Forget doing the traditional yoga poses just on the mat and add a new element to it – a hammock! Here’s a complete guide on aerial yoga for beginners.
Hey fitness freak! Yoga basically means to unite; it unites the soul with your body. With many adaptions in itself, yoga is definitely good for health and mental peace too. There are plenty different types of yoga to suit everyone’s body and choice. From Bikram yoga to hatha to vinyasa to aerial yoga, the list is endless. For a newbie, it’s intimidating to see so many options in yoga, something we often think of as a simplistic exercise. But once we start practicing all these, we want to try a new one every now and then! So, today let’s find out all about aerial yoga, a fitness form that combines health, spirituality and fun!
What is Aerial Yoga
Call it anti-gravity or air yoga or flying yoga (or even suspension yoga), but its official name is aerial yoga! The aerial workout was started a decade ago in New York and is now being practiced by people all over the world. Aerial fitness is a combination of traditional yoga asanas, acrobatics and dance moves done by suspending in the air using a silk-ribbon-like hammock. This helps in making the yoga sessions more fun and enjoyable. That’s the reason it’s earned its many pet-names, including yoga trapeze, phoenix yoga and silk yoga!
Aerial Yoga Benefits
- As you are in the air during an hour-long aerial workout, all of the body’s weight is on the hammock, it takes off the pressure from the body and gives you balance with the hammock. This helps release stress and makes you feel relaxed, once you’re used to the suspended yoga poses.
- It strengthens the muscles.
- It increases your flexibility.
- Helps us improve our focus as we are suspended in the air.
- It improves blood circulation and detoxifies the entire system.
- Releases the tension on bones and muscles.
- The best of all, it gives you mental peace and makes you feel like flying in the air. Who doesn’t want that feeling!
Aerial Yoga Poses
The normal yoga postures and the air fitness ones are quite similar, the only difference being that the aerial ones are done in the air with the support of a hammock. Let’s check them out! Alos, take a look at the video below to try the poses and read our tips on perfecting them.
1. Aerial Lunges
Lunges are a good position to start with as you can have the support of one leg on the mat. Aerial lunges are similar to the regular lunges with just the difference of one leg on the hammock instead of on the floor. Keep one leg on the yoga hammock and the other on the mat in lunges position.
2. Floating Goddess
This is another simple pose for beginners. You need to sit in the hammock and extend your legs to the side, outside the hammock. Make sure to keep your back straight. Great for back strengthening!
3. Child’s Pose
In this position, take the support of aerial yoga equipment at the hips and bend down with both the hands touching the floor. Bend both the legs backward up in the air.
4. Cross Position
Keeping the yoga swing behind your waist, lean back and straighten your legs, arms out wide in the cross position. This pose is helpful for backaches.
5. King-Pigeon Position
This pose works best for hips. Start with keeping the right leg forward on the hammock and left leg behind and bend backwards.
6. Rolling Pin Plank
This pose is more intense than the traditional plank pose. Reach your arms forward onto the silk yoga equipment and stretch your legs on the mat or vice versa. Works great for the abs!
7. Downward Dog
Use the support of hammock on the hips and place both the hands on the yoga mat facing the floor. Strech both the legs wide open and hold the posture for as long as you can. This is a great pose for the hips.
8. Inverted Butterfly
This pose may be scary to look at but once you’ve mastered the above poses, this could be done very easily. Take the support of hammock at the waist and then turn upside down with your head just above the ground level and legs up in the air in the butterfly position. This pose boosts blood circulation.
What to Wear to Aerial Yoga
Avoid capris and sleeveless tops! Wear something full and comfortable fitness clothing because you need to try different poses on the hammock and these would devoid the hammock rubbing against the skin. If you wear capris, when you try the ankle grip poses, it may hurt your ankle.
In aerial yoga you need to be on the air all the time, so wear something well-fitted. Sleeved tops with leggings or straight leg pants will be effective. Also, make sure not to apply any cream or moisturizer on the hands as slippery hands will not be good for the perfect grip on the hammock. And, yeah no shoes either!
Avoid loose fitting clothes, dangle jewelry, untied hair and anything that is likely to get tangled in the hammock and keep you from perfecting your aerial exercise poses.
Aerial Yoga at Home
To practice aerial workout at home, we recommend first taking training by a certified yoga teacher and then continue doing at home. For practicing aerial fitness at home, you need a ceiling height of minimum 6 feet and there should be nearly 2 meters of free space around at the bottom. To get started with the aerial workout, you need to get a yoga swing which is available online ranging from $50 to $200.
Just because it is known as aerial, you need not start flying in the first instance! Start with the basic asanas or poses like single leg balance and swinging. Aerial yoga classes are usually 15-20 minutes long.
Aerial Yoga Equipment
The basic equipment required for aerial workout is a wide nylon or ribbon hammock.
A hammock is a high-density nylon material that is suspended from ceiling to a convenient height. Nylon is the best quality one as it can withstand high-weight limit. The better the material you purchase, the less you will need to worry about accidents while hanging upside down! Apart from the hammock, you’ll need the yoga mat, too, as you can place your feet on the mat while switching poses. Make sure the yoga hammock is 2-3 inches above the ground level and not more! Needless to say, it should be perfectly suspended, so avoid loose screws!
Aerial Yoga Beginners
Aerial fitness combines the regular poses with (kinda) flying in the air. So, if you are a beginner, don’t worry about being in the air. As I mentioned earlier, you need not start off with being completely against gravity. Start with partially raising the body and then master the art of aerial fitness. It will then help you master the regular yoga poses.
Aerial Yoga for Kids
Aerial yoga is a great activity for children and a unique opportunity that help them build strength, stamina and flexibility in a fun and entertaining way. Traditional yoga for kids would not attract them to be fitness followers but aerial yoga definitely will! Unlike the adults’ aerial fitness, challenging poses for kids are done on a bucket seat, which helps them from sliding off! The kids aerial yoga is also beneficiary as it helps to get rid off their fear of height and may even help improve their posture, dealing with any clumsiness they may have.
Aerial Yoga Video
To help you get an exact idea of what is aerial yoga and how it can be done at home, here’s another video. It’s also a great one to follow if you’re doing a fly yoga session at home!
So, this is all about aerial yoga and its benefits. Are you excited to try this form of yoga? And have been trying already, which pose do you like the most? Do let us know by tweeting @shilpa1ahuja.
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