Yoga as a fitness modality has grown significantly in the west over the last 50 years. The benefits of yoga are known to those that practice regularly and to those that don’t. As an evergreen of the industry, practitioners are using the foundational yoga poses to create new offshoots of the traditional yoga practice, to service the needs of different populations inside and outside the yoga community.
Aerial yoga is a relatively new type of yoga that originated out of New York in 2007. Christopher Harrison, the founder of aerial yoga, was director and choreographer for Antigravity, Inc., an acrobatic performance troupe established in 1991 that ultimately became the inspiration for creating this new yoga brand.
Ultimately, the use of silk hammocks inspired Harrison to create a brand that incorporates acrobatics, artistic sports and contemporary dance. And as a Tony Award winning aerial yoga choreographer and long-time fitness expert, Harrison has become the expert for aerial performances at such venues as the Academy and Grammy Awards, as well as presidential inaugurations. Yoga was a natural addition to his performance warm-ups. And thus, aerial yoga was born.
But what can it do for you? You’re about to find out.
- 5 Benefits of Aerial Yoga
- An Aerial Yoga Workout — with the 6 Best Anti-Gravity Yoga Exercises
- Anti-Gravity Yoga vs Normal Yoga and Its Benefits
- Air’s Gravity-Defying Aerial Yoga Floats Into West 3rd Street
- AIR Aerial Fitness
- Here’s What Happens to Your Body During an Aerial Yoga Class
- Book a Session Now!
What Is Aerial Yoga?
The simplest definition of aerial yoga is a yoga practice that combines traditional yoga postures and Pilates exercises with the use of a silk hammocks to help aid and support the poses. With the hammock or yoga swing hanging from the ceiling, about three feet off the ground, practitioners are able to feel supported in back bends and in inversions, like downward facing dog. These hammocks can hold up to 2,000 pounds, so they are durable yet soft and fluid.
This is why this type of yoga practice is also call anti-gravity or suspension yoga because for much of the session, you will be suspended off the ground by the hammock.
For those with a solid yoga practice, aerial yoga provides a new take on the traditional yoga practice as well as assistance during more challenging postures to help improve alignment and flexibility. For beginners, it offers a level of support in each pose to help students learn and practice proper alignment as strength improves.
There are countless options when it comes to the types of aerial yoga classes. There are those that focus on high flying tricks and those that are slower and more meditative. And just like traditional yoga practices, aerial yoga incorporates breath work, a cool down like savasana as well as spirituality or chanting, depending on the studio and individual class.
5 Benefits of Aerial Yoga
So, what is aerial yoga good for? How will it improve my overall strength, health and well-being? The list of benefits of anti-gravity yoga are similar to the list of benefits of a traditional yoga practice with a few important differences.
1. It relieves compression in the spine.
One of the biggest benefits of hanging in the hammock during poses like downward facing dog or back bends is the relief on the spine. Instead of the natural downward compression of your spine produced by gravity, the muscles in your spine release and relax as you hang, reducing pressure and joint compression.
2. Aerial yoga challenges your central nervous system, mental capacity and proprioception.
Simply put, practicing in the silk yoga swing adds a level of elegant complexity as well as assistance to simple postures that requires mental focus and patience as you learn how to move your body through each pose.
3. It Increases pulling strength.
This particular benefit is probably the most interesting because the movement type of “pulling,” like when you perform a pull-up, isn’t found in the traditional yoga practice. With the repetitive pressing in yoga, during sun salutations and/or chaturanga, can create muscular imbalances in the shoulders. Over time, this can lead to repetitive stress injuries.
The act of pulling yourself up into the hammock as well as during other transitions is a great way to keep your shoulders balanced and healthy in both pulling and pressing.
4. Praticing anti-gravity yoga improves flexibility.
With the help of the silk hammock, practitioners are able to refine and improve their alignment and relax into the pose. The ability to relax the body leads to improved flexibility.
5. It’s beginner-friendly.
Aerial yoga is accessible not just for advanced practitioners but for beginners as well. With the added support of the hammock, new students can play with posture and alignment while building the strength to execute yoga poses on their own. Not only that, it allows for questions and added support from the teacher as the number of students per class is lower than a traditional yoga practice.
An Aerial Yoga Workout — with the 6 Best Anti-Gravity Yoga Exercises
There are countless postures that can be performed with the yoga hammock. Some are more challenging than others in both strength and required flexibility.
Regardless of your yoga experience, this series of poses will not only help you learn how use the hammock but also how to transition in and out of the hammock as well as from pose to pose. Beyond that, it will also challenge your balance and core strength while improving your flexibility.
