Aerial Yoga – Hanging Out At Uplift Maui

Aerial Yoga – Hanging Out at Uplift Maui

When you go to Maui you expect to “hang ten” if you’re brave enough to surf. Personally, I am not into surfing because I am afraid that the surfboard may knock me out or I become a shark snack. Instead, I hung out at the Uplift Maui studio at Hotel Wailea and took an aerial yoga class. No sharks involved.

No, really. I literally hung out for an hour taking an aerial yoga class taught by the amazing Dre, not to be confused with Dr. Dre. The class was awesome! 

I love to be upside down! - GGA
I love to be upside down! – GGA

It’s been a while since I have done anything related to aerial silks or trapeze, two things that I do for “fitness” so I was pretty excited about this class.

If you never heard of aerial yoga, it’s yoga that you do with the help of an aerial sling – think of a hammock or swing that is made of silk. It helps you sort of “defy gravity” and supports you during certain poses. For some beginners, this may actually be impossible to do without help from the sling. Dre refers to the sling as a “dance partner” that you may have to get used to.

Speaking of Dre…

Dre, Andrea a.k.a. Dre, was my first aerial silks instructor who had moved to Maui a couple of years ago to persue her dream of opening her own yoga studio. There was no way I was NOT going to take one of her classes during my visit. Besides, my bikini said it’s time to get back into a fitness routine plus the location for this particular class which was at Hotel Wailea is freakin’ beautiful!

Andrea and CaSandra - GGA
Andrea and CaSandra – GGA

Luckily, I ended up being able to get into her aerial yoga – basic class designed for beginners only because a student had cancelled. Dre’s classes tend to book up pretty quickly!

Dre has always been an amazing teacher. She is very patient with beginners and describes alternatives for those who may be a bit more advanced.

She also has “hawk eyes”. Meaning, if she sees you doing something that might cause you to live out the rest of your days in a wheelchair, she catches it and will quickly correct you. Even after class and you think she’s only paying attention to you while you chat away while others are taking selfies while hanging upside down. She’s always watching – like a hawk.

You can read more about Dre on her website. Girl’s got some creds so you’ll be in good silks hands.

The class – Aerial Yoga Basics

You don’t need any yoga experience to take this class. Dre demonstrates the poses for the class and explains how to get into the sling and all that fun stuff.

We did lunges, planks, things that stretch your back, thighs, hips,  your mind – ok maybe not your mind – and even some handstand stuff. I was quite sore the next day and it felt great!

My favorite part was hanging upside down because I was a bat in a former life.

Sometimes your whole body is in the sling and sometimes only partially. Keep in mind that because you are using a sling and you are putting some weight into it, it may feel a little uncomfortable at first.

Aerial Yoga in Maui - GGA
Aerial Yoga in Maui – GGA

Dre will help you adjust if you feel like you are being pinched or it just feels weird. If you plan on doing aerial yoga often, you will get used to the sling like a dance partner who might be stepping on your feet often.

Location – Hotel Wailea – Maui

I am not exaggerating when I say that the location is paradise. Uplift Maui is located in the wellness studio overlooking the pool area and a beautiful view of the ocean at the adult-only Hotel Wailea.

The round shaped room has a very zen, feng shui feel to it and you seriously have to remind yourself that you are “really there”.

Classes are open to the public but if you are a guest of Hotel Wailea you can receive complimentary classes.

Other Classes

While I only had time for one class, Uplift Maui offers more classes and you can view the schedule and book a class here. You can even book a private lesson or semi-private lesson and don’t be afraid to try a a trapeze or aerial silks class! You’ll be hooked! In a good, safe way, of course.

So if you happen to be on your way to Maui for whatever reason – book a class and tell Dre you read my cool blog and I convinced you to take her class!

Aloha, mahalo and namaste!


May the Bowel be With You

Never drink the water.

This was the first rule that was drilled into my head when I started traveling. Never drink tap water in any country, even if it’s an industrialized or westernized country. Use bottled water when brushing your teeth. Be careful about eating too many raw fruits or vegetables because they too contain water. I’ve been told to not eat ice cubes. International water bad. Bad bad bad.

For the most part, I have followed this advice as stomach issues are the last thing I want to experience on any trip. I always have bottled water handy and I convince myself that the alcohol kills any issues ice cubes may give me in my margaritas. I was proud of my track record of 19 countries visited without incident.

Then I went to Morocco.

Casandra and I were extremely excited about visiting our first African nation. Armed with basic Arabic phrases (although the majority of locals spoke French – do your research prior to the trip!) we bebopped through Fez…Marrakech…the Sahara…on trucks…in motorcades…on camelbacks….and filled our bellies with the nationally renowned tagine dishes. We ate every variation available with any protein source that the locals recommended. It was oh so delicious. And of course, we both were diligent about drinking only bottled water and ensured the water was boiled in our teas. On the fourth night, we checked into this beautiful riad and began settling in for the night.

Casandra: Ummm…Michelle, do you want to go for a walk?

Michelle: Nah, I’m pretty tired.

Casandra: You sure? Why don’t you go outside for just a little bit? Ok fuck it, I have to use the restroom!

Michelle: What?


<not so silent>

Michelle: Ohhhhh myyyy goodness. Don’t worry, I’ll turn the music up!

Casandra: What the fuck?! My stomach! Turn the music up louder!

I laughed my ass off! I laughed and I laughed. Even Casandra laughed as her ass was glued to the toilet. Poor Casandra had been hit with a stomach bug….and just as I started to sympathize with her, it hit me. Fuck. So I ran to the lobby bathroom since Casandra was still in ours and let my bowels scream. Now, it was a very quiet riad and the bathroom had one of those saloon kind of doors that don’t go all the way to the floor…oh the agony of trying to be quiet but also not giving a fuck. All I wanted was to get the gut wrenching insanity out of my body at whatever the cost. After what seemed like a solid 30 minutes, I completed my expulsions and walked out to find an employee standing right outside the door. Fantastic. Perhaps he thought my innards were about to explode so was on standby to help? Or perhaps he seized the opportunity to record the gringo losing it in their bathroom and hoped to create a viral moment? I was too exhausted to even feel shamed. The only thing I knew at that time was that it wasn’t over. And I was right.

Over the next few days, both Casandra and I couldn’t keep anything down. But as dedicated foodies, we didn’t stop eating. Oh no, we just ensured there was a bathroom nearby at all times and came up with a system so that we could guard the door and keep passerby’s from earshot distance. Even though Casandra and I had known each other more than 14 years by this time…I never felt closer to her until this trip. This must be how war veterans feel with their fellow soldiers…Casandra and I had waged our own Saving Private Ryan kind of opening war scene and we came out knowing that we could travel through anything after Morocco.

Till this day, we still don’t know what caused it. It had to be something we both ate since we ruled out the water factor. Our best guess was that it was a spice that was used in the tagine dishes or maybe it’s because we ate so many of them so we had spice overload. Our next guess is that it could have been all the mint teas we drank and maybe our system wasn’t used to having so much fresh mint. I never would have guessed that after all this time worrying about water, that something completely different would be the one to get me. But the one thing we will never guess about again is whether or not to bring that anti-diarrheal pack. Take our advice and bring it.