Aerial yoga is a fun and unique type of yoga where the practitioner works in step with a suspended hammock. This allows a unique connection with gravity in which truly remarkable positions and postures can be attained without difficulty. One can maneuver their center of balance, can swing about to stimulate lymph flow, and can easily achieve inversions. The Huffington Post takes a closer look at this new practice, and what all it entails.
If you like yoga — even if you don’t do it that often — you should definitely, certainly, positively consider giving Aerial Yoga a try.
For me, aerial yoga was like normal yoga… times 10. Not times 10 in terms of difficulty, but in terms of how effective, fulfilling and calming it was.
Here’s how it works: You sit on a soft, fabric hammock that looks kind of like a long scarf. These hammocks are made out of special, high-density nylon material that can support over 2,000 pounds, so don’t worry – you’re not going to tear them.
The hammocks are held up by carabineers, support chains and webbing straps. You can adjust the height according to personal preference, or for better maneuverability. (Note: You’ll also want to bring your normal yoga mat to an aerial yoga class so you have something to stand on.)
Throughout the yoga class, you do various traditional yoga poses or aerial adaptations of traditional poses using the hammock for support.
Some of the most basic poses involve simple stretches while seated on the hammock, while other poses progress to hanging upside down and grabbing your thighs, ankles or feet for support and balance.
Why Aerial Yoga?
Aerial yoga offers many of the same benefits and enjoyments of regular yoga, but it also has some additional benefits as well:
Greater Flexibility. Since you have more freedom of movement, you can move your body into new positions. In some cases, this can result in a deeper and more fulfilling stretch than traditional yoga offers.
Better Focus. By putting yourself in a more challenging situation than usual, aerial yoga forces you to be more alert and aware of your surroundings. You will likely also try to concentrate harder because you’re not used to being suspended in the air during your yoga practice.
Strengthened Muscles. Because gravity is working harder on your body than usual, your muscles work harder too. Aerial yoga is also a great core workout because you have to engage your core muscles to balance and stabilize yourself during your yoga session.
Stress-Relief. Much like traditional yoga, aerial yoga is great for stress relief. Not only do you use poses and stretches common to other forms of yoga to relieve stress, but you also experience the joy of knowing that you did something new and exciting, which makes you feel good.
Of course, any kind of physical exercise poses some risk of injury. So what are the risks associated with aerial yoga?