1. Chest Opener
Stand facing the hammock. Wrap the hammock around each hand and turn your palms down. With your arms fully extended, walk your feet back as you drop your chest towards the floor. Feel the stretch along your upper ribs and armpits. Hold this position for 5 slow breaths in and out through your nose.
2. Silk Hammock Row
Stand facing the hammock and wrap it around each hand. Turn your palms to face each other. Walk your feet forward as you lay back with straight arms. Tighten your legs and core to keep your body in a straight line. Draw your shoulder blades down your back and slightly together. From this position, draw your elbows back and pull your hands toward your chest. This is a self scaling movement so walk your feet up or down to increase or decrease the difficulty of this movement. Perform 3 sets of 8–10 reps.
3. Downward Dog
Stand tall facing the hammock. Grab the hammock with palms facing down and separate your hands to about shoulders distance bringing the hammock to about the height of your hips. Place the hammock at your hips by walking forward toward the top of your mat. Then, fold forward and walk your hands forward and your feet back into downward facing dog. Allow the hammock to support you as you breath slowly in this posture.
4. Plank with Feet in Hammock
Start on your hands and knee at the top of your yoga mat. Place your right foot inside of the hammock. Extend your right leg. Draw your belly button up towards your spine as you tighten your core. Press your right foot down into the hammock as you lift your left leg up. Place your left foot in the hammock along side the right. Hold this position as you breath through your nose for 5 breaths, then rest. Repeat 3–4 more times.
5. Inverted Bow Pose
Begin by stretching out the fabric so that you can sit into the hammock. Then, take a seat. Reach up and grab the hammock on the outside. Slowly begin to lay back as you keep your knees bent. Slide the palms down the silk as you bend back. From here you can stay or reach for the outer edges of your feet. Hang in this pose for up to 2 minutes.
6. Floating Savasana
Spread open the hammock and take a seat. Continue to open the hammock so that it supports your entire body, including your head. Bring your arms along your side and close your eyes. Breath through your nose and rest in savasana for as long as it feels comfortable.
As with the traditional yoga practice, there are few precautions when practicing aerial yoga at home or in a led class:
- The shift in the relation to gravity during certain postures through inversions like floating bow is not recommended for those who are pregnant, that suffer from vertigo or high blood pressure.
- It is also not recommended to practice anti-gravity yoga on a full stomach, as the stress on the core and pressure on and within the stomach can cause issues.
- Not all aerial yoga classes are created equal. Before attending a class, make sure that you are aware of the type of class, the level and any other necessary guidelines. This not only helps you the student but the instructor as well to help provide you with the best experience possible.
Anti-gravity yoga is an upcoming yoga brand that bring the benefits of the yoga practice to a new setting. Through the use of the yoga swing, practitioners are able to sink into poses as well as challenge their flexibility as strength during inversions and transitions. Though this new type of yoga is relatively new, anti-gravity yoga classes and studios are popping up all across the country.
Aerial yoga is an amazing addition to the practice of yoga as it helps to decompress the spine, increases core strength and balance and provide the action of pulling, a movement that is lacking in the traditional yoga practice.
Read Next: Barre Workout — Can It Give You a Dancer’s Physique?
A combination of traditional yoga poses, pilates and dance with the use of a hammock, aerial yoga defies gravity and allows you to perform various yoga poses that may be difficult to do on the ground, but easier in mid-air. It’s fun and acrobatic, so for those of you who dreamed of being a trapeze artist as a kid, this can give you a taste of what it is like.
Here are the Top 10 from Health Fitness Revolution and author of the book ReSYNC Your Life Samir Becic:
- Total body workout: Due to the nature of aerial yoga movements, almost all the body parts are forced to move and stretch. Muscles are toned and redefined, and joints are regenerated and strengthened due to these movements.
- Psychologically beneficial: Just like almost any other workout, aerial yoga helps rebuild your emotional system because it clears the mind and relieves stress due to its meditative state. It also helps you combat stress throughout the day and increases your creativity, which leads you to develop your own artistic skills.
- Improves flexibility: Aerial yoga helps you to move more freely, with less effort, by counteracting gravity. Suspension in the air releases tension on the bones and muscles, increasing flexibility and deepening your practice. Suspended yoga strengthens core muscles and increases spinal and shoulder flexibility.
- Heals back problems: It gives you the chance to hang freely, allowing your spine to lengthen. With less strain on your back while doing the exercises, it eases tension in the spinal cord and hip joint, helping you feel better.
- Increases strength: Aerial yoga improves strength and flexibility, which carries over into other daily activities. The core workout is a beneficial cross-training, as it helps runners increase stamina and be able recover faster.
- Puts you in a great mood: Another key benefit of doing aerial yoga is that it gets your adrenaline going while going against gravity. It also releases “happy” hormones like serotonin, endorphins, oxytocin, dopamine, which boost your mood and help you feel more energetic.
