New Starter Information: Aerial Classes

​Thank you for choosing to join our classes, we love it when someone joins our tribe! We hope you’ll enjoy your classes with us, hopefully this page will give you an idea of what to expect in your class.

Is there anything I should do before class?
 
Before your first class please fill out your registration form. This bit is really important as it allows us to adjust the class for everyone in the room.
   
Please email us at [email protected] clearly stating your name and class if you do not consent to your picture (or your child’s name and class for under 16s) being taken and posted on our social media or website pages. We allow participants to take their own photos at the end of each class but occasionally we are asked by a student or the whole group looks so amazing in a stretch we take and post these as a teacher.
 
It’s a good idea not to eat a heavy meal just before class as it may make bending or twisting movements uncomfortable. We recommend eating a full meal no less than 2 hours before an aerial class, however a snack 1-2 hours beforehand is a great idea, a banana, toast or yoghurt for example can give you energy and an empty stomach or a very full one is more likely to be uncomfortable in the air (more on that later).
 
Please ensure you turn your phone to silent before the start of class.
 
Please remove all jewellery and watches (plain band wedding rings are fine, rings with stones, earings including studs and all other jewellery should be removed or covered with a plaster, it is very easy for these to get caught in the hammock potentially causing injury and destroying the hammock).
   
What should I wear to class?
   
Comfortable clothes, usually leggings or jogging bottoms and a tshirt or similar, heavy fabric such as jeans won’t allow you to move freely.  For aerial it is advisable to wear a tshirt or long sleeves while you get used to the feel of the fabric under the arms, and leggings or slim trousers which will not get tangled in the fabric. It is best to have the underarms and backs of knees covered in early classes. We will usually practice barefoot, however if you would prefer to wear socks, non-slip/grippy socks can be picked up for under £5 from sports shops,   Amazon , or from jump360. No shoes during class or on the mats if in our Stockton location please, these can be left on the carpet running along the side of the room.
 
Do I need to bring anything with me?
   
For aerial – not really! A bottle of water is handy but not essential. You may also consider bringing a large towel or blanket. Some people find bends over the hammock uncomfortable to begin with, this ‘pads’ the hammock while you get used to it.
 
 What happens in an aerial yoga class?
 
Aerial is a little different to traditional yoga, even if you have an established practice aerial can seem very new although you may well recognise some of the poses. In our classes we work with one person to each hammock to give you maximum air time. Each teacher will use a slightly different class format, but usually each class will begin quite gently, there will probably be a focus on releasing the wrists and fingers and you may do a little centering with the breath.
 
Your teacher will take a register to ensure the expected class is in the room, if you’ve swapped your place please let the teacher know. We do not take walk in or pay as you go students, if you are not enrolled we are not insured to teach you so please pass our details along but don’t invite your friend/neighbour/the nice lady who works at Tesco to join you because we unfortunately will have to turn them away. For safety we only allow people to join during the first 2 weeks of a course to ensure the group are at a similar level. 
 
All the hammocks will be hung when you enter, these will have a small height variance. We advise finding one that is around hip height at the lowest point when pushed down, or waist height when hanging. If this seems really high it’s for your own safety, you cannot do an inversion if the hammock is too low. We reserve the right to ask students to swap hammocks if we feel they are not best suited but if all hammocks remaining are too high we can extend the drop length.
 
We will try to flow the movements together in a class as we would on the mat, moving through a sequence of stretches for around half the class. We will then have the opportunity to do some of the more challenging aerial work, poses which require a little more time to master. This is similar to how we may focus on building to a peak pose in mat based yoga. We will work with a few of these poses in this section of the class, variations will be offered for students who want to take it a bit further where appropriate, if we are demonstrating a pose you don’t feel is appropriate for your body please let your teacher know.
 
There is an opportunity then for free play, this is your time to practice what you’ve learnt that day or earlier in the course, or you can go into any stretch you feel is right for you. I ask that cameras are not used during the rest of the class but please feel free to take photos in free play provided you are safe and secure. After free play we move into a well deserved relaxation before closing the practice.
 
We may flow through the entire class sequence to form a flow before free play, usually we will video this and put it in the Anvesaka Yoga Current Students Facebook group . This is a closed group only for currently enrolled students (or those currently on a short break due to injury or pregnancy) and allows students to see their progress. We will always do a full flow on the final week of term, occasionally we may do it mid term for a longer term with an experienced group, however full flows are tiring work! Please don’t worry about doing a full flow, you can sit out or ask not to be video-d if you prefer, however we’ve had extremely positive feedback from students who have been able to see their own practice in motion.
 
Your first class may be quite different to this format and a little more disjointed while we get you used to the movement of the hammock.

