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Falling in Love with Aerial Yoga

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Ready to fly? Aerial yoga, or anti-gravity yoga is traditional yoga with a twist: the addition of a soft fabric hammock suspended from the ceiling. The hammock rests just a few feet off the ground, and offers you a new place to rest your weight and balance. With its help, and the guidance of a trained instructor, you’ll deepen your stretches, leave the ground or even turn upside-down.

Using Gravity

Adding a new place to rest your weight, just a few feet off the ground, adds exciting possibilities to your practice. Rest your hands in the hammock during Locust Pose, to turn a light backbend into a profound heart-opener.

There are plenty of fun, acrobatic poses to try in aerial yoga, like inversions, flips, and spins. But many aerial yogis attest that the real strength of ariel yoga lies in its ability to deepen and refine traditional yoga poses, in ways you never thought possible when you were earthbound.

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Great for Beginners

Aerial yoga will deepen any existing yoga practice. But it also serves as a perfect introduction for novice yogis. Many people feel drawn to the acrobatic, balletic poses of aerial yoga, and want to learn to escape earth’s gravity, if only for a moment.

From that poetic starting point — don’t we all dream of flying? — you can start to learn some of yoga’s basic poses, aided by the hammock. Aerial yoga provides gentle, yet profound stretches to help beginners gain flexibility and strengthen their muscles. And with time and practice, you’ll be able to soar with the best of them.

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Lengthen and Strengthen

You’ll never be more than a few feet off the ground during an ariel yoga class. You’ll be close enough to the ground for safety, but just far enough from it to reap gravity’s benefits.

With the addition of gravity’s forces, you’ll be able to lengthen your spine in ways that are difficult to impossible with traditional, earthbound yoga. You’ll create space in your joints, allowing you a greater range of motion.

And as you practice and gain confidence, you’ll also be able to practice inversions off the ground. This will give you all of an inversion’s benefits while reducing the stress on your neck, arms, hands, shoulders and wrists.

Deceptively Deep

Adding an aerial aspect to your yoga might seem like it takes a long time to adjust to. But it’s surprisingly simple. You can work with your teacher to start modifying your asanas to incorporate use of the hammock, to take advantage of the deep, juicy stretches it offers.

Over time, as you gain more confidence, you can use the hammock for a wider range of poses. And when you’re ready, your teacher will lead you through the process of leaving the ground entirely and entering the hammock. From there, with the teacher’s guidance, you’ll be able to assume a number of flying asanas, all with control and grace.

To be sure, aerial yoga will likely be a completely new experience for you. But don’t be afraid. When you follow the instructions of a trained instructor, you’ll be able to explore the full potential of this practice in safety and comfort.

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