- Improves balance: While going against gravity can be exciting, aerial yoga also helps with balance and stability in daily activities. Balance is a key component in daily activities, and aerial yoga helps maintain a good balance both inside and out.
- Aids digestion: The different types of stretches and movements help improve the digestive system, thus helping in healing various digestion-related issues, including constipation and indigestion.
- Old age and heart disease: Aerial yoga improves the circulation of blood, thus combating aging and its symptoms. Aerial yoga also helps detoxify the circulatory and lymphatic systems, which lowers the onset of various cardiovascular issues.
- Improves memory: Aerial yoga fortifies your neural connections, thereby, rendering better memory power. In a way, practicing aerial yoga can make you smarter!
Anti-Gravity Yoga vs Normal Yoga and Its Benefits
Anti-gravity or aerial yoga is basically a routine of traditional yoga poses, pilates and dance that incorporates the use of a hammock. The hammock allows you to do certain yoga poses that are easier to do mid-air, suspended from the ground. Think about a trapeze artist at the circus: It’s something like that!
We all know the benefits of yoga to improve flexibility, lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and even to lose weight. With anti-gravity yoga, you get all these benefits plus the added benefit of relaxing your muscles and lengthening them, which is great for people with problems like scoliosis and back pains. (Note: Those who have diagnosed heart failure, spinal problems, and glaucoma should avoid the practice altogether, doctor’s caution.)
1. It is a total body workout.
Because of the suspended movements in the air, the anti-gravity method allows for total body and stretching when poses are completed properly. If you want to tone and shape those muscles, this is an awesome way to do it without lifting weights (just use your own body weight, literally!) And because of the absence of gravity, your body releases tension on the bones, allows for more muscle toning and overall flexibility. By using these areas actively during the practice, you can strengthen you core muscles and build flexibility in your shoulder area and spinal cord.
2. It alleviates pain and makes your stronger.
Since the exercises are above ground, anti-gravity yoga can ease tension in the spinal cord and hip areas, where we usually experience stress-related pain. The increased amount of stretching and lengthening is made possible in the hammock, which is an added benefit for those who aren’t able to achieve the same kind of effect on the floor mat. In terms of strengthening, the natural core workout that you do in aerial poses is a great post-recovery type of cross-training for athletes. If you do anti-gravitiy yoga as a post-recovery practice on your workout days, it can actually help build up your stamina and enable you to recover faster.
3. It is anti-aging.
Let us explain this in practical terms, because it is in fact TRUE! During any yoga practice, you will generally feel peaceful and happy at the end of a routine. Anti-gravity yoga gives you an added boost of all the happy hormones, like serotonin, oxytocin, and dopamine, resulting in more energy and positive thinking. Since it also improves blood circulation, anti-gravity yoga starts up a natural “detox” process of circulatory and lymphatic systems, which makes your body more efficient at the organ level. Additionally, the focus and attention needed during an aerial yoga practice triggers neural connections in your brain, so in a way, it improves your memory, too! So, if you are mentally happy, heart healthy, and a good memory, you are in fact feeling and looking younger, thanks to the positive effects of this niche in yoga.
Raw Bites Recommends:
We have partnered with Beyond Yoga, the country’s largest full-service yoga studio chain. They are the pioneers in the Philippines of AntiGravity®, and offer a host of other fitness and dance classes in their five studio locations around Metro Manila. All July box subscribers get a 1-day or a 1-week pass from Beyond Yoga Greenhills, Fort, Quezon City, Rockwell, and Alabang.
Air’s Gravity-Defying Aerial Yoga Floats Into West 3rd Street
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LA’s fitness scene has scored yet another inventive workout option. This month, Chicago-based fitness studio Air is bringing its silk aerial hammocks to West 3rd Street, just kitty-corner from the Beverly Center. It’ll be Air’s sixth US location and first West Coast studio.
Opening the public on October 20th, the second-floor, 1,800-square-foot space will offer Air’s 50-minute barre, yoga, and Pilates fusion classes, designed to “strengthen, lengthen, and tone your physique in record-breaking time.” Single seshes are $30 and unlimited classes are $150 per month; it’s recommended that newbies take the Air Foundation class to get acquainted with the method.
Into it? Sign up for classes online here.
· AIR Aerial Fitness
· A Guide to LA’s Most Unique and Wackiest Workouts
AIR Aerial Fitness
8474 W. 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048
A lot of us, at one point or another, has been to a cool event where there were aerial artists flying around on silks or hoops. When seeing this, almost everyone is in awe and amazed at the skills and expertise that these people have while they dance through the sky. Remember, these people all had to start somewhere and needed to learn, practice and perfect their skills and in Vancouver, Tantra Fitness is the place to do just that.
