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Left to right Colbie Spann, Veronica You, Jade Manning practicing after class in the studio.

Hang out with aerial yoga

Hang Out Yoga, LLC is Valdosta’s first and only aerial yoga studio. Erika Bennett, owner and instructor said she was inspired by aerial yoga classes she took in Tampa, Florida. Prior to practicing yoga Bennett did crossfit.

“I’ve always been very active and immediately recognized the benefits of aerial yoga offers the body,” Bennett said.

Anti-gravity, or aerial yoga is a lesser known form of yoga that combines traditional yoga and Pilates poses with the use of the hammock. The hammocks are made to support 2,000 pounds, meaning there is no weight limit for the classes. There are a few restrictions for participating which are listed on Hang Out’s webpage. Beginners are welcome.

The hammock can help assist alignment and decompress the spine. Spinal decompression therapy is used to help treat back and neck pains, herniated disks and injured spinal nerve roots. Other benefits of aerial yoga include increased flexibility and strength, improved circulation, improved confidence and reduced stress levels.

Aerial yoga can also allow individuals who are less flexible be able to perform poses they might otherwise be unable to do, such as dancer’s pose.

“Without the compression of the joints and spine, students can achieve proper posture and alignment through relaxation rather than effort, therefore finding a more balanced and unencumbered expression of each pose,” Bennett said.

The class was engaging and Bennett assisted each student individually to make sure the poses were being done correctly. The class started off with some simple stretches that incorporated the hammock and quickly escalated into a fun and challenging class. Like traditional yoga classes there is a cool down at the end to help relax both the mind and body. After the class ended, Bennett offered to take as many pictures as the class would like.

“Hang Out Yoga is a fun way to get exercise and destress,” Colbie Spann, a senior biology major said. “I would definitely recommend going at least once.”

Hang Out Yoga offers hour-long classes seven days a week, each class can host up to nine students; private and group sessions are also available. There are special group classes such as group glow, where the group does aerial yoga under a black light.

Bennett recommends students wear active clothing that covers the armpits and legs with a good fit (nothing too loose). Jewelry must be removed before the class as well. A mat is provided but you can bring your own if preferred. Classes can be booked through the MindBody app. The studio is located inside Christy Howell Medical Aesthetics at 3308 Country Club Rd. in North Valdosta.

For more information, visit their website https://www.hangoutyoga.com/faq/

Story and photo by Veronica You, Special Projects Manager. Photo courtesy by Hang Out Yoga.

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