Aerial Yoga: Aerial Yoga: Benefits, Side effects + Beginner’s Guide to do it
Scrolling through Instagram, Pinterest, or many social media platforms, you might have come across various posts of your friends where they take part in the process of seemingly fancy poses while hanging through a hammock to shape their bodies, and this beautiful and transformative yoga is called aerial yoga that makes you feel like a butterfly along with providing many physical and mental benefit.
To learn this yoga variation, you don’t need to be an acrobat. A few years back, these aerial classes attracted the attention of newbies and many devoted yogis. Aerial yoga is surely an out-of-the-box workout. The American Council of Exercise conducted a study that included 16 women who did Ariel yoga for 6 weeks.
They had a 50-minute Yoga class every day, and they lost an average of two and a half pounds and increased their VO2 max. These stunning results signify the importance of this variant of yoga. This blog will provide details about aerial yoga, its benefits, drawbacks, and tips for getting the most out of it. Let’s break the mold!
What is Aerial Yoga?
Aerial fitness or serial yoga is the practice of performing yoga in a silk hammock suspended from the ceiling. Traditional yoga uses a yoga mat on the floor to support your body weight. However, this fitness category utilizes a transformative method of using a hammock to carry your weight and give you a chance to defy gravity hence named aerial yoga.
In addition to traditional yoga, it has pilates, dance, and many more things discussed further; that’s why many instructors prefer to name it aerial fitness. You have access to the equipment to go anti-gravity, creating a vast opportunity to try variable poses as instructed by your fitness guide. Antigravity Fitness trainer says that depending on your instructors, knowledge, and educational background, certain elements in practice are variable, along with the choice of apparatus.
It seems almost similar to acrobatics, or one can presume that this is a highly skilled practice that everybody can not do, but you can do it in the presence of a professional instructor. The silk fully supports you during this yoga providing support to the parts of the body that are hanging on it while keeping the other parts on the floor.
Hanging part of your body creates traction and generates flexibility in your body compared to when you are on the floor, providing you with more range of movements. The main purpose of yoga is to maintain balance. Aerial yoga uses a silky sling that supports your full body weight and helps you perform tricks like swings and backflips, or you can use it to support your feet for various exercises.
The Benefits and Side Effects of Aerial Yoga
Aerial Yoga can take your workout to the next level. The physiological and psychological benefits of yoga improve homeostatic capacity. (ability to maintain stability in the body). From adding flexibility to killer abs, you can get them all through this hanging yoga. Here are some of its benefits:
- Increase Body Tone and Strength
Yoga is a full type of body movement, so it strengthens and tones all body muscles. While hanging through the hammock, you have the opportunity to go deeper into stretches and involve all of your body muscles.
- It’s a Total Workout!
Certified trainers have claimed that Aerial Yoga is a very effective workout. In many poses, this yoga engages all body muscles and helps you strengthen and improve your performance and achieve your goals.
- Relieve Back and Neck Pressure
Heavy workouts make your muscles taut and increase pressure in your back. However, hanging upside down in yoga helps you elongate your spine and elevate the pressure on your neck and back.
- Promote Circulation
Yoga is famous for providing blood circulation throughout the body.
- Improve Digestion
- Low Impact Exercise
Many people do not want to start with high-impact exercises and vigorous muscle use due to their medical conditions as joint pains. Yoga is an excellent option for them. It helps move their body using gravity and use suspension to carry their body weight and alleviate joint pain.
- Relieve Joint Pain
Many classes of Aerial yoga exercises focus on targeting joint pressure and pain, holding most of your body weight.
- Enhance Mind-Body Connection
Maintaining a position told by your instructor with controlled breathing while hanging through a sling requires a lot of balance and control of your body. It improves your mind-body connection.
- Elevate Your Mood
In addition to learning new things and trying different poses, accomplishing new goals provides you with confidence. It also increases the release of endorphins in your body, which can elevate your mood and provide a sense of accomplishment.
- Easier Access to Poses
Many people who are regular Yogi know that it takes a lot of time and persistence to achieve balance in the difficult poses of yoga. Trying yoga helps you to attain those inverted poses using the sling to support your body weight
- Cardiovascular and Metabolic Improvement
Research conducted by Dr. Dallek studied the effect of aerial yoga on cardiovascular and metabolic diseases during a 6 weeks intervention. The study included 16 healthy women between the age of 18 to 45 years. The results showed improvement in blood pressure levels and blood lipid profile.
Drawbacks of Aerial Yoga:
While there are numerous benefits of aerial yoga, it is also associated with a few drawbacks. These drawbacks are as follows:
- Requires Professional Assistance:
One of the drawbacks of Aerial Yoga is that, like simple yoga, you cannot start and try it at home as it requires professional assistance. It is advised to avoid it at your home. This activity could damage your property, your ceiling and could also lead to injury with negligent practice. If you are too eager to try at home, you can go for a ground base sling to keep it lower.
- Unsuitable For People with Cardiac Problems:
People with orthostatic hypotension (feeling dizzy when standing up) should refrain from it. People suffering from high or low blood pressure, heart diseases, or people recovering from surgery and pregnant ladies are generally advised to avoid aerial yoga.
Aerial yoga can cause falls, overuse injuries, strains, muscle, and joint injuries in case of falling on the head. For best practice and risk management, yoga should be done with a partner or in groups. This can save you from potential injury.