Before we go any further, let’s define what “Aerial Arts” is: Aerial Arts is a type of practice or performance in which one or more artists perform aerial dance and acrobatics while hanging from a fabric.
What should you wear to an Aerial Arts Class?
BOTTOMS: Long leggings that cover past knees for Aerial Hoop, and to ankles for Silks. Avoid loose or baggy bottoms.
TOPS: Semi-fitted to a fitted capped-sleeve t-shirt, or wear a tank top and bring a sleeved layer.
For the month of April Intro to Aerial Arts is FREE at Tantra Fitness Richmond. This introductory class is the ONLY PREREQUISITE for continuing with Silks and Aerial Hoop classes. Intro to Aerial Arts will give you a chance to try out both Silks and Aerial Hoops before taking Silks L1 and Aerial Hoop L1! You will learn basic positions and poses on both apparatuses. No experience is required. Don’t forget to bring your camera for photo ops!
After participating in our Intro to Aerial Arts class the world of Aerial Arts is your oyster. Check out some of your Tantra Fitness your aerial class options:
Aerial Yoga: Come for a yoga experience like you’ve never had before…yoga in the air! This class focuses on fusing the principals of stability (strength) and mobility (flexibility). This class allows for creative exploration by showing various levels of difficulty and support. Because you do not have the floor to impede you, you will be able to get deeper into your poses. Then relax in the hammock at the end of class as it sways you into deep relaxation. Must be comfortable inverting/going upside down. Please wear long pants or tights and capped sleeved shirt or something that covers under the arms.
Aerial Yoga at Tantra Fitness
Silks L1: Silks L1 will introduce you to the foundations of how to suspend yourself in the air! You’ll get stronger as you learn how to climb the silks, lace lock in the air, and flip yourself upside-down! Sapphire, Teal, Turquoise…you don’t have to do the series in any particular order, but you must have completed all 3 colours before going into Silks Lab. Each class colour will focus on a specific technique, transition, and/or aspect of Silks.
Silks L2: After you have completed the foundations presented in L1, we continue to build on them in L2! Skills needed for L2 are the classic climb, foot locks and inverting starting with feet on the floor. After you have mastered those you are ready to learn more difficult poses, as well as the fun (and complicated), wraps necessary to move onto Silks Lab! Be sure to collect all 6 shades of green as many times as you need (Emerald, Forest, Jade, Lime, Mint, Olive)!
Silks Lab (L2+): Once you have completed level 1 and 2, you can drop into Aerial Silks lab. It is a non-progressive course where students will be lead through a group warmup and conditioning, and instructors will present new and varying skills each week. Students may give suggestions for skill choice.
Aerial Hoop Level 1: Gain strength and flexibility as you learn the amazing art of Lyra. You must feel comfortable learning to invert to attend this course. In level 1, you will review and build on intro theories and add hanging inversions and static positions to the repertoire. Please wear tights or crops and a sleeved top. Ruby, Scarlet, Crimson…you don’t have to do the series in any particular order, but you must have completed all 3 colours before going into Aerial Hoop L2. Each class colour will focus on a specific technique, transition, and/or aspect of Aerial Hoop.
Aerial Hoop at Tantra Fitness
Aerial Hoop Level 2: Now that you have an understanding of the fundamentals of being in the air, it’s a chance to introduce some more exciting skills into your repertoire! You will learn a variety of static and dynamic tricks, classic poses and combos that will keep your mind so busy that you won’t even realize how great of a workout you are getting! Why exercise on the ground, when you can play in the air! You must collect all the colours (Blonde, Daffodil, Gold, Lemon, Mustard, Sunflower) as many times as you need until you feel prepared for moving into the Hoop L2 Lab.
Aerial Hoop Lab (L2+): Once you have completed level 1, you can drop into Aerial Hoop lab. It is a non-progressive course where students will be lead through a group warmup and conditioning, and instructors will present new and varying skills each week. Students may give suggestions for skill choice.
Aerial Silks at Tantra Fitness
The Aerial Arts are a really fun and unique way to express yourself. It provides you the freedom to fly and be creative. If you want to try this sport out for FREE, register online to secure your spot for FREE Intro to Aerial Arts at Tantra Fitness Richmond. Classes are Mondays at 5:30pm and Thursdays at 6:30pm.
Tune in next week when we dive deeper into the world of Aerial Arts.
Here’s What Happens to Your Body During an Aerial Yoga Class
It is well-documented that I’m a huge fan of Savasana, the final resting pose at the end of yoga class. So when I heard that aerial yoga classes offer particularly relaxing Savasana sessions, I signed up for what I thought was a restorative class at Christopher Harrison’s AntiGravity Fitness Lab in New York City. Gently rocking back and forth in a hammock? That’s a Savasana lover’s dream.
