head over heels
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Head Over Heels
January, 2013, Page 48
Photo by Brandon Sullivan
A New Twist on Yoga
You’ve mastered downward dog and all three warriors, and your tree pose is steadier than a, well, tree. So what’s the next new yoga challenge to tackle? Try those same poses while suspended a few feet off the ground from a hammock tied to the ceiling. Oh, and then flip upside down and try them again.
In late 2011, Roman Acevedo opened Ra Yoga in Downtown Phoenix and introduced the city’s aspiring yogis to something he’s dubbed FLYoga, the only aerial yoga class in town. With the support of hammocks that can hold upwards of 600 pounds, Acevedo says the class is for anyone looking to build strength, flexibility and focus.
“I took my 12 years of practice and put it in a swing,” Acevedo says. “You get yourself into poses that you couldn’t get yourself into with regular yoga.”
Before you write FLYoga off as just a trendy marketing ploy for Acevedo, make note of the mere $5 suggested donation to attend. This altruism was spurred by Acevedo’s past.
“I remember when I was struggling and yoga was so important to me,” he says. “I thought, how do I fit $125 into my monthly budget when I’m only making $8 an hour? I respect that you can make a living off yoga, but we’re in a position where we can go one step further and make it available to anyone.”
Classes are extremely popular, with a three-week waiting list. Acevedo says height-anxious students quickly conquer their fears. “They have all these barriers up. Then, you get stronger. And by the third class, they’re going upside down.” 15 E. Jackson St., Phoenix, 602-510-6850,
Catch Me if You Can
Trapeze U in Gilbert offers a workout and a circus-worthy education all in one. Founded in 2008 by Brian Lazarus and professional trapeze artist Dylan Phillips, the one-of-a-kind school gives anyone over age 4 the chance to strap on a safety harness and swing through the air with the greatest of ease. Sign up online for classes like “Fundamentals of Flight” and “Trapeze 101.” 14407 E. Pecos Rd., Gilbert, 888-872-7101,
Jane Fonda herself never aerobicised quite like this. Sky Zone, an indoor trampoline park in Peoria, takes your ordinary aerobics class and transfers it to an all-trampoline walled room. The result is a low-impact workout that promises to burn up to 1,000 calories an hour. Not dare-devilish enough for you? Try your hand at their 3-D Dodgeball. 9040 W. Larkspur Dr., Peoria, 623-979-4000,
If you’re into getting your sweat on upside down, any of the CrossFit gyms in and around Phoenix can offer you a challenge. Besides myriad high-intensity exercises involving climbing rope, flipping tires and carrying heavy objects, you can go inverted at CrossFit with their signature handstand push-ups. Multiple locations.
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