When I signed myself up for an aerial yoga class, I imagined myself relaxing in a hammock, potentially even taking up a nap while my other more flexible friends attempted the wide variety of stretches and positions. 

Ten minutes in, with the guidance of a helpful yoga instructor at the wonderful Carlisle Yoga Studio, I somehow managed to flip out the elevated nylon cloth and land on two feet. 

As someone who, in 26 years on this planet, has never successfully completed a backwards roll, this was a significant achievement for me, and testament to how you can surprise yourself when attempting something new.

I attended the class as part of an event with local group Twentee-total, which has been set up to help young people in Carlisle make friends in an alcohol-free setting. 

Alongside 11 other beginners, I arrived at the Yoga Studio feeling a mixture of nervousness and amusement at the situation I had put myself in, as I prepared to spend the next hour aerial. 

After everyone's hammock was adjusted to the appropriate height, I hoisted myself in to get used to the feel of the fabric supporting my weight.

When the instructor suggested that we stylishly flip out of the fabric rather than gracelessly sliding off the edge, I almost laughed, but as the sound of more and more feet hitting the yoga mats filled my ears, I decided to attempt the option that was far more unnatural to me. 

With a little encouragement, I landed it.

Much of the class was then dedicated to stretching out our legs, backs and arms with the use of the fabric, although much of my focus was on not losing my balance.

To finish, the instructor suggested that we could go upside down - a concept entirely foreign to me before the class, but after my earlier exploits I was keen to give it a go.

News and Star: I hung from this position for a few moments, until the blood rushed to my headI hung from this position for a few moments, until the blood rushed to my head (Image: Jimmy Moorhouse)

Again, with her help, I manoeuvred my legs into a position which held my body weight, and I briefly hung from the fabric like a bat.

For anyone looking for an alternative option to a night out in the city centre, or who wants to try something new, aerial yoga might just be your new thing.