Once the class started however, I quickly realized I’d accidentally registered for an open level session. In other words, I was going to have to do some pretty intimidating hanging-upside-down poses in order to earn that glorious Savasana. As someone who has never—not once, not even almost—done any kind of inversion in a regular yoga class, this was a big deal. Cue panic mode. Can I escape without the teacher noticing? I wondered frantically. (It was a six-person class, so that was a no.)
But after my initial fear, I found that moving into an aerial handstand with the support of the very encouraging instructor was surprisingly easy—and awesome. I left class feeling extra-stretchy and accomplished. I thought my skin even looked a little glowy, maybe thanks to all the blood that had rushed to my face. I was so impressed by my experience that I convinced the Health.com team to film a Facebook Live video at AntiGravity Fitness Lab a few weeks later. (You can check it out here.)
While yoga in general offers a slew of health benefits, I wondered if aerial yoga could provide its own unique perks. To find out whether hanging upside down is especially good for you, I called Allan Stewart, MD, director of aortic surgery and co-director of the Valve Center at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.
RELATED: Can Yoga Prevent—Even Reverse—an Osteoporosis-Related Hunchback?
The answer, he said, is yes and no. There are plenty of reasons to love yoga in general: It can increase flexibility, improve your blood pressure and cholesterol, even whittle your waist. You’ll reap all these benefits during an aerial yoga class. And if you suffer from back spasms, scoliosis, or a herniated disc, hanging upside down may ease painful symptoms. “It can lengthen your ligaments, and at least temporarily relax your muscles,” Dr. Stewart explains.
You may also notice temporary changes in your skin, such as an improvement in varicose veins, a subtle reduction in fine lines, and more color in your face, says Dr. Stewart. (Hence my #glow.) But the claim that hanging upside down can somehow improve overall circulation is simply untrue, he says.
That’s because your circulation system knows how to direct the flow of blood; it doesn’t need gravity to help it do its job. When you’re upright, oxygenated blood gets pumped to your entire body (including your brain), and deoxygenated blood returns to your heart. Hanging upside down sends more blood to your head, but both oxygen-rich and oxygen-poor blood. “You’re not increasing the amount of nutrients in the blood going to your brain,” Dr. Stewart says, “and you’re actually reducing the flow of ‘good’ blood.” This explains that lightheaded feeling you get when you’re inverted.
RELATED: How Yoga Can Relieve Back Pain
“I’m not saying that hanging upside down is necessarily bad,” he says. But any positive effects, like a flushed face, are transient. If you’re specifically hoping to ease back pain, you may be better off using an inversion table, which is designed for therapeutic use, says Dr. Stewart. “A few studies suggest can reduce the need for back surgery if you have a herniated disc,” he adds. But you should consult your doctor before using one, he cautions, “and make sure there’s someone nearby who can help you get out of it should you become stuck.”
It’s also important to note that some people should skip aerial yoga and inversion tables (and avoid going upside down entirely), says Dr. Stewart, including “anyone with heart failure, defined spinal problems, or glaucoma.”
Yogapeutics Hammocks are especially helpful for ANY kid (even the grown-up kind) :
1. Yogapeutics hammocks allow the multi-sensory information and movement that a child’s brain needs to process information, learn, attend and develop in a healthy way. Our modern day, sedentary yet overscheduled society doesn’t leave a lot of room for the type of movement which research shows is necessary for brain development (inverting the head hanging, gliding, balancing, receiving traction & compression of all joints of the body, and having a space to get away from the hustle of life). Did you know that just 15-20 minutes of this type of movement can have a positive effect on behavior that lasts hours? Yogapeutics’ hammock allows you to provide this necessary movement and calming, comforting space to your child at your convenience in your own home!
2. 110 degrees outside? Blizzard coming in? Your indoor hammock keeps your kids from cabin fever and protects a parent from insanity! If you live in a location with extreme seasonal weather, there are some times of the year where attempting to obtain outdoor movement opportunities is considered borderline insanity (i.e. August in Austin). The hammock is an awesome way to receive movement when the weather prohibits outdoor adventures. The hammock is also known to maintain any parent’s mental health when staying indoors is required. However, hammocks can be set up outside on swing sets or on healthy trees that are assured to support dynamic forces. We do not recommend you leave your hammock outside overnight. The fabric integrity can be compromised by weather.
3. Hammocks are a calming sensory retreat and physical boundary from everyday overload. Research shows children are more stressed as early as 1st grade than in any other time in US history, and that kids can sense stress in their parents lives even when parents do a good job of trying to protect them from it. Teaching stress management techniques to kids is imperative in today’s society. As little as 15-20 minutes of child-led movement time or relaxation time in the hammock can have a positive effect on behavior and stress levels for hours to come! In my workshops, I call such sensory retreat a “peace place.” I believe it is essential to have a peace place in every home & school environment where the child can go to calm & self-regulate, receive physical comfort from the compressive support of the fabric and have a sense of respite from the hustle and bustle of modern times. Research supports this belief, too!
