Updated: Apr 21
There are a lot of women out there who are interested in aerial fitness but who are worried they won’t be strong enough. I know this because we rarely get a new client who doesn’t preface their arrival with a phone call to me expressing this concern. Feel free to call us at any time, but rest assured that we have tried and tested curriculum for total beginners of all ages, shapes, sizes and fitness levels! Our classes have helped dozens of women start from ground zero to build strength and confidence, find their lost power, and feel the magic inside themselves!
If you are here reading this article, you are likely in the contemplation stage of your journey to your best self. You may be contemplating:
· Will I be strong enough?
· Will I be flexible enough?
· Is this a path I should embark on for a self-care practice?
The answer is yes, yes, and yes! We do NOT expect you to come in already strong. The most fun way to build strength is in the classes, so don’t let any preconceived notion of lack of strength hold you back. Likewise, you don’t need superior circus flexibility to reap the benefits of being immersed in a culture of movement and healthy living. Limited flexibility for beginners is a frequent occurrence and is something we can help you with. As to your self-care practice, if you have not yet found one that nourishes your soul and gives you connection to your body and what it is capable of, you must give aerial fitness a try!
To help you move past the contemplation stage of your aerial journey and into preparation stage (and eventually the action stage), the checklist below lists everything you need to do prior to your first class.
Once you have the boxes checked (including reserving your spot at www.levitationnation.org/book), it’s time to pull the trigger. If you are feeling nervous, that’s totally normal! To help ease your nerves, we will share with you everything you can expect out of your first class.
You can find our small studio in a cul-de-sac off of the intersection of Center Street and Meridian, just look for our sign. Come five to ten minutes early to fill out a short enrollment form, but we ask that you don’t come in before ten minutes before your class start time to allow time for the earlier class to exit and allow for proper social distancing. Let your instructor know if you have any metal allergies or injuries. If you DO have a prior injury, totally fine! Just make sure you have a doctor’s release to resume full activity before coming in for class. So long as you have the go-ahead, we have lots of modifications for exercises, so we welcome you communicating your needs with us.
Next is the fun part: class time! The bulk of each class is instructional (i.e. we give break-down for beginner’s skills) but we also integrate cardio, strength training, and flexibility work (stretching) into every class. Specifically:
For poleFit and poleSport, we demonstrate how to move around the pole with different styles of walks and spins, as well as how to transition down to the floor and back up again. We introduce beginner pole holds with names such as crucifix, pole sits, figurehead, and star. The pole holds are the reason why short shorts are recommended for this class…the more skin contact you have with the pole, the easier it will be to execute these moves! We give you lots of time to work on the skills until you feel comfortable and ready to move on.
For aerial hoop, we work on simple poses with names like man in the moon, secretary, faint, birdie, and side star. We hang the hoops low for beginners, and since these poses are from a seated position, anyone can execute them and feel rewarded on their very first day!
For fabric, you may be exploring “aerial hammock” or “aerial silks.” The fabric material is the same, but they are rigged a little different. The hammock is looped at the bottom which is nice because it gives beginners a place to stand and rest; whereas silks are a little more physically demanding because it is two straight ribbons with no place to stand. But never fear, even if you are starting on silks, we know how to get total beginners started! We will tie a knot in the bottom in the hammock so you have a place to stand while learning body positioning and building strength. As you get stronger, we take the knot out. There are no worries if you are a “slow learner,” because there is no such thing in acrobatics, as everyone moves at their own pace!
At Levitation Nation, we understand how nerve-wracking it can be to try something new, so we hope this article and checklist will help ease your nerves and get you into an actionable route to an empowering self-care journey! Let us know if you have any questions, we are here to help you help find your best self and fullest potential! XOXO, Mindy
Mindy is the founder of Kalispell’s Levitation Nation Aerial Studio, where the catch phrase “fitness is fun” is embodied alongside a culture of movement & women empowerment. Mindy is also a columnist for "Montana Woman Magazine." Her column "The Real Levitation Experience" shares expertise for elevating health & wellness that she has acquired through her certifications as a personal trainer, nutrition coach, and life coach. For more about Mindy, please visit: https://www.levitationnation.org/mindy.
Another article you may be interested in: "Pole, Silks, or Hoop: How to Choose an Apparatus."