Vail Today: Aerial Yoga at The Westin offers ways to prep body for winter sports (video)

Winter sports can be taxing on the body, so prepping in advance can help you enjoy your activities more and prevent injury. In addition to working your major muscle groups, consider doing aerial yoga to help you strengthen the core, lengthen the muscles used in winter sports and decompress the spine. Aerial yoga uses fabric that is set up much like a hammock, which is used as a prop for yoga postures and can be used for all levels and styles of yoga. The hammock is there to assist with various yoga poses and help to deepen stretches and allow participants to get inverted without compressing the spine. Tanya Miller, who is a yoga instructor at Athletic Club at The Westin, has been teaching aerial yoga since they started doing it at the club two years ago. “There’s this immediate way in which you get feedback from the hammock which allows you to notice how your body is shifting and then each class takes you to a different place,” Miller said. “I would say within two to three classes you notice the difference in how your core feels and the ability to feel a little stronger and notice where your balance is.” Wendy Nichamin has been taking yoga classes at the Athletic Club at the Westin for many years, but fell in love with aerial yoga after it helped her back and neck issues. “It is unlike anything that I’ve ever done before, some of it is very goofy, but you feel very uninhibited because everybody is just doing their own thing and I see good results,” said Nichamin. Kevin Hahn has been doing aerial yoga for the past 6 months and got into it for the stretching and hanging upside down. “It helps to decompress my spine, and the stretching while you’re in the air is much more than if you are on the floor. There’s a wider range of motion, so it is very helpful,” Hahn said. “We love to welcome newcomers. No experience is necessary, all you need is a great attitude and the need to try something different,” Miller said. To learn more and visit

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