How to Do Aerial Yoga?
There are many tips to improve the outcomes of aerial yoga. A few of them are listed as:
- Wear Right Attire
First and foremost, you have to wear the right attire for this yoga in the air. Just don’t wear loose pants or dresses. For the aerial yoga class, you should wear yoga pants or leggings. It is advised to wear a good sports bra and a T-shirt to cover your skin to protect from chafing sometimes caused by the sling.
- Avoid Big Meals
Eating a big heavy meal before anti-gravity yoga is prohibited. You should avoid eating a large meal at least an hour before. You should not have low blood sugar levels beforehand, so go for snacking
- Wear less jewelry
Wearing less jewelry is suitable while practicing aerial yoga as it can quickly get in the sling and create trouble for you.
- Trust the Sling
The most important part of Aerial fitness is to trust the Anti-Gravity Hammock. It will hold you no matter the size, shape so you can enjoy your yoga.
- Speak Up
If you have trouble handling the sling or you are uncomfortable in a position, then ask for help from your instructor. Speak up! Because we want you to enjoy yourself during this class.
- Communicate with Instructor
You can always modify your exercises according to your compatibility to make air-flying yoga accessible to you. Have open communication with your instructor.
- Do not get intimidated
The thought of aerial yoga can be intimidating for many, but if you have made up your mind to try aerial yoga, go for it! Breathe and try it at your own pace.
Types of Aerial Yoga
Aerial yoga or flying yoga courses range from simple forces that require only a bit of support from the sling for balance, while other complex poses require you to place 100% of your body weight on the sling. The poses range from beginner to master level and include :
- Tree Pose
People lacking flexibility in their joints and tight hips should try this pose. It involves external rotation of your hip joint. Your body supported by the sling can help you try variations of this pose.
- Supported Fish Pose
People with disabilities should try this course as it opens the chest and helps in improving your spine mobility.
- Inverted Star Pose
As the name suggests, you are going upside down. Don’t worry, as your weight will be carried by the sling, and yes, your heart will be above your head.
- Half Pigeon Pose
You will bend one of your legs on the ground in length, and your other leg will be in the sling.
Equipment for Aerial Yoga
The primary treatment needed for aerial yoga is a specialized hammock which is a sling made of silk attached to the ceiling. It can vary in length from 13 to 30 feet and range from 10 to 15 feet in width. Of course, these hammocks must be attached to the ceiling with specialized iron or steel carabiners.
As a beginner, you should expect aerial yoga to be a fun and transformative experience. Have to be good at Floor Yoga before trying this advanced form. Let’s call it flying yoga. But it can certainly be challenging to master courses, and your body might need some time to calibrate.
Aerial yoga is an Acrobat-like fun experience that allows you to try gymnastic tricks you might not normally try without assistance. It is a newly developed form of yoga that helps you maintain poses using a hammock attached to the ceiling to provide you with the necessary support.
Instructors guide you in different positions for this yoga to help you regulate your breathing. Moreover, this air yoga makes mat yoga easier for you. Aerial yoga not only builds your core muscles but is also counted as a cardio exercise like cycling and swimming. Aerial yoga is very easy on the joint, so it is a zero-impact exercise; however, you should avoid doing it at home.
This gravity-defying yoga helps to elevate mood, reduce stress and increase overall wellness. There are various poses, like fish pose or half pigeons, that can be mastered with practice. Flying yoga helps you to develop confidence and creativity. It should be a safe practice to grow into a stronger foundation.
Does aerial yoga help lose weight?
How safe is aerial yoga?
Aerial yoga can be safe when done correctly, but it has some inherent risks, especially if proper techniques and precautions are not followed. Potential risks include falls, pain, and stress. For safety:
- Always practice under the guidance of a certified and experienced aerial yoga instructor, especially if you are a beginner.
- Use high-quality materials and regularly check for signs of wear.
- Listen to your body, and don’t overdo it, especially if you’re new to aerial yoga.
- Avoid doing aerial yoga if you have pre-existing medical conditions or injuries that are likely to worsen.
Is aerial yoga harder than yoga?
Aerial yoga and traditional floor yoga are different in terms of practice and experience. Aerial yoga incorporates elements of yoga, Pilates, and aerial arts using silk hammocks to support and suspend the body. It often requires more upper body strength and core activation than traditional yoga. Some may find aerial yoga more challenging due to the added element of balancing in the air, while others may prefer it due to its unique and playful nature. Traditional yoga, on the other hand, focuses on various postures and breathing without the use of hanging equipment.
Can you do aerial yoga while pregnant?
Pregnancy is a challenging time, and some types of physical activity may not be appropriate or safe for every pregnant woman. Aerial yoga involves hanging from silk or cloth hammocks, which can cause abdominal tension and increase the risk of falling. For this reason, it is generally recommended to avoid aerial yoga during pregnancy. However, every pregnancy is different, so it’s important to check with your healthcare provider for personalized advice.
Can you do aerial yoga at home?
Yes, you can do air yoga at home if you have the necessary equipment and a safe place. However, aerial yoga may be more complicated than traditional yoga on the floor and requires the use of proper safety measures as it can damage your ceiling, or you might hurt yourself. If you’re new to aerial yoga, it’s best to start with a qualified studio instructor to learn the basics and practice at home.