Wednesday, August 13, 2014

With the greatest of ease

I could hear the waves crashing even before we got out of bed.  The rooster crow was somewhat dampened by the pounding of the surf on the sea wall.  It’s gonna be another wavy day!  But there are many things to do in Maui, other than go in the ocean and this morning I wanted to try one that has long been on my list.  Actually trying an aerial class is something I’ve even considered doing in our hometown, we have one at the packinghouse in Claremont, but I’ve always felt just a bit intimidated to try it.  I’m up for trying any sort of yoga class (well, within reason, no naked yoga for me please).  My mom and I took a Pilates mat class this summer and it was challenging and fun to try something a bit different.  There is just something about hanging from silks that are somehow tethered to the ceiling that gives me pause.  On the other hand, it has always looked like lots of fun to me, but was I strong enough to do it?  Today I intended to answer that question. 

The Passion of Movement studio is two miles south of our condo, easily reached on the beach walk.  So I headed out a bit later than I usually do on my jogs, at about 8:30, to make sure I had plenty of time to arrive for a 9:10 class.  I ran at a very leisurely pace and about a half mile in I thought, I’m killing this, I’m not even sweating.  Cut to arriving at the studio, dripping in sweat 20 minutes later. (I did stop at the beach park for water!) The studio has conditioning, spinning, yoga, Pilates and aerial classes. It is located in front of the Royal Lahaina Resort in Ka'anapali.

It seemed it would be a small class, just the instructor and one other regular student.  
We began the class using the silks to stretch, do some rows, tricep presses using our body weight, leg lifts, lunges; balancing on one leg or arm and using the fabric to support the other.  My attentive instructor was generous with praise.  I was a natural; I was doing a great job for my first time.  This is going to be easy I thought…wrong!  Pretty soon we were sitting on the u-shaped tissue, flipping upside down, legs in the air, wrapped around the strands, heads dangling toward the floor.  That is a nice stretch for a few seconds, but then the blood starts to rush to your head and the lightheaded feeling features prominently.  Now using only your abs sit back up, reach above your legs for the fabric, and pull yourself upright.  This concept seemed easy enough but my legs felt like they were going to slip out of the fabric. Another challenge is watching the instructor in the mirror while upside down and trying to match her movements.  After a few half way attempts, the instructor said to me, “Melissa, I feel like you are strong enough to do this, maybe you’re just scared. Trust that the tissues have got you.”  Scared of my slippery wet with sweat legs slipping through the cloth and dropping me on my head or ass, no…not all!  She encouraged me to give it one more try and as I reached up something shifted my center of gravity, my own weight probably, and I could more easily grab the fabric above my knees and was able to work my way up, one pull at a time.  My instructor was very pleased but I was even more pleased to be upright!  Now she had us stretch the fabric out so it made sort of cocoon, then we shimmied into it so that it covered from shoulders to heels.  Feeling a bit more secure in this tube like shroud, I felt more confident with the next move, throw your legs back over your head, like plough pose, then pull your legs back up to the ceiling, so you are doing a headstand (except your head is several feet above the floor because the fabric around your shoulders is making you gravity free, so to speak).  It was a little scary, but fun.  After all this work, she let us rest in the cocoons doing a few restorative stretches. As the class ended, I got instructions on how to dismount as the other student did some flippy things in the fabric as she got out.  Our instructor called her a little monkey.  After teaching a conditioning class before this and then this very challenging aerial fitness class, our instructor was off to “work out.”  Wow, I may have thought I was in pretty good shape but this woman humbles me with her stamina. 

I decided to rest for a few minutes on a bench outside the studio, in the shade before walking home. Having my cell phone in my running belt, I called Greg to see what he was up to.  He was on the bus up to Whaler’s village, if I walked a bit more to the south, we could walk back together and pick up some lunch on the way home.  I sat for a few more moments getting used to the feeling of being upright again and drank a complimentary cup of water from the studio’s water cooler.  I decided to take the cup with me, since I knew where I could get ice along the way at the Ka’anapali Villas.  As I passed the ice machine, I filled up my cup and had a constant supply of ice water, slowly melting in my cup for my entire walk until I met up with Greg.  I shared my water with him and we walked back toward the condo, getting another free refill on the ice at the Ka’anapali Villas. We had a beautiful walk home, stopping at the fish market to get the two best fish tacos in the world and then rushing home to eat them. 

Jogging, aerial flips, twists and inversions and a long walk on the beach had rendered me exhausted.  I got a little pool time and watched the waves roll in before getting showered up. After a restful afternoon, Greg and I decided to get an early dinner, so we went to the happy hour at the Maui Brewing Company.  Affordable pizza by the slice and awesome brews served as an early dinner.  I had my adventure this morning, so this evening I was sending Greg off on an adventure of his own. Howard, the musician from last night, invited us to come hear him play in Paia.  I was far too exhausted after my busy morning to face a night out, but I encouraged Greg to enjoy a boy’s night out.  He’s been wanting to have a chance to chat with Howard anyhow and riding out to Paia would be a great chance for Greg and Howard to talk.  I’m going to get some extra rest sleep now, can’t wait to hear about how Greg’s musical evening in Paia went. 

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