"Feeling slight motion sickness is completely normal," my aerial yoga instructor confirmed as I looked up at her from my upside-down position.
It was my first time attending an aerial yoga class, and despite my minor headache that occurred just three moves in, I was still giddy as I soared through the air on my hammock.
At the risk of sounding like a negative review, it only took 10 minutes to feel subtle nausea and dull head pain. But, I don't want that to scare anyone away from giving aerial yoga a try.
Juliette Rossato, a certified yoga instructor from Colibri Yoga Retreats, confirmed that those feelings are natural for many first-timers.
"Being wrapped up in a silk cocoon [while] not [being able] to see which direction you're swinging can definitely cause motion sickness. Especially as you get started, it takes some time to acclimate to the movement of the silks and the experience of inverting your body as you move around and try various postures," she tells us. "Also, the feeling of being weightless and not touching ground might make some people feel unrooted."
For context, I never came close to exiting the class — a position I've been in before and am not afraid of doing. I was having so much fun that there were times I forgot about the pain altogether.
During moments when the dizziness was most present, I felt zero shame in pulling myself up and into the hammock — especially because cradle pose is the adult version of a swaddle. Once I cocooned myself in the air, a calmness ensued.
My instinctual recovery methods helped temporarily, but I wish I knew to lay on my side while letting my head stick out of the silk wrap — doing this while taking deep breaths in and out of the nose is Rossato's go-to trick for aiding aerial yoga motion sickness.
If that doesn't work, she suggests sitting upright, while letting your feet dangle from the hammock, or setting them on the floor if you can reach.
Rossato admits that hydrating plenty before class is a great preventative measure, too. However, you should always listen to your body and do what makes you most comfortable — and it never hurts to talk to a doctor before beginning any sort of new form of exercise.
For me, relief came during my walk home postclass — fresh air and water did wonders.
Looking back, I never hit a point of feeling like I bit off more than chew. I spent the session goofing around and belly laughing, which is why I'll be in the first row next Thursday.