Yoga has grown in popularity in the Western world over the last few decades, and there are many forms of yoga, ranging from yin to vinyasa. Following the trend, Christopher Harrison founded a new type of yoga in 2007 and named it aerial yoga.
Your first glimpse of the current fitness craze may have come from Instagram, specifically the popular hashtag #AerialYoga, where images of stunning, gravity-defying yoga poses have been circulating. But you don’t have to be an acrobat to learn and enjoy aerial, or antigravity, workouts.
In this blog, we’ve covered all the important information you need about aerial yoga to make use of this fun, yet extremely beneficial workout.
What Is Aerial Yoga?
Instead of doing yoga on a mat, aerial yoga uses a silk hammock or sling suspended from the ceiling to go through the same motions. The hammock’s goal is to provide support during your yoga practice while simultaneously developing flexibility and range of motion.
The hammock also relieves pressure on specific regions of the body, such as the head and shoulders, allowing you to achieve more difficult positions, such as headstands, with greater comfort. Although most aerial yoga photographs show a yogi poised in midair, many of its postures just need you to lift one body component, such as your foot or leg, off the ground.
Benefits of Aerial Yoga
Relieves compression on the spine: When you are securely inverted and do not put as much strain on your spine as many people do because of o poor posture, etc., aerial yoga allows you to ease compression on your spine. Many people notice a difference after their first experience with it.
Improves strength and flexibility: Because you are on a swinging instrument, aerial yoga thoroughly engages your body and demands that it be stabilized during each posture. As you practice aerial yoga, your strength, flexibility, and stamina, will naturally develop.
Reduces stress and relaxes the mind: You focus on your breath, your body, and how powerful it feels to keep your position as you relax into aerial yoga poses. It allows you to switch into relaxation mode while still getting good exercise.
Beginners can easily do it: Aerial yoga is a fun way to mix up a typical yoga practice session, and it’s also a fantastic method for beginners to learn about yoga poses and how to properly align their body. Consider the silk hammock or yoga swing to be a posture corrector. If you gain strength and confidence via yoga, you can try out regular yoga classes.
Encourages you to overcome fear: Aerial yoga may be a fun “let’s-try-it” activity for some, but not everyone is completely comfortable defying gravity. This type of yoga encourages you to conquer your fear and attempt new things. As you acquire confidence, and faith in what your body is capable of, you will carry that confidence with you outside the yoga room.
8 Popular Aerial Yoga Poses That You Should Try
Since aerial yoga poses often go with different names, the names used here are generic ones. If you attend a class, your instructor may use more traditional names for yoga poses, or even something completely different.
We’ve listed some popular poses that you should try if you’re looking for a full-body workout.
Anti-Gravity Warrior Pose
Aerial yoga’s anti-gravity warrior poses require a great deal of balance and coordination. To achieve the optimum results, keep your eyes straight ahead, your arms steady, and your core muscles taut. Use the straps to redistribute the pressure of your body weight, and always use a spotter at first to ensure your balance.
Anti-Gravity Pigeon Pose
The pigeon pose, a cornerstone of mat yoga, is reasonably simple to execute using your aerial yoga swing for a deep and calming stretch. Remember to maintain a straight back!
Inverted Pigeon Pose
When you’re feeling brave, attempt some inversions with a spotter or teacher nearby! This inverted pigeon position stretches your hips deeply and realigns your spine. It is ideal for individuals who spend far too much time at their desk!
Try the inverted pigeon pose with your hands in the prayer position behind your back for an added stretch. This provides a deep and pleasurable stretch to your chest and shoulders. Hold this position for around 30 seconds before releasing your hands.
Aerial Splits Pose
If you can’t complete the full splits, use the yoga swing or silks to lead you slowly. Control your drop with your hands and stretch as far as you feel comfortable. You can push yourself a little further if you’re warm. Aerial yoga swings, hammocks, and silks are great for increasing flexibility, so if you’re working on doing the splits on the floor, this is the place to be!
Inverted Bow Pose
This is the pinnacle of backbends! There’s only one back bend to rule them all! Pull your ankles down even farther to get a better stretch.
Aerial Stag Pose
This is a great stance with lovely lines. Again, pointed toes make a huge difference. The term ‘stag’ relates to the legs’ form, which is similar to that of a galloping stag, but upside-down! The straight leg is hooked to the hammock in this variant of the Aerial Stag stance.
Aerial Star Pose
This is a simple stance that, despite its simplicity, is fantastic for improving your posture and spinal health in general. A must-have for every aerial yoga enthusiast.
A straight line is quite tough to achieve! Try to keep your attention focused and resist the urge to look ‘up’ at your feet – and relax and meditate!
