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Have you practiced yoga for a while and are ready to try something new? Or maybe you’re looking for a unique workout to add to your fitness routine. Then aerial yoga might be for you!
While the images of gravity-defying yoga poses may seem a bit intimidating, you don’t need to be an acrobat to learn and love aerial yoga. In fact, many aerial yoga poses only require you to take one foot off the ground. And by taking a beginner or introductory class you can learn all of the basic wraps and poses.
You will find that there are many reasons why aerial yoga is an excellent workout option. Today you will learn about the many reasons why aerial yoga is good for your mind, body, and spirit.
If you haven’t tried it yet, you will want to after reading this post.
What is Aerial Yoga?
Aerial yoga or anti-gravity yoga is a type of yoga that combines yoga, acrobatic elements, stretching, and Pilates. Instead of practicing on a yoga mat, you use an aerial hammock, also known as aerial silk. The hammock can be fixed at any height, taking into account the person’s height and fitness. For beginners, it’s recommended that the hammock is about 2 feet from the floor.
What are the Benefits of Arial Yoga?
Aerial Yoga is a unique exercise that has elements of cardio, strength and flexibility training. This means that you get a full-body workout in one session. There are so many other benefits to aerial yoga:
1. Aerial yoga will relieve compression of the spine.
First and foremost, aerial yoga will help your spine. Mainly if your yoga goals include better alignment for your back. By hanging on a yoga swing, you can release the tension on your back in poses that would possibly end up compressing your spine over if you were, say, lying on the floor. It will also help keep you from overstretching and compressing your back during backbends or downward-facing dog.
2. It can help you reach your inversion goals.
One extra fun benefit of aerial yoga is that it may help you get into inversions you may not necessarily be able to reach if you were grounded. The yoga swing is excellent to help us learn better balance. This is especially true when moving into handstands. By practicing inversions in the air, you will gain the ability to do the same on the ground.
3. Speaking of inversions… how about increasing that blood flow?!
In hanging upside down, you are increasing blood flow to your brain. Which is a wonderful thing for brain health and helps you detox your entire body.
Not to mention, in releasing some of the tension you may receive when moving into other poses through aerial yoga, you will increase blood flow to your joints and extremities. Aerial yoga is considered low-impact not only for the spine, but your joints as well.
Increased blood flow helps lower blood pressure and allows for detoxing in the body.
4. It gives your internal organs a “hug.”
If you try aerial yoga, you will lay your whole body on the yoga swing throughout your practice, specifically in backbends. In giving your organs a squeeze, you release toxins out of them. Your kidneys and liver will especially appreciate this.
Not only will you release toxins in your kidneys and liver, it will also allow for better digestion. You may sit on the swing and practice some twisting which will help pull toxins from the belly. As your stomach is sometimes considered your “second brain”, this is an especially beneficial aspect of aerial yoga.
Remember to breathe deeply into these poses. It helps to send the breath to your organs which will increase blood flow and release additional toxins.
5. Aerial yoga can deepen your pranayama practice (the practice of breath).
One major aspect of yoga is pranayama. Prana = life force. Yama = control. As our breath is a major component of our life force, pranayama is the practice of controlling that life force through the breath.
In stretching on a yoga swing, you are changing your perspective on your breath. You are feeling new sensations throughout your body, which will show you how to breathe deeper and in a more focused way.
6. Grow deeper into your stretches.
You will also find that as you utilize aerial yoga, you are increasing your flexibility. The swing can help relieve the pressure of body weight on your limbs and back, which will allow you to flow into deeper stretches. In relieving pressure, you can stretch further and therefore you will become more limber and grow ever longer.
7. Increase your core strength.
Not every pose is easy-peasy when you are practicing aerial yoga. Some moves require intense core strength. This is a good thing! You will access muscles you don’t normally use.
In being suspended off the ground, you are losing a point of contact that keeps you stable. You will learn how to stabilize your body using those deep core muscles.
Studies have shown that aerial yoga increases muscle mass and decreases fat in the body.
8. Find stability back on the ground.
When you practice yoga with a new perspective for the mind and body you will experience the same when you go back to the mat. As you increase core strength, balancing skills, and flexibility you elevate your ability to do the same when you are grounded again. You will find your mind and body to be activated in new, fulfilling ways for your practice.
9. Grow more fully into self-love.
As you learn the skills of aerial yoga you are doing more than just a full-body workout. You are increasing your confidence in trying something new. Plus, you are releasing endorphins into your system to help you feel happier and more secure in yourself.
Not only that, but you are deepening your mindfulness practice as you actively choose yourself and your health. We know that self-care is of the utmost importance. Aerial yoga is a beautiful way to do that.
10. Yoga is for every-body.
Yoga is an ancient practice deeply rooted in Hinduism and Buddhism. There are eight limbs of yoga. These limbs are a vehicle to reach samadhi (enlightenment).
Not only does yoga enhance your flexibility, posture, and strength, but it can deepen your connection to spirit, relieve depression and anxiety, and give you long-lasting skills for mindfulness. It is an all-encompassing experience.
Yoga will help you to become more fully present in the moment and will teach you how to love your body truly. It never matters how good you look while doing yoga. We aren’t all incredibly flexible and limber. Just remember you’re enhancing your self-care routine and putting love on your precious human form.
What’s important is that you enjoy your practice, whether you’re coming to the mat or hanging upside down on a yoga swing. Yoga is for everybody and every–body.
Is Aerial Yoga Safe?
All exercise involves some level of risk. When participating in aerial fitness some people experience dizziness as a result of inverting. So, it’s important to allow adequate time to reconnect and breathe after inversions. As with any workout class, it is important to inform your instructor of any existing medical issues, injuries, or other concerns before beginning class. It’s significant to note that you should avoid inversions during ariel yoga if you have a heart condition, unstable blood pressure, or glaucoma.
In addition, the hammocks used in professional studios are made of high-density fabric made to hold over 1000lbs. Yet, feel free to ask about the hammock to ensure that you feel safe and supported.
How to Find an Aerial Yoga Class
If you’d like to try aerial yoga I would recommend taking a class at a local studio. After you’ve practiced and have become proficient then you could consider adding a yoga hammock to your home gym.
To find a class, open your web browser and search ‘aerial yoga near me’. Browse the listings and visit the studio’s website. Read about the instructor’s experience and see if they offer a beginner class.
Have you tried aerial yoga? I’d love to hear about your experience. Please share in the comments!
Allison Coulter is a writer, herbalist, musician, farmer, and lover of nature. She is an avid traveler and backpacker, having traveled throughout most of the United States as well as parts of Asia and Europe. She has lived in Hawaii, Philadelphia, New Jersey, Boston, and California.
Allison is always growing her knowledge on wellness, herbalism, meditation, and yoga. She believes life is to be full of courageous adventure while maintaining mental, spiritual, and physical health. Environmentalism is at the heart of her values.
You can find Allison on Instagram @greenwitchrevolution
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