A yoga studio in town offers aerial yoga so I decided to give it a whirl. As a yoga teacher, it’s important to nurture my own practice. I enjoy taking classes from other teachers so I can relax and experience yoga from the other side of the mat.

Aerial yoga has grown in popularity since Christopher Harrison started AntiGravity Yoga in 2007. Today, there are 250 locations worldwide, not to mention the very many generic “aerial yoga” classes. It’s a growing trend and there are some definite advantages to practicing yoga poses suspended Cirque du Soleil–style. But as much as I wanted to like it, I didn’t find it all that enjoyable. It was definitely challenging, but not much fun, nor was it an opportunity for introspection.

Despite my athletic endeavors over the years, I am not—as they say in CrossFit parlance—gymnasty. That means handstands, flips on the rings and rope climbs are not my thing. I’ve mastered rope climbs, but I’m just too “grounded” for inversions. I can get one leg up but can’t seem to get the second foot off the ground. And flips? I don’t think I even did them as a kid. And of course, much of that does come into play in aerial yoga.

The class I took was for beginners, designed to introduce students to the colorful swinging slings of silky material suspended from the ceiling. There were seven of us and I was the oldest by about 35 years—the other women were all in their 20s. Normally this wouldn’t bother me, but that day I felt awkward and old. Maybe because I felt so out of my comfort zone.

I was fine with the basic yoga moves, like Warrior poses or Bound Angle. Working with the instability of swinging fabric offers an added challenge for your balance and gives your core a great work out. And I had Savasana (Corpse pose) mastered—it was like resting in a hammock. But when it came time to grasp the silk with both hands and flip, I just couldn’t get myself to do it, even with the security of material to support me.

I also felt rushed. By the time I got into a pose supported by the sling, or managed to climb completely within it for something like Tree pose, the teacher was ready to move on to the next pose. Even the students who were able to quickly get into position didn’t seem to have much time to experience it before we were moving on.

This would be a great class for someone who has a gymnastics background, but I felt more frustrated than relaxed. I had hoped that having the slings to support me would get me past my mental block of inversions but I still wasn’t able to break through.

My experience got me to wondering: Was this yoga or an acrobatic class?

Yoga is about the mind/body connection. Yoga teaches us that if we’re anxious to get out of a pose, that’s when we need it most. As we sink into it, breathe into it, we take that inward journey toward self-discovery. Perhaps if I’d been able to settle into a pose long enough, I might have felt I was making that transformative connection.