4. The hammock has many intentional, calming elements. The hammock allows a static and evenly dispersed compression of the body, which is calming to the nervous system (much like a massage is calming). The blue color was chosen intentionally because it has been demonstrated in recent studies to be psychologically calming and to encourage creativity. When inside the hammock, the fabric is sheer enough to see through, and the material breathes easily so the child doesn’t get overheated, but the slight concealing nature of the fabric also decreases visual distraction and allows a calming inward focus to be practiced. The linear movements of swaying and swinging have long been shown to calm a nervous system. In fact, the first thing parents naturally do for their newborn babies is to sway and/or swing them into a soothed state. This hammock allows a child to receive such movement, but because the height can be adjusted and the hammock can move in all directions, the child has complete control of how much and which way the movement is facilitated, and to offer a child some sense of control is to also offer self-regulation and self-calming capabilities. Additionally, Yogapeutics hammocks include a “squishy pad,” which is like a 20 inch, extra thick yoga mat that can be utilized to make the hammock positions comfortable and as a prop for modifications for the individual person.
5.The nylon fabric is inclusive and supportive! This texture of fabric is tolerated well by kids with tactile sensitivities as it is smooth and seamless. Additionally, it has low to no stretch so while it is malleable to any body shape or size, it simultaneously offers stability for poses and even compression, which is very different than the feeling of practicing poses in stretchy fabric, spandex or high stretch aerial arts fabric.
6. Small space friendly and practical! Unlike bulkier swings with more hard materials, these hammocks don’t take up much space (tie them up in a simple knot over your head to have full use of floor space or to remove access to children when unsupervised). Once installed, hammocks are easy to adjust down low to a few inches above the ground or up high using our chained webbing system, which offers about 4.5 feet of adjustable height levels in a few inch increments! I recommend a 6 foot diameter of free space for hammock use, placed at least 4 feet from the wall.
7. Kids won’t grow out of these versatile and inclusive gifts! Even the teenagers and adults in the house will be hankering for a hang! All of our hammocks are suitable for adults. The length of the fabric is 7-8 yards long, and the width is 108 inches wide! This is much more fabric than any other sensory swing I’ve ever seen and allows for two people to get into the hammock (parent and child)! Even my 6’2″ tall husband fits inside! Weight limit is 1000-2000 lbs! For advanced poses, the fabric is kinder (less intense compression) to individuals weighing less than 200lbs, for individuals greater than 200lbs, more restorative yoga poses are wonderful in the hammock hung low to the ground! I feel this hammock is for everyone of every age and size! The hardware of the hammock is all safety-rated climbing equipment from my climbing fav, Liberty Mountain, which includes all steel carabiners and nylon safety rated webbing. I’ve had these in my house for over a year, and you can count on one hand how many times we have skipped a day in the hammock! It’s just so convenient right there in the house, and too fun and versatile to ignore!
8. The hammock comes with my wholehearted offering of information to empower you on your aerial yoga journey, online demonstrations so that playful & creative techniques for aerial yoga for kids that I openly share to others. The more, the merrier! When I first bought a yoga hammock almost 2 years ago, there was very little out there by way of instruction for adult use, and certainly nothing for child use. I received a hammock in a box without instructions or information on how to use it safely, and it was up to me to figure the rest out. That’s a difficult and expensive way to learn, and most of us don’t have time, resources or energy for that laborious route. I get emails from around the world daily requesting a way to learn aerial yoga for kids, and I don’t intend to hold any this information back from anyone seeking to better a child’s life and play through aerial yoga. That’s why I offer an exclusive access to anyone who purchases a hammock to view my demo page with online videos that are regularly added!
9. The hammock is actually only the icing on the cake. The real core offering of this gift, is that it introduces so many kids to yoga in a playful and interesting way. The fun-factor of the hammock brings kids to the mat that may not otherwise come, and often holds them there for a bit longer than if it were all on the floor. As a child develops motor skill, coordination, and receives sensory nutrition for brain development, she also takes with her an ability to trust beyond herself, to try something new for mental flexibility, to practice self development of mindfulness, gratitude and kindness, to learn coping strategies and stress management techniques and develop healthy awareness of her own needs and individual make-up. Yoga is something your child can do his whole life through, no matter age or ability, and it offers a healthy coping technique for walking through life, being himself and honoring his own neurology. Yoga teaches kids how to walk down life’s path with a sense of peace, no matter what obstacle they may discover before them. This is more than just a gift or a toy you would give them; it’s a healthy way of life and a legacy of love and compassion.
