What Is Aerial Yoga?
Aerial yoga is the form of yoga that uses a silk hammock or sling tied on the ceiling as a prop. The hammock provides two main things to the yoga practitioner: support throughout the yoga and a high range of motion.
The hammock can also be used in taking off pressure only from a specific part of the body, such as your head or leg. This way, you will be able to do even challenging yoga poses (e.g. headstands) that you otherwise couldn’t.
You might have already seen some photos of yoga practitioners, fully hanging in the air, doing aerial yoga. However, it is not necessary to try anti gravity yoga by suspending your whole body in the air. Mere one body part lifted from the ground is also enough for doing aerial yoga.
How To Perform Aerial Yoga
Here are some easy aerial yoga poses that you can try at your home right away:
- Stand behind the hammock and place your right leg inside it.
- Bend your leg in a way that the hammock gets behind your upper leg.
- Place your hand on the hips, inhale, and bend your body forward to take the lunge position.
- Exhale and put pressure on the hammock with your right leg to get back into the starting position.
- Repeat this asana 4 times on this side and 4 times on the other side.
- Stand in front of the hammock, reach it with your hands and hold it on both sides as if you are holding an imaginary backpack.
- Slide your hands down the hammock and your hands will reach the hip level.
- Stand on the tiptoes while resting the inner parts of your wrists against your hips.
- Place your sacrum on the hammock.
- Lean back and lift your legs off the ground by engaging your abdominal muscles.
- Use the strength of your arms to make sure that the hammock does not slide up your back or swing.
- Now, bend your knees and your whole weight will be transferred to the hammock from the floor.
- Slide up your hands on the sides of the hammock and straighten your knees.
- If you think you can’t balance in the pose, you can place your legs apart and it will balance the weight.
- Meanwhile, you can adjust the fabric if you think that it might slip off your sacrum.
- This is the Ardha Navasana pose; you have to hold the pose for at least 5 deep breaths.
Aerial Yoga Benefits
Here is a list of some aerial yoga benefits that made it so popular amongst people of all ages:
- Increases Your Muscular Strength and Flexibility: Since you get a high range of motion, hanging yoga can focus on almost every major muscle of your body. Thanks to the hammock, you can deeper into the yoga stretches and enhance your body flexibility.
- Treats Neck and Back Pain: We mentioned earlier, you can take off pressure from certain body parts by performing aerial yoga. When you sit all on your office chair or sofa at home, you let the gravity weigh down your spine and the neck. But when you do upside-down aerial yoga, you essentially decompress the neck and spine.
- Boosts Your Confidence: People who have never tried yoga before often get demotivated when they see that they can not do most of the yoga poses due to flexibility issues. But thanks to the hammock, everyone can do aerial yoga for beginners.
- Promotes Blood Circulation: It is the very nature of this anti gravity yoga that allows the blood to circulate throughout the body at a faster rate.
- Works On Your Core Muscles: You have to engage your core muscles to stabilize your pose in the hammock. After weeks of aerial yoga practice, you will feel that your core muscles have gained strength.
- Low Impact On Your Body: Intense yoga poses can actually do more harm than good to people who are suffering from joint issues. Aerial yoga, on the other hand, has a zero-impact nature. Hence, even if you experience pain in your joints, you can still do aerial yoga for beginners.
Precautions And Safety Points
It is one thing to stretch our parts in yoga poses and totally another to hang any body part on a hammock. It will take you some time to get a hang of it. Keep the following precautions and safety points in your mind while doing aerial yoga at home:
- Do not install the hammock by yourself as an improper installation might lead to injuries. Either install a free-standing rig or call a professional to do it.
- As a beginner, choose only those aerial yoga poses where you keep at least one foot on the ground. This will help you stabilize your body. Once you gain some experience doing yoga poses with a hammock, you can move to hanging yoga poses where you hang your whole body in the air.
- Do not hesitate in buying the top-quality brand of aerial yoga hammock and installation as it is going to be only a one-time investment.
- If you are having problems doing aerial yoga poses on the hammock, you can join online yoga classes or go to local yoga centers and hire a yoga expert for one-on-one sessions.
- Do not eat or drink hours before you start aerial yoga at home as your core muscles get engaged the most in this yoga.
- If you are doing yoga under the supervision of an expert, do not hesitate in speaking up about your problem. Often, people face problems balancing their bodies on the hammock but hesitate to tell their problems to the yoga tutors.
Aerial yoga can open a new pathway to health for you. It provides you the benefits of intense workouts like the Pilates workout but removes pressure from your body at the same time. If you are bored of doing the conventional forms of exercises and yoga poses, you should definitely give aerial yoga a try.
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