Try Guy... hangs low at aerial yoga

The Try Guy sits in a resting pose meant to warm up muscles and take you back to childhood. (Jordan...

The Try Guy sits in a resting pose meant to warm up muscles and take you back to childhood. (Jordan Whelan photo)

Jordan Whelan, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 9:15 AM ET

Welcome to the age of fitness exhaustion. Just when you think every exercise has pushed, pulled, twisted and tightened muscles, someone comes out with a new combination (see: Piloxing) and it starts trending. I’m hoping The Flying Yogi, a suspension yoga playground in Toronto’s hip Leslieville neighbourhood can be the answer to fix this conundrum. If not, I'll at least learn how to not butcher the Hindi salutation phrase "Namaste."

Beatrix Montanile, who goes by the name "Trixie," owns a studio that could double for a dominatrix’s haven. There are three couples and two singles attending my class - one of the lonely participants is me.

Awkwardly, I let the lone female beside me know about my confusion. “I’m sorry, but I may have misunderstood the website when it said yoga and swinging.”

Namaste. The class begins with our wrapping ourselves in a parachute-fabric type of a swing made by Om Gym: "Om" could easily stand for “oh-my something else just tore.” At this point, our bodies are being bent into a diamond shape as we adjust positions.

Using the Om Gym for support, we transition into a sort of upside down-backbend to increase flexibility and to remind us of how we came into this world. “As upside down babies,” explains Trixie.

As this is happening, a very pregnant woman moves into the Om Gym station beside me, sparking me to wonder if the Happy Baby pose that we’re now in (think of a baby on its stomach as it gets a diaper change) is actually code for her embryonic fluid breaking and hitting my sneakers at any moment.

Thankfully, that doesn't go down; she’s just Trixie’s assistant who guides me into a standing position.

We use the lower handles to move into a sort of squat-and-split combo, as our arms and feet are spread in the same direction. This is called a Warrior pose. I break to catch some air, relieve some nausea, and grab a handful of complimentary nuts given to us to address drops in blood sugar (ironic because it feels like my other nuts are still trapped somewhere in the Om Gym).

The next pose in Phase 2 is where we hang upside down and experience a massive head rush accompanied by feelings of euphoria and disorientation. Leaning forward in the swing holds my torso in place as we move into a Side Prayer pose, a position that looks like a new-age version of the classic game Twister.

Coming down from the harness, I feel a sense of release. I don’t know if it was the music, the muscle release or a total oxygen shortage, but the lightness in my step continued as I headed home that day.

Even with a bounce in my buns, I’m not sure I can call myself a yogi (just yet). My downward dog pose is like a geriatric bulldog accompanied with heavy breathing, malaise and the likelihood I won't be back up anytime soon.


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