A new twist: Trapeze yoga is newest B.E. Fitness class

Nicole Stoneking (left) and Shannon Takes hang upside down during a trapeze yoga session taught by Andrea Hall (standing, in background) at B.E. Fitness and Training Center. (Photos courtesy of Sarah Hovey Photography)

Andrea Hall instructs students in trapeze yoga.

Trapeze yoga employs a number of unique positions to strengthen one’s upper body and core.
Pete Temple
Express Sports Editor

     Yoga classes at B.E. Fitness and Training Center in Monticello have a new twist.

     With new equipment. And new positions, including upside down. And new ways to develop one’s core, relieve back pain, and enjoy other benefits.

     It’s called trapeze yoga, and it’s the newest class at B.E. Using a sling known as a yoga trapeze, hung from ceiling beams, students practice a variety of unique poses and positions.

     “We’re always trying to look for different types of classes that will keep people interested and engaged,” B.E. owner Andrea Hall said. “The yoga trapeze was something that looked really appealing to me. It was something unique and interesting that you can’t get just anywhere.”

     Hall made the decision to have 10 yoga trapeze slings installed in the large exercise room at B.E. She trained in November and December to become certified in teaching it through YOGABODY, a company that specializes in yoga studios, certification programs and yoga products, including the yoga trapeze. Hall began conducting classes earlier this month.

     “People get real excited,” Hall said. “Everyone who has done it, cannot wait to come back. It’s something new and different.”

     Trapeze yoga includes pushing, pulling, holding, hip opening, twists, backbends, forward bends, and more. It demands upper body and core strength for even the most basic movements, such as getting in and out of the sling.

     “There are a lot of huge benefits to it,” Hall said. “While you’re doing it you’re not thinking about it, but when I get done, just getting off, my hips feel more open. I feel a stretch in a way that I don’t necessarily get from yoga or just from stretching.

     “There are moves that we do that until you actually do them, you don’t realize how challenging they are. It’s about stabilizing, using your core, engaging your muscles, and using a lot of balance.”

     The slings themselves are weight-tested so that someone weighing up to 300 pounds can use them consistently.

     “My husband (Dustin) is a steel building engineer, so he completely understands the I-beams and the strength and durability of the structure,” Hall said. “He has bolts that he put in to hold the anchors.”

     Currently, the one-hour classes are held on Wednesdays at 10 a.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. They cost $6 per session for B.E. members, $10 for non-members.

     Hall said trapeze yoga sessions can be used to supplement other yoga training, or just to try something different.

     “It’s more of a fun treat,” she said. “It’s a really good stretch. We don’t expect people to do it twice a week. It might be once or twice a month.”

     Hall said she hopes to set up private lessons as well, whether for individuals or groups.

     “I think it would be really fun for a bridal party, or a group of girlfriends,” she said. “They can pick the date and time, and it can be a special session.”

     Men are welcome to participate as well. Hall said men are sometimes reluctant to try any kind of yoga, let alone trapeze yoga, because they don’t feel they are flexible enough.

     “You don’t need to be flexible, because you get more flexible (in the class),” she said.

     Each session ends with a resting pose called svanasana, which involves different poses. In one of them, students lie back in the sling, hammock-style, and relax while listening to soft music.

     “It’s just a whole different state,” Hall said. “There’s just the sway from the swinging. It’s taking all of your weight off of your body and being basically weightless. It’s an ultimately relaxing feeling.”

     Trapeze yoga is an offshoot of inversion devices that have been used in yoga studios for decades. Lucas Rockwood discovered inverted slings in 2004 while living in Thailand. He spent three years developing a studio-quality device that is used today in homes, studios and fitness centers in 81 countries around the world.

     Hall said she takes pride in having become certified and insured to teach it, allowing for safe and effective exercise.

     “We take that very seriously here,” she said.



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