Learn to Fly With Aerial Yoga
While so many of us struggle to find the best yoga mat out there — it isn’t uncommon anymore for yogis to ditch their mat in place of suspension hammocks. Aerial yoga is a fun way to take your yoga practice to new heights!
What Is Aerial Yoga?
Similarly to yoga, aerial yoga is bringing awareness to your mind-body connection while also helping increase strength and flexibility.
Aerial yoga takes traditional yoga poses and lifts them off the ground with the use of an aerial hammock.
“Feeling grounded in this elevated form of yoga takes deep concentration and mindfulness as students get used to being lifted off the ground in many poses,” says Abby Nagler, founder, co-owner, and aerial yoga certified instructor at The Little Yoga House in Austin, Texas.
Aerial yoga brings an additional challenge in the form of mindfulness and strength.
While some forms of aerial yoga focus on building strength, there’s also the other, more gentle, side. “Aerial yoga can also be very therapeutic and healing when the hammocks are used in a more restorative style,” says Nagler.
What Are The Benefits of Aerial Yoga?
Aerial yoga can provide you with a lot of physical and mental benefits.
- Total-Body Workout
Doing yoga postures in the air with the aerial hammock is a total-body workout. Each posture requires strength and flexibility. You focus a lot on muscle engagement (especially in your core) to perform each pose while suspended in the air.
- Mentally Rejuvenating
Aerial yoga requires the same mental focus on relaxation and alignment that many yoga practitioners experience. This focus and clearing of the mind relieves stress and may increase your creativity.
- Increases Flexibility
By counteracting gravity, aerial yoga may release tension in your joints. Healthy joints can increase your range of motion and allow you to push your body into new poses.
- Improves Back Pain
The aerial hammock allows you to counteract gravity while hanging in midair and can help lengthen your spine. Counteracting gravity while working out may remove strain from your back and ease tension in your joints.
- Builds Strength
Performing yoga poses while floating above the ground requires strength to maintain healthy alignment. Poses target the upper and lower body while also building core strength.
Can Aerial Yoga Help With Weight Loss?
Combine aerial yoga with other forms of diet and exercise to improve your physical health and lose weight.
“While weight loss is not the focus at my studio, the more vigorous classes are a great way to keep your body healthy and toned,” says Nagler. “Students that come two to three times a week tend to feel the strengthening benefits of the practice and an increase in their skill level and physical ability.”
According to a study done by ACE, aerial yoga increases your metabolic rate, like other forms of exelrcise (like a brisk walk). Aerial yoga is a unique way to exercise and stay healthy and fit.
Can Beginners Do Aerial Yoga?
While aerial yoga might not be everyone’s cup of tea, it is beginner-friendly.
“I always like to say when someone seems hesitant to take a class that you do NOT need to be in Cirque du Soleil to be able to practice aerial yoga!” says Nagler.
Many studios keep their aerial yoga class sizes small to ensure that the teachers give individualized attention (no matter your experience level).
If you are new to aerial yoga, arrive 15 minutes early for the class to give yourself time to chat with the teacher, ask questions, and get settled.
It’s cold outside, and staying motived during the winter months is a challenge. A new workout, like aerial yoga, may keep you committed to your fitness routine all season long!