Do you need something new and exciting to rejuvenate your yoga practice? Chances are you’ve heard something about the new yoga trend, aerial yoga.
Aerial yoga has been evolving for years now but has just recently taken the yoga world by storm. Many studios that offer traditional yoga are starting to add new aerial yoga classes. Developed by former gymnast and Broadway choreographer Christopher Harrison, aerial yoga blends elements from traditional yoga and aerial art, which makes for a yoga practice that will literally sweep you off your feet!
So you probably want to know what you’re getting yourself into before you show up for class. Of course every studio has their own way of doing things but these are some basics about aerial yoga. Everyone will be using a fabric aerial hammock that’s suspended from two hooks attached to the ceiling. Each hammock can support up to 2,000 pounds, so no need to worry! You will be taken through standing and seated poses, inversions, and balancing postures all while using your hammock. It is a relatively low-intensity workout although, like any other yoga class, some poses can be challenging. Now it may sound like you have to be some kind of acrobat to give aerial yoga a try, but that’s certainly not the case. Almost every studio you visit will tell you that beginners are welcome and encouraged to come to class. You have to start somewhere, right? So, before your first class go in with an open mind. This practice comes with some health benefits that are too good to pass up.
Aerial yoga helps build flexibility and agility as well as core strength. Floating in the air gives you the ability to ease into your stretches more than stretching on the ground. If you have back pain, aerial yoga could be your answer. The hammocks make inverted poses, such as hanging bound angle pose and shoulder stands easier to hold in correct alignment. If your alignment is corrected while holding these poses it takes a substantial amount of pressure off the neck and back. These inversions relieve back pain by creating space between your vertebral discs of your spinal cord which helps decompress and realign the spine.
Poor posture is an issue many people are faced with. Aerial Yoga can take you out of that slump! It increases your joint mobility, gives your tight muscles a break and properly aligns your bones to better your posture. Proper posture in itself has plenty of long-term health benefits. Feeling stressed or down in the dumps? Another benefit of aerial yoga is it makes you feel happy. Inverting your body can trigger the release of endorphins and serotonin, which are happy hormones.
Your favorite pose in aerial yoga may be the cocoon pose. All you are asked to do is relax and curl in a ball; your hammock will support you and do the rest. You’ll leave your studio wanting more time to hang upside down! So if you’re looking for something new put a twist on your traditional yoga class and give aerial yoga a try!
As always, consult with your doctor before starting any new supplements and exercise program.