But don’t take my word for it, check out what Angie Voss, OTR, has to say about aerial yoga from Yogapeutics on her sensory benefits page! She would know as she’s the author of bestselling Understanding Your Child’s Sensory Signals (currently rated 4.9/5 stars by 147 reviews on Amazon) and owner of an amazing, free sensory resource, ASensoryLife.com
See my You Tube Video below, which is a sample of the kinds of videos you see on the online demonstration site. Here’s a Yogapeutics original rhyme to help kids sequence the steps of Monkey Hang:
Sit up tall.
Grab on strong.
Take a deep breath in.
Make your breath out long.
Eyes look high.
Legs spread wide.
Lean way back.
Feet and toes wrap.
Hands let go, now join the gang!
Here you are in Monkey Hang!
It is adaptable for bodies of all sizes
I often get asked if there is a weight limit for aerial yoga. Dont worry! Our equipment is rated for 500kgs and the movements very adaptable for larger bodies. As the fabric supports some of the bodies weight it can take the pressure off the knees, wrists and spine.
I have had many students who stopped going to regular yoga classes due to injury, or just not feeling like there were enough suitable options for them, who have rediscovered their love of yoga in the aerial hammock.
We may still have to modify some movements, but the fabric gives us lots more options and that allow everyone to flow along with the class in a way that supports and nurtures their own bodies.
You can work on strength, stability and flexibility all at the same time
The aerial hammock supports us, but it isnt fixed, so our bodies are always working to maintain stability. We can use the fabric to cradle us in a deep passive stretch, but also to work our active flexibility range, or even for resistance.
Many people who arent fans of core or upper body strength training on the ground love it in the fabric – usually we are so immersed in the feeling of the movement we arent even aware of all the strengthening actions that go into a fun flip!
Its great for your brain!
As we learn new movements we create new neural pathways and synaptic connections which increases Neuroplasticity of the brain (our ability to learn new things) – this is said to help protect and regenerate the brain as we age. (1)
As we move the body through space (and upside down) it improves our proprioceptive and kinaesthetic awareness – Ive noticed my own coordination has really improved since practicing aerial yoga!
Many people find it easier to meditate in the fabric
The feeling of being cocooned in the fabric can be very soothing and relaxing for the mind.
When we are immersed in the sensation of learning a new movement, we dont tend to think as much about our usual worries, and the mental chatter of distraction settles down – it feels easier to tune into the present moment.
The movements of the practice can help release tension held in the body which can assist with the mind coming to rest.
Its fun to try something new and maybe even surprise ourselves!
It feels fantastic floating in fabric, hanging upside down and doing flips – and many of these moves are suitable for all levels of experience – you can enjoy them in your very first session.
Its really satisfying to work towards something over time, and we can learn a lot about ourselves and our preconceptions along the way.
The beauty of aerial yoga is that there are movements that everyone can enjoy and feel great doing!
Book a Session Now!
- https://www.ausmed.com/articles/exercise-induced-neuroplasticity/ Exercise sets into motion an interactive cascade of growth factor that has the net effect of stimulating plasticity, enhancing cognitive function . . . stimulating neurogenesis (Wilcox et al. 2009).
Who can take Aerial Yoga? Anyone! Almost anyone, that is! Students of most ages, men and women, practice Aerial Yoga and reap the benefits of this therapeutic style of yoga. That said, there are a few ailments that would prevent someone from attending. People who are or have very high or low blood pressure, easy onset vertigo, pregnancy, glaucoma, disc herniation, recent surgery, heart disease, osteoporosis, bone weakness, recent head injury, cerebral sclerosis, propensity for fainting, artificial hips, carpal tunnel syndrome, severe arthritis, sinusitis or head cold…cannot participate in aerial yoga. As with all exercise programs, we strongly advise anyone suffering from any kind of medical condition or injury consult their doctor before beginning aerial yoga. You will be required to sign a safety waiver before you register online or in person. As far as current fitness level: It is recommended to have a basic understanding of yoga–being able to comfortably complete a Vinyasa, including a chaturanga (yoga push up), would be an appropriate starting point before beginning Aerial Yoga.
Is Aerial Yoga Safe? All exercise entails some level of risk, and aerial yoga is no different. That said, we take the safety of our clients and instructors very seriously. Our yoga hammocks, steel carabiners & structure are rigged to hold several 1,000 pounds worth of dynamic movement/weight, and have been designed and installed by certified engineers. The most common cause of discomfort when beginning an aerial practice is due to the wraps themselves, and you may experience some minor irritation, discomfort, and even bruising as you condition your body to the sensation and pressure of the wraps. Some people may also experience dizziness as a result of inverting, and we take great care in our classes to ensure adequate time is allowed for clients to breathe and reconnect with the earth after inversions. It is essential that you inform your instructor of any existing medical issues, injuries, or other concerns before beginning class and review the “Can I take aerial yoga?” section above to ensure you do not have a condition that may prevent your practice.
