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Aerial Yoga: A Creative Way To Stay In Shape

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- If you're looking for unique new ways to stay fit, aerial yoga might be something to check out. It certainly gives new meaning to the phrase "hanging out."

"If everything in your world feels upside down, the way to make sense of it is to go upside down, and everything will be clear," said aerial yoga instructor Becky Stella. "Aerial yoga is not so much different than regular yoga except that it allows you to have decompression of the spine, which is not something you can get in a regular yoga class."

Students get there by using fabric. It's looped into a single point hammock and secured to the ceiling.

"You can also access different parts of the back and the body that you normally wouldn't be able to get into," said Stella. "Sometimes we use the fabric as a full support with weight completely in fabric. Sometimes as an anchor if you're balancing."

It sort of functions as a safety blanket.

"When we're kids we play on the monkey bars. We're not afraid of being up in the sky and climbing, and it felt like that for me," said yoga student Emily Torgrimson.

"It's not often that you get to be upside down and relaxed at the same time," said Stella. "Of course, you get a natural facelift when you go upside down. It improves circulation. It's definitely not good for someone with medicated high blood pressure. But anybody else, you want that circulation. It's really amazing to go upside down."

Stella is the only instructor in MN teaching aerial yoga. She teaches in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

"I just enjoy this so much. It's more like play than work. And I get a workout at the same time. I just fee like a little kid again," said student Christine Gagne.

Stella said people leave aerial yoga sessions feeling euphoric, laughingly suggesting it's because "all the blood went to their head."

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