Report card: Fly Yoga at Viva Vertical Stage
Our January issue is packed with fun classes where you can fulfill your New Year’s resolution of finally getting fit. And in the name of science, we’ve tried them out as well – read all about our exercise experiences in this web-only special
In the great family tree of yoga, Fly Yoga descends directly from aero-yoga, but it was founded right here by Reiko Soo, a diminutive pole dance and yoga instructor, and an astute businesswoman who’s turned Fly Yoga into a franchise that’s even available in the Philippines and Hong Kong.
Soo devised Fly Yoga to lessen drop-out rates in her yoga classes (‘yoga students lose interest very fast’ she says), and I tried out her creation at Viva Vertical. My instructor Shan is petite and lithe, and after a brief warm up of modified sun salutations, she taught me how to use the silk fabric to aid my poses. First up was the fall-back – a move that I initially hesitated with, as I was terrified of slipping and cracking my skull open. No such thing happened, thankfully. Instead, I found myself suspended in mid-air with the fabric supporting my upper back (by way of armpits) – a pose that really engages the core, as you need all of it to keep your body as plank-like as possible.
The silk fabric continued to be a prop throughout, facilitating deeper stretches especially in poses like backbends. And when it came to standing poses like warrior one and two, I felt elevated; the fabric lifts you and mimics the sensation of flying, hence the name.
If you’ve always wanted to get into an inversion like a headstand, but lacked the confidence to do so, Fly Yoga is for you. In fact, it’s perfect for certain practitioners – beginners, intermediates, and those with injuries, for example. The latter will benefit from the gentle support offered by the fabric prop, and those looking to diversify their standard Hatha yoga practice will like the fun element of Fly Yoga.
Note that Fly Yoga is not meant to be a standalone practice, but a complementary one that’ll guide you to achieving better alignment, and improve your flexibility, core strength, and focus. Yogis and yoginis who take their practices as seriously as hippies analyse their chakras may turn their noses up at this new-fangled practice, but Fly Yoga gets top points for novelty. And there’s no better testament to its benefits than the fact that my muscles ached slightly the next day, physical proof that they’d been put to work. Rachel Jena
Available at Viva Vertical Stage (33 Jalan Yap Ah Shak, KL. 016 209 6997/vivavertical.com), Talent Hub @ Kelab Casablanca (Plaza Prismaville, Jalan 19/70A, Desa Sri Hartamas, KL. 016 285 8353/www.talenthub.com.my), and Dreams Dance Studio (37C Jalan SS15/4, Subang Jaya. 017 331 1688/http://dreamsdnc.com).