I was recently looking for a way to decompress from all of the stressful events in 2020 and the hectic holiday season when I came across Park City Yoga Adventure’s (PCYA) Snowshoe + Yoga in Silks experience. I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with yoga as I truly enjoy the benefits of yoga, mindfully moving my body, stretching, slowing down, but my ADHD will usually kick in and won’t let me just sit and relax. Yoga … in aerial silks, however, really piqued my interest as I thought it must have a playful and fun element to it.
Aerial yoga is a type of airborne fitness that is practiced in a silk hammock suspended from the ceiling to support your body weight, as opposed to stretched out across a mat laying on the floor. Through some research I’ve found there are many benefits of aerial yoga:
- Deepens stretches
- Relieves joint pressure and spinal compression that floor workouts can trigger
- Releases tension
- Increases balance and proprioception (bodily awareness)
- Enhances core strength
- Improves breath awareness
- Easier access to inverted postures
- Releases endorphins
While all of these offer positive additions to your fitness routine, possibly one of the most notable is the fact that hanging suspended in the air somehow, someway offers a sense of safety, kind of feeling like you are being enveloped in a cocoon, which can be especially comforting for feeling relaxed in the present moment and current state of affairs. Aerial yoga is a complementary practice to traditional yoga, as both of them obviously have their respective benefits, but what I noticed is that aerial yoga uses the silk hammock as a prop to really help your body get deeper into postures. From any images of aerial yoga, you might assume that it’s incredibly difficult (being suspended and all), but partaking in the practice can actually lead to improved flexibility and more ease of movement than in traditional yoga.
No experience is necessary for PCYA’s Yoga in Silk experience. Let the day’s stress melt away as you float in the stunning 4U Ranch indoor, heated barn situated on 75 -acres of private property along the Weber River in beautiful Peoa, just twenty-five minutes from Park City, Utah.
- What: Park City Yoga Adventures Snowshoe + Yoga in Silk
- Where: 4URanch 3158 West 5000 North in Peoa, Utah. It's about 25 minutes from Main Street Park City. Park City Yoga Adventures does not provide transportation.
- When: Just Yoga in Silk Monday - Sunday 4:00-5:00 pm, Snowshoe + Yoga in Silk Monday - Sunday 3:00-5:00 pm. The barn is rented privately for adventures and parties are not combined.
- Who: Guests looking for a relaxing and unique experience that will get them out of their comfort zone in a playful and fun way.
Signing up for PCYA’s Snowshoe + Yoga in Silks was a breeze. I booked via their website and PCYA’s founder Julia Geisler swiftly reached out to get me set up with a date and time that worked for my schedule. She made sure that I knew this would be a private experience with just the people in my group.
Traveling to 4U Ranch from Park City was an easy and enjoyable drive. After heading through Browns Canyon, you arrive in the town of Peoa, a rural community filled with horses, cows, ranches, a rodeo, and stunning views of mountain tops. A perfect spot to feel like you are off the beaten path for an immersive and extraordinary experience. As I headed up the road to the 4URanch I couldn’t help to think how far away Park City felt. Just 25 minutes ago I was amongst a bit more hustle and bustle, but now I was surrounded by wide open spaces and horses guiding me towards the 4URanch barn.
As I pulled up to the parking area, I was greeted by the ranch owner's dog, Bear, a cute and curious pup, who wanted to say hello. The classic timber-framed barn, which was designed with the views and lighting in mind, sits along the Weber River and is stunning, a perfect and peaceful spot for a yoga practice. Julia met our group in the barn and we were each given a branded water bottle gift to take home because, of course, hydration is key when you are at high altitude.
Due to our excursion being early winter, there was very little snow on the ground for our snowshoe, so we had to improvise a bit. Usually, Julia would start with the snowshoe, but instead, we began our experience with the Yoga in Silks in the barn, followed by a hike to the river for some warm tea.
In the barn, the silks were hung from the rafters with enough distance for us to feel safe enough to take off our masks. Julia then introduced us to the practice of Yoga in Silks, not so different from traditional yoga, but with the help of the hammock as a prop, we are able to get into poses and sink a little deep, plus have some fun by defying gravity and getting airborne. Julia helped guide us through a fun yoga practice that didn’t take itself too seriously where she taught us how to trust the hammock as it would hold us in the various different positions we were flowing through. And just because aerial yoga focuses on movements suspended from the ground it doesn’t mean there’s zero floor work. We incorporated both floor work and the hammocks into our practice. It was quite different using the hammock for yoga poses, and I almost liked it better, plus you get to swing around and lay in it like an actual hammock which helps to not take it all so seriously.
The silks can feel a little intimidating at first, but Julia was patient and a great guide helping us to feel comfortable with this new to our practice. As we flowed, stretched, and even got inverted, I felt completely at peace. The atmosphere of the barn helped to bring about this tranquil and mindful feeling as I felt like there was nowhere else I needed to be. I was fully present and in the moment enjoying the experience of defying gravity out in the middle of nowhere.
After our cocooned savasana, we layered up and headed out on a hike along the Weber River. The ranch property continued to stun, with soaring cliff faces overhead as we walked along the babbling river. When we reached our destination, Julia pulled out some warm tea and we continued to take in the beautiful scenery.
This was truly an incredible wellness experience. I felt rejuvenated and restored through the deep stretching and restorative practice of aerial yoga and by spending time out in nature taking in the cool fresh air.
So I think I just picked up a new hobby! Aerial yoga was even more enjoyable and decompressing than I thought it would be. It was a slow-flowing, meditative, and restorative experience with a body-mind-spirit connection that used the hammock apparatus to gain flexibility, strength, mobility, and agility. I will definitely be back! So if you’re looking for a unique winter wellness experience that is like none other, than look no further than Park City Yoga Adventures Snowshoe and Yoga in Silks (hopefully you’ll have better luck on the snowshoe front)
- Wear your yoga clothes as your base layer and snow clothes on top.
- Make sure you have gloves, hats, thick socks, and waterproof boots for snowshoeing.
- Have minimal zippers and buttons on your yoga attire so that the yoga silks don’t get snagged.
- There is a changing room so you will be able to change out of your snowshoeing attire.
- The barn is heated, but I was a little chilly at the beginning of yoga, have a light sweatshirt to begin yoga with.
- Have Fun and Enjoy!