by Valerie Demetros
Now that you’ve tried goat yoga, maybe it’s time to fly and try aerial yoga.
You may have seen pictures of aerial yoga on Instagram showing gorgeous, gravity-defying yoga poses hanging from the ceiling. It certainly is picturesque and looks a bit intimidating for a beginner. But you don’t need to be an acrobat to learn.
A combination of the arts and athletics, aerial yoga offers physical and psychological benefits including improved flexibility, stability and balance. A 2019 study found that aerial athletes have exceptional flexibility, balance and strength.
In aerial classes, there are plenty of options from traditional yoga poses with parts of your body touching the hammock to aerial conditioning exercises (like core work and pullups). Some instructors even include elements of Pilates and barre in class.
Aerial yoga combines traditional asana (the physical postures of yoga) and yoga philosophies with the aerial arts. Silk fabrics are hung from above to aid practitioners to get into forms.
You can be fully supported by the silks, like in a hammock, or wrap the silks around particular body parts and keep other parts on the floor.
The versatility and support of the fabric allows people to access fluid movements and can reduce the load on wrists and knees, which can sometimes limit mobility in a floor-based practice. If you have knee issues, getting to the floor can be challenging. But the aerial fabric makes it easier.
The benefits are numerous, including traction and joint decompression from hanging upside down and weight loss. One small study also noted substantial improvement in depression and stress levels when participants practiced aerial yoga regularly.
One of the best things about aerial yoga is that anyone can do it.
Beginners will find it fun, although challenging. But how far you take it is up to you. And you’ll improve your balance while doing it.
And if you’re looking for a good workout, aerial yoga on the silks can offer a killer ab workout while you’re up there by engaging your core.