For more information on what happens in a beginners aerial class watch our facebook video - apologies it starts off a bit dark! 
 
How will I feel in my aerial class?
 
That’s quite a personal one, everyone feels a bit different. Some people feel unsure while learning a new skill, others feel elated. Some people feel dizzy during or after the class. If you have a cold or ear infection you can feel unstable. It is very common to feel motion sick or dizzy at first. This usually wears off after 3 or 4 classes, and unless you have a sinus cold or ear infection won’t bother you again. Ask your teacher, most of us felt sick when we first begain aerial.
 
You may feel uncomfortable, please listen to your body. Again you get used to the movement of the equipment after a few classes, but it can feel tight or strong at first. Work to your limits, don’t go deeper into a stretch than you are ready for. For most people aerial is a whole new way of moving, your body isn't used to being upside down or doing so much whole body weight work, you're doing brilliantly no matter what your starting point, everyone has their own path to follow. 
 
What should I expect after my first class?
 
Aching! Aerial will likely stretch you in ways you’re not used to so for the first few weeks you can gain a lot of flexibility but you can really feel it. A lot of students have aches in their hands especially. You also are building up strength at an amazing rate, but again it can make you sore for a few weeks.We strongly recommend a bath or at least a soak of the hands in warm water after your first class. Epsom salts can also help.
 
You can also expect some bruising, especially the first time you do a move such as circus seat your thighs can feel constricted in the movement. As they get stronger and you’re not sinking so much into movements you don’t feel this same discomfort or get bruises as often. 
 
In aerial hoop bruising is common behind the knees and the upper arms especially as this is rigid equipment. This doesn’t lessen as much over time as in aerial silks and aerial yoga.
 
You may also feel hungry or tired, aerial burns up to 650 calories an hour depending on the intensity of your class, a lot of aerialists will keep some fruit juice or chocolate for a quick hit after class if they’re feeling a little shaky.
 
What happens in an aerial silks/hoop class?
 
Aerial silks and hoops uses both pieces of equipment, these are shared 2 or 3 people to each piece and you will rotate during the class to get an opportunity to use both. We use crash mats in many silks and hoops classes once we start to do work a little further away from the ground or with inversions as there are fewer inbuilt safety ‘locks’ compared to using the hammock.
 
You will experience a dynamic warm up to prepare for your class, before moving onto the equipment. At the end of the class you will have a stretchy cool down
 
Your timetable has a lot of different aerial classes, what is the difference?
 
As you come to the end of your first term of beginners aerial you might be thinking ‘what next?’ – we have lots of options depending on where your enthusiasm lies.
 
Aerial Fit
 
This is a strengthening class, using the hammock to tone, build core and upper body strength and burn massive amounts of calories. You won’t find any flips or drops in this class, we keep the movements simple but fast, high energy and strong!
 
Aerial Family
 
Our aerial yoga class for all the family. We take this at a slightly slower pace and the class is a little shorter, allowing everyone to learn to use the hammock together.
 
Aerial Yoga
 
The follow on from beginners aerial yoga. If you enjoy the flowing first half of your class this one is for you. We will follow a very similar format to beginners, working with flows and a few stand alone moves for a good stretch. 

Gentle Aerial Yoga 

Our aerial yoga class toned down. The hammocks are hung much lower, this is a chilled use of the hammock for a deep stretch and release, no strong inversions or climbs, you should leave this class feeling complete, stretched and relaxed. This is the most similar to mat based yoga,a lot of the work is done from the floor or in partial contact with the floor, sitting or lying in the hammock. This one is suitable for people with injuries who may otherwise not be able to attend aerial, ladies who are pregnant, as well as anyone who enjoys using the hammock in a more supported way. Check out our video on gentle aerial yoga on facebook. 
 
Aerial Fusion
 
Like the stand alone hammock moves at the end of the class, or seen the photos and videos on our facebook group and desperate to try? This one is for you. We work with the more challenging and acrobatic movements, flips, full body weight movement, even drops. This is a high energy, extremely social class, no aerialist is left behind from the fusion tribe!
 
Aerial Hoop/Silks
 
A complete change of equipment, working on aerial silks and aerial hoop. This is a stronger class than aerial yoga or fusion working with two versatile pieces of equipment. Both stand alone movements and flows are possible in this class, you will work in small groups dependant on ability and experience.

Pure Hoop 

Exactly what it says on the tin, this class is all about the hoop. Aerial hoop is great for building core strength, and is more accessible than aerial silks, while providing more of a performance style than aerial hammock work. Learning routines as well as stand alone movements, you will work in small groups of 2-3 people per hoop. 
 
