I have a friend that accidentally fell out of his hammock. No big deal, right? Happens to even the most lithesome of us. When my friend fell out of that hammock, he had to go to the hospital with a broken neck. This situation was what clouded my cognizance as I entered Artemis – The Art of Living. This is a place that offers open art classes to explore your creativity, artist workshops, yoga, meditation, retreats, and life coaching yoga. My personal trial by fire with aerial yoga was about to commence.
Here is how to get to Artemis according to their MINDBODY app: Located on the third floor of 30 N Main in Red Lion PA. Enter the double red doors under a rounded black canopy and slowly walk up two flights of stairs as you breathe and relax. Thought #1: What kind of a place was I walking into that they have to make it sound so inviting? Was this place some tiny studio nestled in a crumbling building? Thought #2: That silk won’t hold me and I’m going to die from aerial yoga!!! I want to go out with a huge bang! Not falling two feet to my death because I fell out of my silk! I want my obituary to read: She wanted to go out with a huge bang!!! Everyone told her not to attempt to snowboard that double black diamond at Annapurna in Central Nepal during the snowstorm of the century wearing only a bikini, but Magretha Palepale liked to push the limits.
Walking into the building itself was disconcertingly quiet. I was expecting to see The Shining twins waiting for me at the top of the first landing. And then I was awed by the preservation of the place. The real wood floors, the timeless light fixtures, and the dark wood trappings. Someone had put a lot of love into this building.
On the third floor, a large, beautiful door with Tiffany stained glass awaited my arrival. On the other side of that door was my destiny with the silks! But, first, Hello, Donna!!!
Donna Deerin Ward is the proprietor of Artemis. She is a mother, wife, daughter, friend, artist, yogi, mentor, teacher and life coach, who has decided to dedicate her life to helping other people explore their own interests and find what really makes them come alive
Donna welcomed me most warmly, as I tentatively opened the door, and introduced me to Elise and Barb. Elise seemed soft spoken, and this I am SO glad for. She was quite the gracious lady as I inadvertently kicked her in the head during one of the exercises. Flying + clueless wanderer = disaster. (She said I hadn’t really knocked her in the dome, but I think she was just being nice). Barb was just as welcoming as Donna and my preconceived fears were put to rest. I had a good vibe one of these ladies were certified in CPR! Christina rounded out our group at 0903. Class starts at 0900. Sorry, not sorry! Haha! I can poke fun at Christina because late or not, she is someone you can count on. Those are the kind of people that I want in my tribe during a zombie apocalypse.
The studio space was uhhhmazing! There were eight sets of silks fixed from the ceiling, all ready to hold a max of 1500lbs each. Of course I had to know what the max weight was that one of these puppies could hold. Safety first, dammit!
Relaxing music swirled invitingly around the room as the next hour was filled with discovering how little upper body strength I truly had. However, as my body wrapped around the silk, and the silk wrapped around my body, I found myself joyful with weightlessness. Traditional yoga moves were pushed to new limits as I had the silk supporting my body and I back bended into infinity. I’ve seen the dance that people do with the silks and that dance always looked so effortless and fluid to me. Effortless and fluid, to me, it was not though. In fact, I was thankful when we reached positions where we could slowly sway in our silks. A gentle breeze would kiss the sweaty sweat of my sweaty sweat forehead and cool the sweaty sweat off my sweaty sweat epidermis. Ahhhhh, nirvana.
(Look at me (on the right), I look BA, but secretly I’m wondering, Does this pose make me look fat? Donna (on the left) is killing it! And, say Hello to Christina’s little foot.)
It was hard work, but it also made me feel beautiful. I had no idea aerial yoga would take such strength. I had no clue it would make me feel like such a goddess suspended from these gorgeous silks. Every muscle movement serving to elongate and build as I went through the yoga poses.
Unfortunately, all phenomenal yoga sessions must come to an end. As I lay cocooned during my savatsana, I reflected as to how much I’ve been trying things for the first time this year. It’s such a great feeling to know I CAN. I can try rock climbing in order to conquer my fear of heights, I can meet new people to do habitual things with and not worry about holding them up, and I can be brave.
I guess I can even join the circus, but I’ll blog about that later.
You can find more information about Artemis – The Art of Living on their website: https://artemistheartofliving.com/
Much love and Aloha,
your flying clueless wanderer