aerial yoga?

A. Aerial offers wonderful decompression of the spine and joints, it loosens and lengthens muscles, creates natural alignment with suspension, encourages deepening in postures, and the fabric leans into pressure points which activates blood flow and the lymphatic system helping to bring your body’s energy into balance.

Q.  What should a beginner bring and know about aerial yoga before they try it?

A. New participants should wear a top that covers their under arms and bottoms that cover their legs. They should not wear jewelry because it can catch on the fabric and they should know that anyone can try to enjoy aerial when it is taught properly.

Q.  What is one misconception people have about aerial yoga?

A. That they are not capable of attempting it. This, however, is not true. The method can be tailored to multiple levels.

Q. Who do you recommend can do aerial yoga?

A. Anyone who would like to reap the benefits listed above and who would like to try a very fun, safe and yet challenging variety of assisted body movement and still postures.

Q. Any other additional information you would like to add?

A. Aerial yoga classes are available at a variety of times every day of the week for both members and non-members at Future Fitness in Cherry Hill NJ.

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Aerial Yoga, Best Stretch And Relaxation I Have Ever Had At Future Fitness In Cherry Hill, New Jersey

Have you ever wanted to fly or soar above the ground? Well I cannot guarantee you will fly, but you can get pretty darn close in an aerial yoga class.

( The video below is not me but it is a great visual of what aerial yoga is all about.)

I have wanted to try aerial yoga for a while. I knew of a few places in Philadelphia that do it, however, I was fortunate to find a class close to me at Future Fitness in Cherry Hill.

When I called to schedule a time, I was told to wear short or long sleeves and capris or tight pants to protect my legs and underarms. I was fortunate to be the only one scheduled for the class and I had a one on one session with the aerial yoga teacher, Karen Applegate, who you will hear more from in my question and answer session with her in my next post.

The entire class was an hour-long and as the aerial yoga class progressed so did the yoga moves. We first started putting one or two body parts in the aerial silks and then eventually we had our entire body in the silks flipping upside down and out of them.

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Flipping out of the aerial silks. Photo Credit: Karen Applegate

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Stretching my upper body and hovering over my mat. Photo Credit: Karen Applegate.

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Downward facing dog using the aerial silks. Photo Credit: Karen Applegate

I must say that aerial yoga is a fantastic stretch and is very relaxing for the entire mind and body. I have been practicing Vinyasa yoga for many years; however, the final relaxation pose where you lie in the aerial silks like a hammock as it slowly rocks back and forth is unbelievably peaceful. I have never reached that level of relaxation in any other yoga class.

I would highly recommend aerial yoga, however, it is not necessarily a high cardio, sweaty, high calorie-burning workout. I would recommend adding it your workout routine, but also incorporate other fitness like going for a long run before hand or doing a boot camp class in addition to the yoga.

Overall, the aerial yoga class is a great  stretch and relaxation for the mind, body and soul and is a must try!