In your childhood you would have tried hanging upside down using bedsheets or towels with your parents help for fun. Likewise, have you ever tried to swing on a fabric or on a hammock on a beach or in your backyard? It is a relaxing experience for those who use hammock. Aerial yoga is like using hammock and trying different poses and movements to get both flexibility and strength. It involves yoga poses, Pilates and gymnastics.
Aerial yoga is different from traditional yoga in terms of a hammock or a swing. The weight of our body will be supported by a swing. The fabrics that are used for aerial yoga are high density materials and will not spoil easily. These fabrics are made of high-density nylon materials and supports up to 2000 pounds! It helps to achieve flexibility and deeper stretchers. Swings or hammocks are held up by carabineers, chains and webbing straps. One can adjust the height according to their needs.
In Aerial yoga, traditional yoga modifications are used, or traditional yoga poses are adopted to aerial yoga poses using the hammock or swing support. It involves simple stretches such as sitting poses on hammock and with advances poses hanging upside down, grabbing legs, thighs, ankles or feet for balance and support.
While performing aerial yoga, one should be prepared with proper attire and take precautions so that not get hurt. Generally, instructors will suggest following precautions:
- Not to wear jewelry – as jewelry might entangled in the swing and disturb the pose or can hurt.
- Comfortable clothing – not to wear baggy or loose clothes to avoid interference with swing. Do not wear shoes or slippers. Performing aerial yoga in barefoot is highly recommended.
- Hydrate body before the practice – Drink water and hydrate body. Do not drink any type of energy drink, soda or juice. During practice one might perform upside down pose and it could cause nausea and can have unpleasant experience.
- Practice in presence of instructor is highly recommended to avoid any injury.
- Understanding the basics of yoga, aerial yoga and modifications of yoga poses comes in handy while practicing aerial yoga.
Some of the variations of regular yoga poses in aerial yoga are:
- Shavasana (Savasana) – is done by cocooning oneself inside hammock and it is floating shavasana!
- Warrior three pose – the opposite foot will be extended back in the midair.
- Handstand – legs are entangled in swing to support the body, rather than lifting in the midair.
- Chair pose – hammock supports by twining around both armpits and hands can be rested on thighs
- Plank – both feet will have support of hammock while hands are on the floor
- Extended leg- There will be support for the extended leg in the air by means of hammock or extended leg will rest on hammock.
- Tree pose – one leg will be on hammock another one will entangle around the hammock to support balance in the air and gravity
Benefits of practicing aerial yoga: In aerial yoga most poses are performed against gravity. It is also known as antigravity yoga. Aerial yoga practices include many inversions and poses that flip the entire body upside down.
- Muscle strengthening: Toning and strengthening muscle is one of the main advantages of aerial yoga. It works on abdominal muscles very well. Twisting the legs and thighs in swings works on bigger muscles and tones well. Harder the body works, core muscles will engage in burning calories, balance and toning. It stretches ligaments too.
- Stress relief: It is a fun yoga practice. As children we all would have tried hanging to something upside down. By knowing yoga poses and trying modifications of the yoga poses in air with help of hammock is a fun filled experience and stress buster.
- Greater vertebrae: Pulled down by gravity, spine decompresses and helps in reducing pain.
- Free movements and flexibility: Hanging in hammock helps to improve flexibility of arms, legs and entire body. The stretches will help to obtain better results with traditional yoga poses.
Aerial yoga is fun and relaxing. It helps to get into balance and improves traditional yoga pose postures. Try aerial yoga if you have a yoga studio that teaches anti-gravity yoga and experience the benefits that it has to offer.
Author: Sumana Rao | Posted on: January 23, 2020