We tried an aerial hoop class, and here's our review!

    When SHAPE’s integrated marketing assistant manager, Jocelynn Lai tried her hand at the acrobatic-based, aerial workout with a hoop suspended from the ceiling, also known as Lyra, she was physically and mentally tested. Here’s her review. 

    “I learnt about the aerial hoop workout from my best friend who had been raving about it. She has done it back in New Zealand, and she used to send me photographs and videos of  the moves she’s been learning. It peaked my interested, so I was very excited to give this form of exercise a try. And, what I can say is it’s definitely nothing like the beginners’ videos I’d been watching prior to the class.

    The trial class was conducted by instructor Reiko Soo, the founder of Flyoga and owner of Dreams Dance Studio in Subang. I was in the class with three of my colleagues from SHAPE.  Reiko began by explaining how the class worked, and moved on to a warm-up session to stretch and open up our hips, hamstrings and core. After that, she paired us, to people to a hoop, based on our height.


    Reiko is about to explain some moves during the class.

    “It’s usually done two people per hoop because a 60-minute class will be very hard all on your own,” she explained.

    Reiko demonstrated a couple of moves before encouraging all of us to attempt it. Our first move was to climb onto the hoop and hang upside down. The movement focused a lot on the core and upper-body strength. My first attempt at it was pretty distorted. I couldn’t bring my one foot over the hoop, and at moment, it dawned on me just how weak my abs were. However, with some help, I managed to get my feet over the hoop.Now the challenge was in climbing over and sitting on it. As easy as Reiko made it look, it was not that easy for a beginner like myself.  Reiko said that although it was hard for her students in the beginning, each successful pose or move, motivated them to return and stay in the class.


    Happy and smiling as Jocelynn got on the suspended hoop.

    So, just like that, it got slightly easier with a couple more tries. I admit that I’ve over-estimated my upper-body strength and flexibility. However, I was still pleased with myself for trying out the class. My #achievementunlocked moment was definitely when I got up onto the hoop and balanced myself by sitting on it. I couldn’t stop smiling and it felt amazing! My partner and I took turns on the hoop, just like that, our 60-minute was up.


    SHAPE’s editor-in-chief, Seema Viswanathan gets into a pose during the class.

    I”ll have to take a few more classes to nail it. My arms and back felt really sore the next day. But, I know that I’ll definitely be back – so yes, it’s addictive!  The feeling I got from getting into a position on the hoop was very different to completing a standard exercise class or spending an hour on the treadmill. This class is great to explore the performer in you, and to take your upper body and core strength to another level.  I really felt like this class allowed me to envision myself in an opening act of an aerial show!” – Jocelynn Lai.


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