Aerial yoga is a relatively new style of yoga (5-10 yrs) that blends traditional yoga poses, pilates, acrobatics, and dance with the use of a hammock-like fabric as a strategized, user-friendly method, that help the practitioner to self-direct his/her own journey into a posture and beyond. You might have heard it being called Aerial Yoga, Suspension Yoga, Flying Yoga, or Anti-Gravity Yoga - they are all very similar, but they may use a different style of fabric/hammock/swing.
Aerial yoga may have seemed faddish at first, but it’s still gaining momentum. That’s in part because of its surprising physical benefits, including spinal decompression, pain relief, and ease in inversions and other challenging poses, and also because it’s a potent teaching tool for finding better alignment in most postures.
Top 10 Health Benefits of Aerial Yoga:
1. Full body toning: Due to the nature of the practice, almost all the body parts are compelled to move and extend. Muscles are conditioned and redefined, and joints are regenerated and strengthened due to the nature of the practice where it defies gravity allowing the practitioner to perform various poses that might be difficult to do on the mat but easier in mid-air.
2. Mentally beneficial: helps to cultivate critical thinking skills by forcing the practitioner to think outside of the box, or in this case, the “swing”. It requires the student to problem solve in the present moment to find the best posture for them within the swing.
3. Enhances flexibility: Aerial yoga helps you to move all the more uninhibitedly, with less exertion, by neutralizing gravity. Suspension in the air releases strain on the bones and muscles, increasing flexibility and deepening your practice. Aerial yoga strengthens core muscles and increases spinal and shoulder flexibility.
4. Mends back issues: Aerial Yoga uses gravity to decompress the spine to lengthen with ease and less strain on your back and neck while doing the postures, it releases tension in the spinal cord and hip joint, helping you feel better.
5. Cultivates strength: Aerial Yoga offers the ability for the physical body to cultivate strength by exercising postures that allow the practitioner to pull, push, hold, balance, and invert.
6. Mood enhancer: Another key advantage of the practice is that it kicks in your adrenaline while going against gravity. It also releases “happy” hormones like serotonin, endorphins, oxytocin, dopamine, which boost your mood and help you feel more energetic.
7. Improves balance: with the help of the swing, the practitioner can enter standing postures that are challenging without a prop or wall to hold on to, the swing acts as a prop to help the student get into a posture and hold it for longer periods of time, all while learning how much to use the support and how much to let go of it.
8. Supports digestion: The different types of stretches and inversions help improve the digestive system, thus helping in healing various digestion-related issues, including constipation and indigestion.
9. Old age and heart disease: Aerial yoga improves the circulation of blood, thus combating aging and its symptoms. Aerial yoga also helps detoxify the circulatory and lymphatic systems, which lowers the onset of various cardiovascular issues.
10. Improves memory: Aerial yoga fortifies your neural connections, thereby, rendering better memory power. In a way, practicing aerial yoga can make you smarter!
This practice may also be a great way for many to overcome their fears of heights or being upside now. Many people who attend my classes show up with these fears, and by the end of class they’ve kicked fear in the butt and they return time and time again. This practice is not for everyone, it is not recommended for individuals who have high blood pressure, cataracts, are pregnant, or anyone who hanging upside-down could cause medical complications.
If you’ve always been fascinated by the aerial acrobatics in Cirque du Soleil then you’re going to love Aerial yoga! As you feel the sensation of floating in the air, you practice yoga poses that strengthen your core as well as relieve aching joints and stretch tight muscles. Aerial yoga is great for beginners as well as individuals looking to spice up their yoga and/or fitness routine. This practice allows the practitioner to hang upside down like a monkey, unravel like a butterfly coming out of its cocoon, and feel like an acrobat in a circus! Because of its weightless poses, it also helps decompress the body through zero-compression inversion therapy.
Aerial yoga is a new addition to the adult’s playground so get ready to pack a sense of adventure, exercise new muscles in your body, and let the fun begin!
Check out my group classes and you can also book me for privates, retreats, and festivals!