What is it? Yoga on special hammocks.
What's needed? Snug-fitting gym gear, water, towel, bare feet.
The experience: Today, I'm helping out at the Hope and Possibility Fun Run, Walk or Wheel at Auckland's North Harbour Stadium. It's being run by the Achilles International (NZ) charity, which raises money to assist people with all types of disabilities to take part in mainstream events.
Come along, join me and cheer on the disabled and able-bodied athletes who are walking, running or wheeling along together.
Speaking of being uplifted - I'm literally that in the photograph above. I love this colourful and playful picture. My class mates and I appear seal-like, as if we're nose-diving through water.
My kids joke I'm Superwoman - I tell them the only super powers I require are to make them do their homework.
Whoever says exercise is boring hasn't "hung out" with yoga teacher Connie Causa, who is from Chile. While this picture is taken, my arms are aching and stretched behind me; I feel my back muscles strain and my core engage for balance. My legs and glutes are held firm, toes pointed for poise, my chin is outstretched and beads of sweat trickle down my face.
I've got a tiny wobble going on, and also as light fear of flipping out that keeps me holding on tight. This is not the time to be a klutz. (Actually, I've really got no fear of falling - each hammock can hold up to 300kg.) It's a challenging workout that has me sweat-soaked and red-faced. Oh, and it's muggy in here as this studio is generally used for hot yoga, but, thankfully, it's not whiffy.
Aerial classes require strength and balance, a reasonable core, and being able to control the odd rush of blood to the head. During one manoeuvre, I draped my body over the fabric and touched my toes, and chuckled out loud when I saw my upside down, bat-like reflection in the mirrored wall.
During rest periods we used the hammocks to stretch our limbs in a general yoga fashion and swing about. I enjoyed sharing this space with new faces, too. Before leaving, I had a chat with one of the three blokes in this class, a Bikram instructor, Bruce Simons, who was photographing friends in the class the day I turned up. Bruce urges his students to persevere with yoga as it can grow on you over time, and I agree. I'd tell people to persevere with Connie's classes, too.
Try not to be intimidated by the look of it as you'll enjoy moving and stretching in a different way. And if you want to experience this class outdoors, attend New Zealand's first Wanderlust Yoga Festival at Auckland's Western Springs on March 23. The event will showcase some top yoga talents including Connie, musical acts and speakers such as Dr Libby Weaver, one of Australasia's leading nutrition specialists. Connie tells me she's going to do her aerial classes in American Indian-style bamboo teepees, so I might just turn up for a look-see.
How much? East West aerial class $25, or five-class card $100.
Worth it? Stretch out like a cat, seal and bat and you'll also beat gravity for a bit.
Try it: Fridays, noon, Eastwest Bikram Yoga, 26 Ponsonby Rd, Auckland. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.