Yoga Up is not any ordinary yoga studio and makes for a fun addition to the Dallas yogi and fitness scene. In addition to practicing yoga, you’ll also be holding poses mid air with the help of beautiful suspended silk hammocks. The fun combination is aerial yoga. You’re welcome Dallas.
The Class: Yoga Up offers several levels of aerial yoga for beginner yogis to more seasoned yogis. I attended two hybrid level 1-2 (beginner/intermediate) classes and one level 2 class. Having taken an aerial silks class once before and quite a few regular yoga classes, I knew I had the body strength to hold myself up at the very least so I skipped the beginners level. Upon entering the studio, you take off your shoes and stow them away in the cubbies, sign in, fill out a waiver, and find a hammock that is suitable for you.
The silk hammocks must come down to your hips and selecting the right one is dependent on your height. Make sure to let the instructor know you are new so they can find the right hammock for you otherwise, poses will be awkward, uncomfortable, and even painful. If you’re worried about cleanliness, the hammocks are washed often and are sprayed with disinfectant in between classes. Each class can hold fourteen people, fifteen with the instructor.
The level one classes don’t involve much air time as there is at least one part of your body touching the ground for most of the class. That’s not say it’s not challenging. You’ll still be working a lot of core, upper body and lower body strength.
For the level 1-2 classes I attended, I was happy to see a few other newbies like myself. We were all excited and nervous. I’m sure we were picturing ourselves falling out of the silk hammocks face first. I’m clumsy in real life, so I can’t imagine being anymore graceful in air. The class began with some deep stretches to warm up the body, particularly in the legs, hips, and hands. Aerial yoga does involve a lot of hand and wrist action, so I was glad to warm those up. Some of the stretches included common yoga poses such as planks, downward dog and chaturanga, but in the hammocks. Aerial yoga is definitely challenging as it involves more core and balance. The rest of the class involved getting into the hammocks and working on flexibility with fun, beautiful poses. We tried tree poses, butterfly poses, inverted pigeon, and headstands.
Depending on the class, the instructor will offer inversions aka upside-down poses for the brave and the willing. As newbies, I was glad I got the appropriate attention needed when trying some of the more challenging poses. My instructor actually got out of her hammock to spot me and make sure my feet were in the right place and I was in the correct position. The class is about being open-minded and willing as well as trusting yourself and your instructor.
The level 2 class is more challenging and involves a lot more time in the hammock and opportunities to try more inversions and harder poses. There is also more stretching of the wrists and hands as a lot of the poses involve holding or pulling your body up.
The Studio/Space: The studio used to be a very tiny gym. With the help of curtains, lights, and mirrors, the remodel turn it into a cute space. It is a one room studio. When you walk in, you can’t help but feel excited at the sight of the blue and purple silk hammocks. The skylight allows just enough natural light to make it really relaxing. At night, light dimmers help set the mood.
The Instructor: I had a different instructor for all my classes and styles were very different. The instructors are great about breaking down the poses and making sure you do them correctly. I definitely appreciate the extra attention given to newbies. I also liked learning about the benefits of some of the poses, such as spinal decompression or the fact that standing on the hammocks actually helps your arch. I enjoyed Jheni’s class the most. I really liked her energy and felt confident in her instruction. I also enjoyed Udoka’s (level 2) and Lori’s (level 1-2) class. With some of the classes, the instructor is also required to run the front desk too. I would have liked to see the instructors engage with students a bit more before class began.
Loved/Hated: I loved finding out that I could actually accomplish the poses and was strong enough to support myself. I felt like I could do cooler things in the hammock than I normally would in a typical yoga class. Headstands? Yes. Inverted pigeon pose? Yes. Can I do all those without a hammock? Heck no.
I also really appreciated the camera time. The visual is so cool, who wouldn’t be itching to take a million photos. Oh and the shavasana portion of the class in the hammocks. I need one at home just for naps.
Some notes: There were instances where the musical aspect could’ve been better before and during class. Without any music/white noise, it can be almost too quiet for me, which makes it kind of awkward. With the more advance classes involving much more chatter and questions, the zen-ful music does become white noise. Sounds very contrary to yoga, but I wonder if I would like it if the music were more upbeat? Also, the class can host 14 people, but with some of the hammocks being close to the wall and having to do wide, stretching poses, it can be cramped. I think the perfect class size is 10 or less.
The Next Day: The classes definitely provide great stretching for my legs. I typically have really tight hamstrings and hips. I felt some soreness in my shoulders and arms from all the work in the hammock.
Difficulty Level: I believe all fitness levels can attend a class and benefit from it. I met people who’ve never taken yoga before and saw them accomplish plenty in the hybrid level 1-2 class. My own friend who isn’t a regular yogi really enjoyed the class and surprised herself too. I’d recommend the Level 1 for complete newbies to yoga and fitness and the Level 1-2 for the moderately fit to get a feel for the basics before moving on to Level 2. I wouldn’t just hop into a level 2 if you haven’t at least tried the level 1-2.
FYI/Costs/Parking: For new members, take advantage of their trial promo. It’s $20 for 10 days unlimited classes. Mats and water are available, but definitely feel free to bring your own. I liked having my water bottle next to me versus leaving to take a sip of water from their dispenser. The studio is located next to a huge parking lot, so parking is a breeze. No shoes are allowed on the studio floor, so come in flip flops or sandals that you can easily take off and stow away in the cubbies. Because you’ll be up in the hammocks, you aren’t allowed to wear jewelry for obvious reasons. For clothes, I’d recommend comfortable leggings and a somewhat fitted top if you aren’t keen on showing off your belly. Avoid wearing zippers or anything that might get caught on the silks. There is a bathroom to change, but I’d just come dressed and ready to go.
The Takeaway: The experience is really fun and I loved exceeding my own expectations. Keep in mind that this is still a yoga class and don’t confuse this with aerials silks, which is much more acrobatic. I loved challenging my body and feeling pretty while I was doing it. This is a great place to come with a few girlfriends.
In order to review Yoga Up, Deep Fried Fit used her complimentary ClassPass to attend the first class and paid the drop-in fee for the additional classes.