Aerial Performance
 
This is all about the flow! Over several weeks we will build up a flow choreographed to music on the hammock, we use simpler movements that are easy to get into in time with other students in the class, but the continual movement makes this one a real physical challenge. You can see one of our choreography rehearsals on our youtube channel.

Can I try any of these classes before booking?

Unfortunately we have found that new students progress so quickly over the first few classes that we need to run as a course to ensure all students are at a similar level to keep everyone safe. This also means students can see their progress quite quickly over the short course (we run along school half terms, usually around 6 weeks long) where sometimes it is disheartening after the first class. You are however welcome to come and watch a class before booking - just drop us an email at [email protected] to arrange a time.   

I have a bad back/niggly hip/knee issues/am pregnant, can I still practice aerial?
 
Drop us an email and we'll work something out. Students who have herniated disks, vertigo, glaucoma or severe arthritis may not find a general aerial class suitable, however we can accomodate pregnant students and mild/moderate arthritis sufferers in our gentle aerial classes. Please message to discus any concerns, illnesses or niggly bits you may have. If you are injured make sure your teacher is aware of the problem and you will be offered modifications where appropriate. If at any point a posture causes pain ease back to a resting position, or return to the last comfortable stage of the pose. Depending on the nature of the problem some classes may suit better than others, please drop us a message to discuss.

I’m going to miss a week of my course, what can I do?
 
So long as you cancel with 3 or more hours to go you can swap your class on our swapboard . The password is emailed to you on registration, or is available in the Anvesaka Yoga Current Students Facebook Group . This can give an opportunity to try a class you otherwise wouldn’t have experienced, or your usual class style at a different time. Please note all swaps must be done via the swap board we do not manually process class swaps.
 
Is there anywhere I can chat to other students or share photos?
 
Yes! We have a current student facebook group I will share videos, photos and relevant events within this group but everyone is welcome to post and share. Our tribe are a really friendly bunch and often arrange social events within the group. 
 
I keep forgetting to come to my class, can I get a refund?
 
Unfortunately we do not offer refunds, classes may be swapped in advance if you cannot attend but not after the time of the class. However if there is an unexpected issue which prevents attendance at class for a prolonged period (such as an injury or change to working patterns) please speak to us as soon as possible and it is possible we can transfer your place to the next course or another class.
 
Who will teach my class?
 
More details on all our teachers is available on our team page.  Our teaching patterns shift slightly each term depending on availability, however we try to keep the same teachers in the same times if possible. Occassionally substitute teachers need to be found due to illness or injury however these will always be trained and qualified with either the British Wheel or Yoga Alliance.
 
Where is my aerial class?
 
Preston Farm, Black Dragonz - All Stockton Aerial Classes 
 
All aerial classes are held at Black Dragonz Martial Arts, as well as Friday night hatha yoga and Sunday ashtanga yoga. Black Dragonz is at Concorde House, Douglas Close, Preston Farm Industrial Estate, Stockton-on-Tees, TS18 3RB. This is an industrial unit to the rear of Concorde House opposite the Sherwoods Garage. For your first class it is advisable to come a few minutes early as some sat navs direct to the opposite side of the dual carriageway. We have added a pin to googlemaps for 'Black Dragonz Martial Arts' which appears to work well. If you arrive early please be mindful that the previous class may be in relaxation and enter quietly. All outdoor shoes and water bottles should be kept to the carpeted area off the matted floor.

Whessoe Parish Hall - All Darlington classes
 
All Darlington classes are held at Whessoe Parish Hall, A167, DL1 3AA. While there is a car park on site this may not be sufficient to accommodate all students, especially during cross over between two classes, however there is unlimited roadside parking outside and we are informed the hotel car park can also be used to the rear of the Parish Hall.   
   
I love aerial! When can I book onto the next course?!
 
To help you plan your classes and manage budgets we have decided to open booking earlier than the prior 2 week window, we will now open booking for the next term in the second of the current term. This allows you to book at your own convenience to fit with paydays or other commitments. Places are on a first come first served basis. Places not filled on the current couse will remain open for booking on a decreasing cost basis as the term progresses until the end of week two for aerial courses (mat based courses are always open for booking if available), if you want to add in an extra weekly class.

What else do you do? 

We offer one to one or one to two aerial tuition for students unable to attend group classes, or who would like to work on their form. We have portable aerial rigs for photoshoots, aerial events outside and to take into schools, community groups and to do performances for corporate events. We also do private hire for birthday parties, hen parties, special events and Christmas parties that are a bit different. Have an idea that we've not mentioned? Just ask! 
  
If I have a problem with the class or with my teacher, who should I speak to?
 
Always come and talk to us if you have an issue, and we will try to work it out together. Amy's phone number is 07595223061 however this will be turned off while teaching. 
  
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