At a Glance:
Address: 8920 Sunset Blvd, Suite 200B, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Length: 60 minutes
Price: first class free, 10 classes/$225, month unlimited/$199 w 3 month minimum
Sweat scale: medium
Energy level: low
My legs were still on fire from Core Fusion as I sifted through the Class Pass options for the next day. The classes that usually catch my eye (barre, spin, boot camp) were feeling a bit too intense for my fragile limbs. I needed something different. When I came across the word “aerial” I knew this could be the most Instagramable workout of the month, and immediately clicked reserve.
Before attending this class, I did some research to make sure it was for beginners. Labeling itself as “mixed level”, I concluded that I probably wouldn’t be the only one without perfected spinning tricks. Don’t be alarmed that the phrase “circus style conditioning” was also in the description.
When I arrived, I found parking easily in the free garage underneath the building that also houses Hustler. I took the elevator to the second floor and ended up somewhere that looked exactly like an office. There was a sign down the hall and after opening the door labeled “Elevation” I was quickly transported into a gym. I was greeted, asked to sign a waiver (uh oh, maybe exercising in the air is that dangerous), and then introduced to Christina, the extremely bubbly and flexible aerial arts instructor.
For the first 10 minutes I was the only one in the class. I let her know how sore I already was from a week of various exercise classes so we spent a lot of time stretching. The classes are held right in the gym, so there was someone on the elliptical 5 feet away, but it wasn’t a big deal. In the middle of stretching, another girl arrived late. With just the two of us, it basically felt like a personal training session the entire time (in a good way).
After stretching, Christina walked us through some different moves involving the hammock. Some of them reminded me of TRX. We put our feet in the hammock and did planks, leg lifts, and leg bends. Our wobbly legs made these especially hard. Next we did a round of cardio where we jumped-kicked, crunched, and split our legs as high as we could get. During the jumps, we were doing pull ups on the hammock to launch ourselves into the air. My heart was racing and I could feel my abs and arms getting a great workout.
The description on the Class Pass site makes it seem like there will be no aerial dancing in this beginners class so I was surprised when Christina said she would teach us some moves. According to my mom, the pictures make me look like I’m “just lounging” in the air, but these tricks were anything but easy! To begin, we put the hammock behind us and sat into it, letting it catch us as we folded upside down. Next, we wrapped our legs around the sides to secure our positions. The hardest part was letting go of the hammock and trusting that it would hold us. We hung upside down for a bit and then swung up, doing a full motion crunch, and grabbed onto the hammock above our legs. We used our arms to pull us up to seated with our legs in a pointed V. As easy as it looks, we were working our arms and abs to the extreme to get into the position.
From there, Christina led me into the second position. Honestly, I have no idea how it happened because I was just waiting for it to be over. In a pre Instagram time, I don’t think I would’ve had the courage to do these moves! Although the blood rushing straight to my head made me a little woozy, I impressed myself with these brave moves.
Elevation is located on the Sunset Strip so there is plenty to do within walking distance. Right across the street are the very popular Rock and Reilly’s Irish Pub (started by a fellow Virginia Tech alum!) and Pearl’s Liquor Bar. I also spotted a few nail salons.
Head five or so blocks to the right of Elevation to find Nicole Miller, H&M, BCBG Max Azria, DryBar and a variety of trendy eats.
Tricks of the Trade
- The classes are meant to be small. Make sure you’re ok with getting extra attention or bring a friend so you feel more comfortable.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for a picture! It’s not everyday that you’re learning circus moves and swinging in the air.
- Christina mentioned that if you have problems with vertigo, aerial fitness is probably not for you. The sensation of blood flowing quickly to your head isn’t for everyone.