#BloggersThatSlay Session at Skylab, Camden

What they say:

Are you looking for a really fun way to get fit? Seeking an exciting, total mind-body workout challenge? Do you want to learn the awesome art of aerial dance? Then you’ve come to the right place.


Come to our aerial hoop, silks or fitness classes and you will develop core strength, increase flexibility, learn new aerial skills and discover a fantastic way to challenge yourself! Oh and did I mention having a ton of fun in the process…


What I say:

You'll know by now, I'm all about getting the fun element into fitness, so I was invited along to a special blogger session at Skylab Studio in Camden, I was there in a heartbeat.


What we did:

As Skylab offers a range of classes and courses (from Ariel Yoga, to Stretch, to Silks, Hoop, and everything else you can do in the air!) we went for the 'Ariel Taster', which gives you a feel for all the disciplines.

Beginning with a full body warmup, we went straight into the 'Stretch' section. Using the yoga style hammocks hanging from the air, this was a gentle introduction to get us used to a few of the Ariel principles - mostly, hanging upside down in the air. With your full body supported in the hammock, it's a great way to build flexibility and core strength in a 'relatively' easy manner.

But the easy side didn't stay long, as we were soon onto the next part of the class - up into the air working on a heck of a lot of upper body strength and grip! Bringing out the silks (literally long strips of fabric suspended from the air), the idea is that you climb up the fabric, using it to wrap, suspend, fall, swing and spiral your body into and out of various (planned!) positions.


OK, so as a taster session we weren't quite up to THAT level, but what Astra did show us were some great beginner poses to work up to the full circus performance. Tucks, pikes, straddles, hocks, inversions - you name it, we did it!

Finally, it was on to the hoop - probably my favorite of the three. Effectively the hoop is slightly easier as, once you've made the pull up onto the ring, you get to sit down and do a few beginner poses from there. One you feel comfortable, the positions and moves quickly progress and become more advanced, as you move into inversions, beats, and general flying around in the sky!



Intensity

I've got to admit, ariel is a LOT harder than it looks, but that's the point - you have to work at it to build strength, balance and flexibility. Because if it was easy, everyone would be doing it, right?! As Astra explains, it's all about the challenge-  which makes it feel all the more satisfying when you make it into the air and start to smash out those bad-ass tricks!



Having said that, as each move is broken down step by step, the classes do cater for all levels and abilities. Astra does recommend that ideally you should be able to complete a full pull up before coming to the class, simply because it means you can get more out of it. But if you're not there yet don't worry - Skylab also hosts an array of Fitness sessions, designed to build up your strength, core and grip, meaning you can walk into the Ariel Class with the confidence to nail those poses!



The instructor

It was our instructor, Astra, that really made the class what it was. After being a professional ariel performer for over ten years, she took the plunge to share her Ariel skills with the public, and founded Skylab Studio. Extremely professional, but chatty, friendly and encouraging, it feels more like spending an hour hanging out with a friend, less like an hours hardcore workout! The upper body burn the next day, however, said otherwise!!

Astra, owner of Skylab

Positive attitude and lots of enthusiasm - that's all she asks!

Would I go back?!

100% - this wasn't my first time at the studio, and certainly won't be my last! Although I've never tried one yet, Skylab do run four week courses in both silks and hoops, priced at £70 for the beginner level 1/2 courses, or £80 for the more advanced level 3/4 courses. Before you commit to a particular discipline, I'd definitely recommend trying out their Ariel Taster first. That way you can decide if your a hooper or a silker (yes, that is the noun and I'm sticking to it!). Taster classes are £15 and can be booked on www.skylabstudio.co.uk OR are even available on Classpass. Signup via this link and you can get £30 off your first month, which gives you access to hundreds of top studios across the whole on London!


Huge thanks to the Bloggers That Slay community and Skylab studio for hosting the event


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