Aerial cocooning, as presented in Jefferson Hills, offers unique take on yoga
Liz Haggerty isn't sure what caused her bad back: Working as she grew up on the family farm, driving a truck or her desk job.
But the pain sent her to a chiropractor, who treated her and advised her to do stretching exercises.
Then Haggerty, 28, of Belle Vernon, found a workout called aerial cocooning. A take on aerial acrobatics, aerial cocooning is done closer to the floor and allows her to stretch her back without losing her balance.
Cocooning uses long lengths of strong fabric that bear her weight.
“I go to class, stretch (my back) out, and I feel so great afterward,” said Haggerty, who takes classes at Spin on Fitness in Jefferson Hills.
Practitioners depend on the fabric, known as silks, to support them in yoga poses, stretch and hang upside down.
“It's so much easier to get into the poses” with the help of the silks, said Shelley Wain, 47, of Jefferson Hills, owner of Spin on Fitness who teaches Haggerty in her home studio.
Wain is certified in group fitness and boot camp instruction by the American Sports and Fitness Association.
“I have a bad back. I have people who have bad backs. Once they take the class, they say, ‘I never felt so good,' ” Wain said.
The upside-down position in the silks helps decompress the spine and realign the vertebrae, Wain said.
Using the silks lets class members “hold yoga poses a lot longer. A lot of people who aren't good at balance in regular yoga find it helps you and makes (the workout) so much easier,” she said.
“With the silks, you have unlimited motion, and you don't have to worry about falling,” Haggerty said.
Wain has half a dozen sets of silks she uses for a maximum class of six students. Some students must learn to trust the silks to hold them.
More trust is needed for more advanced “flips,” in which silks are wrapped around the legs and body and unwrapped quickly.
“It took me awhile to let go, a couple of months. She was right there beside me,” Haggerty said of Wain.
Wain bought her silks from Aerial Chiffon of Las Vegas, which provides them for professional aerial circus companies.
“If you get bored, you don't keep at” a fitness routine, Wain said. “I just think aerial cocooning is a lot of fun and something different.”
“My back is great,” said Haggerty, who attends classes weekly. “I haven't been to a chiropractor since I started using the silks.”
Sandra Fischione Donovan is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Museum’s ‘Carnegie Trees’ exhibit shows ‘Winter Wonders’
- More fear ‘tackle’ football too risky for kids
- Decorated World War II veteran gets visit, gift from ex-Steeler
- eReader books also available to borrow at local libraries
- Teens elevate Western Pa. communities with Eagle Scout projects
- 50 years later, Vietnam vet gets his degree at Westminster
- Mt. Lebanon history center project gets OK
- YMCA program helps people with mobility issues regain movement
- Mt. Lebanon deer culling effort gets OK
- YMCA seeks grant for facility in Bethel Park
- Marshall park plan advances