Who would you recommend should be cautious with an aerial yoga class? People who are or have very high or low blood pressure, easy onset vertigo, pregnancy, glaucoma, disc herniation, recent surgery, heart disease, osteoporosis, bone weakness, recent head injury, cerebral sclerosis, propensity for fainting, artificial hips, carpal tunnel syndrome, severe arthritis, sinusitis or head cold, recent stroke, botox injections (within 6 hours)
Is there an age limit for Aerial Yoga? Yes. Students must be at least 14 years old to practice Aerial yoga at Yoga 4 You. Anyone under 18 must also have their parent’s written consent to attend any class or workshop at Yoga 4 You.
Is there a weight limit? Yes, 250 pounds.
How hard is an aerial yoga class? It depends on which class you take. No matter what, YOU monitor your own resistance so each class is as hard as or as easy as you choose to work.
Will I be successful in my first class? Yes! Everyone leaves the class a success! Since this is a YOGA class there is no competition nor ego encouraged. Everyone works at their own pace.
What should I wear? You should wear form fitting clothing, in breathable cotton fabrics that cover the underarms and legs, as some of the wraps may cause discomfort at first. Leggings, fitted yoga pants, t-shirts and other yoga basics all work great. Please avoid clothing with a shiny or slippery surface and anything non-breathable, as these can become very uncomfortable as the detoxifying poses often stimulate a lot of sweating. Women may want to want to wear a properly fitted sports bra, as wardrobe issues during inversions and other upside down poses and transitions are not uncommon. While many men prefer to wear shorts, new male student may want to wear pants until they become more comfortable in the wraps. For safety concerns as well as to protect the hammock fabric, what NOT to wear is more of a concern.
You must remove all of the following items before class as they will damage the swings: Shoes, Jewelry of ANY kind, including earrings, Yoga socks or other yoga footwear, Clothing with gems, sequins, glitter, or other sharp or abrasive surfaces
**PROPER HYGIENE IS ALSO REQUIRED** You must bathe and use appropriate antiperspirants before arriving to use our yoga hammocks. Perfumes and oils are NOT permitted either as they damage and stain the fabric. We wash our fabrics regularly but we need your cooperation in preserving the quality and cleanliness of the hammocks.
What should I bring to an aerial yoga class? Water, sweat towel and a mat (if you want your own – we also have mats available for use in the studio!)
Do I need to be a yoga practitioner? No–although some familiarity with yoga poses may be helpful.
Which aerial yoga class is best for me? All new clients must first take the Learning to Fly: Intro to Aerial Yoga workshop prior to taking any regular aerial yoga class. This foundation workshop begins to familiarize students with using the fabric, gain confidence on how to get into poses safely and gain the trust needed to build the bedrock for your aerial yoga practice. Depending on your current fitness level, previous aerial experience, and general comfort with the basic aerial wraps and poses, you can then move up to Beginner Aerial Silks Yoga Class and beyond as your abilities and interests allow. During your workshop, we will be happy to answer any questions and make recommendations of what classes will best meet your current practice and goals.
I’m a yogi (or dancer, gymnast, crossfitter, Pilates instructor, etc.), do I really need the Intro Workshop? Yes. Aerial yoga is different from traditional yoga, dance, Pilates, and other movement methodologies. While having the fitness and body awareness these practices provide, it is essential you learn the basic wraps and safety taught in Foundations. Aerial yoga and other aerial arts also require practitioners build strength in areas of the body other fitness, yoga, and dance programs may not provide. This is most true when it comes to forearm strength, which is essential for our upper level classes.
If I’ve taken an Aerial Yoga beginner workshop somewhere else or have practiced elsewhere, do I need the workshop? If you have practiced aerial yoga somewhere else, you are able to attend our aerial classes without taking an additional workshops only if:
1) You can provide documents showing you have attended a beginner workshop elsewhere, OR
2) Proof you have attended at least 5 aerial classes elsewhere
Because these classes fill up, we strongly recommend you call us prior to the class you’d like to attend so we can reserve your spot. After you bring in your documents, you will be able to sign up for future aerial classes online.
Should I come on an empty stomach? We recommend having something in the stomach to stave off dizziness, however, we do not recommend a big meal.
Will I get dizzy doing aerial yoga? If one has a strong propensity for dizziness or a “hips over head” spatial awareness style dyslexia this is not the technique for them.
How will I feel after an aerial yoga class? You will feel taller and lighter. Your muscles will have a pump and you will be refreshed!