WHAT IS AERIAL YOGA?
In short: Aerial yoga is a mix of traditional yoga poses and newer inventions performed with a suspended hammock. The hammock is used to support the weight of the body and also helps working the whole body – with specific benefits for core, posture and stability improvement.
Aerial Yoga supports traditional poses such as inversions, back bends and allows the hammock to assist with deep muscle release. While the body is being supported, you are able to achieve proper alignment and relax in poses that might require a lot more effort and experience when done without a hammock/support. I would say that prior experience of yoga is helpful, but anyone who is in decent shape, not overweight and used to exercises can practice aerial yoga.
Even if you have been practicing yoga on the floor for years like me, you will find that aerial yoga is a whole new experience! Practicing off the ground makes you feel weightless and free and is a lot of fun. Besides that, health benefits are increased joint mobility, low impact cardiovascular conditioning and realignment of the spine.
BENEFITS OF AERIAL YOGA:
Apart from being a stress-buster due to its high fun quotient, there are some serious health benefits associated with AntiGravity Yoga:
- Decompressing of the spine
- Stretching and releasing of muscular tension
- Help to increase strength, flexibility & balance
- Core strengthening
- Greater agility & awareness
- Stimulating the release of happy hormones
WHERE CAN YOU DO AERIAL YOGA?
I tried aerial yoga at About Beyond Fitness Australia, a boutique yoga studio in Crows Nest. Fiona’s team offers a range of classes to suit your everybody’s needs, from AntiGravity Fitness, Power Yoga, Yin & Yang Yoga to Sports Yoga and private classes. Check out theirs timetable here.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE AN AERIAL YOGA CLASS
- As with any other yoga style, aerial yoga should be practiced on an empty stomach as you will turn upside down and spin in your hammock and put some pressure on your abdomen at times.
- Wear long pants and a top with sleeves to reduce pulling of the skin against the hammock.
- Remove all jewellery as this can damage the hammock.
- Inversions (upside-down poses) in AntiGravity Yoga are not suitable for people with certain medical conditions. Make sure you let the instructor know if you are pregnant, have a heart disease or very high/low blood pressure etc.
WHAT TO EXPECT
So how do you prepare to have your world turned upside down for an hour? My advice is: Drop all expectations and have an open mind! It might feel a little strange and I needed a few minutes to realise that the hammock actually holds a lot and is safe – once you trust the hammock you’ll be able to enjoy all that a class has to offer. I loved the class and highly recommend it to anyone who is into yoga, fitness, acrobatics and some fun!
Image courtesy of Beyond Fitness Australia at http://beyondfitnessaustralia.com.au/