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That's why we're starting a new series called Work For Your Beer Spotlights, in which we'll highlight local gyms and fitness classes to show you how you can work for your beer beyond the brewery and support local businesses in the process.
Our first Work For Your Beer spotlight is Aerial CLT. Aerial CLT offers three different types of aerial classes in their studio: silks, Lyra, and trapeze. The training they offer is very Cirque du Soleil, but still totally accessible if you've never "flown" before.
This workout is so different from anything I'd ever experienced before, so I knew I had to try it. Nervous but excited, Work For Your Beer co-founder Mel Fox and I signed up for our very first Lyra class.
Here's everything you need to know.
Locations: Uptown & Pineville
Address: 801 N. Tryon St., Charlotte, NC 28206 | 311 S. Polk St., Pineville, NC 28134
Social: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter
When you first walk in, you're greeted by colorful, flowing silks on your right and trapeze apparatuses on your left before you get to the front desk. The Lyra classes and intermediate silks classes are located in the back half of the studio.
Lyra, also know as the aerial hoop, is a large metal apparatus. Aerial CLT offers hoops at varying heights to accommodate everyone from beginners to experts. During Lyra classes, you learn to mount, flip, bend, and pose on the hoop.
While you may think you need to be able to perform a pull-up to participate in class, Aerial CLT assures you that no pull-up is required - but they do caution you that the class will definitely be challenging, and you're likely to get a few bruises.
Unlimited Monthly: $150/month
8-Class Pass: $125
4-Class Pass: $75
They also offer packages for team building, birthday parties, and private lessons.
When we arrived at the studio and and I saw the hoops in person, I was pretty intimidated. But aside from that, Mel and I were both excited to give the class a shot.
The practice area for Lyra had four different height hoops, ranging from a couple feet off the ground to more than five feet up.
Our class had about eight people in it and began with light stretching (with and without the hoop) to get us warmed up. The instructor of our Lyra class, Katie Rothweiler, assured us that she would walk us through everything we needed to know (which she did - thanks, Katie!).
Then class began.
Throughout the class, Katie would demonstrate each move for us, and then we would practice it. She guided us through each posture to ensure we were doing it correctly, then let us practice on our own.
As excited as I was to finally get on the hoop, the first time actually doing any of the movements felt pretty strange. We started on the low hoop, which you could get into just by sitting in it. Each series of movements has a name, such as 'Star' or 'Mermaid.' The movement felt pretty out-of-the-oridinary (likely because Mel and I don't frequently play around on metal apparatuses), but once my body flowed through it a few times, it got a lot easier.
We quickly learned that the key to mastering each move wasn't physical, but mental. Inverting upside down using a hoop isn't exactly a natural movement, but Katie assured us that we were strong enough to perform the move - we just needed to trick our brains into doing it. She was right. Once we got past the initial 'this feels really odd' sensation, each movement became more fluid and easier to navigate.
The 90-minute class flew by! We played around on two different height hoops, learned multiple movements, and were even able to perform a sequence of moves by the end of class. I have to say, I think this was the most fun I've ever had working out. It's hard to even call it a workout because it was so much fun. I felt like a kid playing on a playground.
Mel and I loved the experience so much that we each purchased a class pass and made a sweat date to go back to Lyra class the following week.
Aside from the bruises, we were both sore for days. No exaggeration. Even if the class is so much fun that you don't feel like you're working out, you most certainly are. There were muscles in my arms that were sore that I never knew existed. Opening doors and getting dressed proved to be a bit of a challenge post-Lyra class.
When you give aerial a try, don't say we didn't warn you you'd be sore.
The Bottom Line
Are you ready to check out Aerial CLT?
Is there a class or fitness studio you think we should try for our Work For Your Beer Spotlight series? Would your gym or studio like to featured on the Work For Your Beer blog? In either case, you can reach out to Danielle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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