We’re all comfortable on our mat, but sometimes we may want to welcome new challenges. Enter aerial yoga, which is also referred to as anti-gravity yoga. Aerial yoga is a combination of the art of aerial silks and the classic practice of yoga.
It can be scary at first to get off the ground when you’re so used to feeling rooted on the earth. But with practice, being suspended feels just as natural as being grounded. If you’re not fully convinced, here are seven reasons to give it a try.
1. Aerial yoga is great for spinal decompression.
By relying on the fabric, which is called a hammock, your body uses less effort to support yourself. Being suspended allows your spine to elongate and lengthen using the weight of your body. Let go, sink into a pose, and open up.
Try Chair Pose with your arms strapped in the looped hammock. Sit your hips back and let the spine elongate!
2. Inversions are a piece of cake.
Ahh inversions…love them or hate them, they are extremely beneficial for circulation, calming anxiety, and increasing blood flow to the brain for improved mood and emotion.
Incorporating inversions into your asana while on the earth can be challenging. But with Aerial yoga, and being firmly secured in the hammock, you can invert your body and hang from the sky, making handstands much more doable.
With little to no effort, your fears of holding your body upside down disappear as the fabric does the work for you.
3. It strengthens your upper body.
Certain yoga practices focus heavily on core and leg strength, but if you’re looking to work your upper body, Aerial yoga can help since you use your arms and shoulders to hold yourself suspended. It is common in yoga to move by pushing off the earth, but in Aerial yoga, you pull from the sky.
A pose such as a Low Lunge can be done with your arms in a wrist wrap with the fabric. Hold your arms directly in front of you for stability in the Low Lunge. Hoisting yourself into the air using the hammock can quickly improve your arm and chest muscles.
4. You feel like a beautiful, elegant acrobat.
We’ve all had dreams of running away with the circus, right? Aerial yoga classes can combine gymnastics, yoga, and circus arts, depending on the fusion of the class. Much of aerial also incorporates movement and motion into the poses, creating an elegant flow much like a dance or performance.
Even if you are new to gymnastics, a lot of the elements are similar to yoga. Even gentle swaying using the fabric deepens your stretches and creates a motion akin to dance.
5. It’ll introduce you to new ways to do poses you already do like a pro.
Sure, we may all have mastered Plank or Bridge, but imagine doing those poses with your ankles in the hammock. It adds a new challenge to a familiar pose while improving core strength.
It’s always fun to feel like a beginner again, and Aerial yoga gives you the opportunity to experiment with your practice by adding new twists to old favorites.
6. Savasana feels like you’re in a cocoon.
Savasana in Aerial yoga is suspended, meaning you are in a cocoon of fabric! The feeling of weightlessness promotes a different sensation than resting on the earth. Being in a protected shell feels amazing, especially while gently swaying in motion.
7. It improves your overall wellbeing by creating a more confident, braver you.
Entrusting the fabric with your weight can be scary at first. Many poses in Aerial yoga have you fully suspended. It’s natural to feel like you will fall, but you won’t! Gaining this sense of security is extremely beneficial both in your practice and in life.
It takes time to really trust the fabric, but eventually you will, and it will give you a boost of confidence. It may feel out of your comfort zone, but hey, that’s where growth happens, right? After you’ve defied gravity, you can pretty much do anything.
Aerial yoga is a fun technique to add to your practice. Get off your mat and into the air!