Tips On Aerial Yoga For Beginners
You may expect a joyful and transforming experience if you’re new to aerial yoga fitness. However, the practice can be difficult, and your body may require some time to adjust. Here are some pointers to keep in mind before your first class.
Trust the sling: Because the sling can carry a couple of thousand pounds, this is a body-inclusive activity. Aerial yoga is accessible to people of all shapes, sizes, and abilities.
Wear the proper clothing: For an aerial yoga session, you should wear tight yoga trousers or leggings, rather than loose pants or shorts. A sports bra is required, as is a fitting training shirt that covers the underarms if you have sensitive skin, given that the slings might cause chafing.
Avoid eating a major meal for at least an hour before class: You will want to avoid eating a heavy meal for at least an hour before class, but you don’t want to walk into the class with low blood sugar, so a light snack like a banana beforehand should suffice.
Leave the jewelry at home since it can get snagged in the slings.
Speak up. If you need assistance with the sling or are uncomfortable in a posture, don’t hesitate to ask the instructor for assistance. That is why they are there, and they want you to have a good time during the lesson.
FAQs About Aerial Yoga
Is Aerial Yoga For You?
As previously said, everyone from all walks of life are welcome at an aerial yoga session; nevertheless, many people are unsure if they are able to participate.
Can Pregnant Women Do Aerial Yoga?
If you are pregnant, you must use extreme caution. Pregnant women face three major risks: falling, sickness, and harm to their connective tissues.
That said, there are an increasing number of aerial yoga courses made specifically for pregnant women, and it can be a good idea to attend these if you want to get into the practice while carrying.
Can Men Do Aerial Yoga?
If you do a Google search for aerial yoga, you will be bombarded with thousands of photographs and articles made by women, which regrettably gives the impression that it is primarily a female exercise. This, however, is not the case.
The aerial alternative, like traditional yoga, does not discriminate against gender, and men are more than welcome in the yoga swing.
While females dominate the activity, it was really established by a man named Christopher Harrison. This should be enough to indicate that it is appropriate for all sexes.
Can Overweight People Do Aerial Yoga?
Another prevalent myth about yoga — aerial or otherwise — is that you must have a super-slim physique to participate, but this is, quite plainly, wrong.
One of the best things about yoga is that it allows you to conduct a cardio workout while also burning calories. Combine this with the muscle toning, connective tissue stretching, and mental health advantages, and you have one of the best full-body workouts in the world.
So why shouldn’t folks who are a few pounds overweight be able to participate?
Can Children Do Aerial Yoga?
Traditional yoga may not pique the interest of children and teenagers in the same way as aerial yoga does. As a result, we don’t see many young people on the mat. Why not encourage your children to try aerial exercise because it is exciting and kids’ lessons can be made so much fun! It is not only entertaining, but it also has numerous health benefits, both physically and mentally, and can be incredibly good to children and young people.
Of course, it’s important to remember that a child should never be left unaccompanied on an aerial yoga swing because there’s a genuine risk of them falling and getting hurt.
What is aerial yoga good for?
Aerial yoga allows you to hold every pose securely. You can even expect to improve your lung capacity with time. You must work on your flexibility on a regular basis if you want to retain a wide range of motion. The classes can undoubtedly assist you in safely stretching your muscles and tendons.
Can beginners do aerial yoga?
One of the amazing things about the global popularity of aerial yoga is the range of classes that have sprung up.
These sessions are not limited to those who already have a thorough understanding of the discipline, and there are numerous introductory classes to pick from.
The most crucial thing is that newcomers take a lesson taught by a competent and qualified specialist.
Can you lose weight with aerial yoga?
According to experts, aerial yoga helps you lose weight by challenging you to use your muscles in order to execute the yoga poses while in the air. This can assist you in developing toned and lean muscles while also burning body fat.
Is aerial yoga dangerous?
Aerial yoga is a relatively risk-free type of exercise for almost everyone. You will be fine whether you take classes or go it alone, as long as you take adequate precautions and don’t push your body before it’s ready.
Is aerial yoga good for back pain?
Using an aerial hammock or yoga swing can enhance the advantages of mat yoga in relieving lower back pain and sciatica. Because the swing supports your body, the postures become non-weight bearing, allowing for a safe stretch.
Aerial yoga may not be able to replace regular asana classes, but it can help to balance your practice. The key emphasis of this kind of yoga, which are balance and core integration, can help you develop greater strength and balance that you can apply to a more traditional practice.
If you are new to this type of yoga, you should ideally take a class at a specialized aerial yoga studio. If you opt to practice at home, use safe and well-placed ceiling anchors or an aerial yoga stand.
However, if you feel that aerial yoga is not for you, there are many other kinds of yoga that you can try. To learn more about them, keep reading SEEMA.