The increasingly popular Aerial Yoga is also called Anti-gravity yoga. It sounds space age, but it’s really about taking your yoga practice into the air to achieve better balance. In practice, it involves fighting against gravity with your body to achieve traditional poses without the floor to push against.
It is encouraged that you start your aerial yoga journey with a class. However, once you get the hang of the basics, setting up your own space in your home to keep up practice can only improve your mastery. Plus, there are plenty of online resources for continuing to learn. These include videos and blogs.
Benefits of Aerial Yoga
Just like many other forms of working out, the bending and repetitive motions of aerial yoga makes it a great activity for strengthening the body. An added benefit of the hanging element of the practice is that it decompresses your spine to help alleviate back pain.
On top of this, it is an excellent centering exercise. There is nothing quite like concentrating on holding your form while hanging above the ground.
While on that note, perhaps the most important benefit is that it is fun! This is not always discussed as a benefit of yoga, but twisting around in the air is about as much fun as you can have while still getting fit.
Aerial yoga does require some specialized equipment. Mats for other yoga practice can be used for multiple work out activities, but aerial yoga requires its own tools. Keep this in mind if you are planning a practice space at home. Just like weight lifting, this exercise will require space to be put aside especially for its practice.
The basic equipment you will need for Aerial Yoga are a trapeze, a bar to suspend it off of, or hooks to hold it in place. The trapeze is the harness used to suspend yourself. These are pieces of cloth slung like a hammock and in ladder like arrangements for you to work into poses off of. The bar is for stabilizing this contraption in an easy to access horizontal hang, parallel to the floor. The hooks are another hanging option. These are often mounted to the ceiling so the trapeze can hang directly down.
While it can be attractive to imagine hanging free, tens of feet from the floor, aerial yoga is often practiced fairly close to the ground so that reaching it does not become difficult. The lucky thing about this is that when installing gear in the home, it may not be necessary to put aside a huge amount of space for practice. Instead, a corner, or even a doorway, will do.
See our review of the best aerial yoga trapeze home setup if you want to find out more.
Beginning Aerial Yoga
Aerial yoga is very new, and instructors and innovators are working constantly to find new poses that will benefit those practicing it in wholesome ways. The purpose is, after all, improving the body and mind, and not just creating a dazzling display. This does not mean aerial yoga is not beautiful.
These basic poses can take many practices to perfect, but the body will always benefit from repeating them. Below you will find an introduction to the basic concepts needed to begin aerial yoga.
In aerial yoga, there are several types of poses. Two important ones are poses that you hold for strengthening your body, and transitional poses.
The Star Inversion is a transitional one that is used as a base for upside down poses. To get there, sit on the sling of the trapeze so that it sits near your tailbone. Holding onto the sides of the sling, lie back slowly and widen your legs to leverage yourself and stop from slipping. Once you have dropped as far as you can, let your hands free and bring them toward the floor. Hold until stable.
From here you can transition to several more advanced poses.
A good pose to practice holding, the cross position improves balance and decompresses the spine. This one is simple, though takes some practice to master the balance required. To perform the cross position, balance yourself on the sling just above your waist, then lean back while straightening your legs.
Aerial yoga can be a fun a rewarding version of yoga. With its rise in popularity, there are now an increasing number of products that make home practice accessible for more people. With these basics, you are ready to move forward into the word of aerial yoga!