Aerial yoga entails doing various types of poses, using yoga swings or aerial hammocks. Unlike traditional yoga, aerial yoga allows you to do poses while suspended in the air and off the mat.
And for a beginner, doing poses while suspended in the air can appear challenging or unsafe. But the truth is, there are several beginner aerial yoga swing poses, which you can execute comfortably and safely.
In this article, we will walk you through the top 7 Best Aerial Yoga Swing Poses for beginners. We will also provide some tips to observe while doing aerial yoga swing poses, to ensure your sessions are safe and effective.
About Aerial Yoga Swings
As mentioned above, aerial yoga is performed using yoga swings.
So, what exactly are yoga swings?
A yoga swing is simply a sturdy fabric hammock with handles, made of parachute-grade nylon material, taffeta fabric or silk.
It’s designed to support a person’s weight as they execute aerial yoga poses.
When in use, yoga swings are usually mounted from an anchor point. This anchor point can be a ceiling, doorframe, or tree.
Aerial yoga swings can also be mounted on an aerial yoga stand.
A stand is the ideal choice for someone who likes moving around with their aerial yoga setup. For instance, if you practice aerial yoga and you travel a lot, then you can simply carry your yoga swing stand with you, and practice aerial yoga whenever you want.
There are several types of yoga swings out there, so make sure you purchase one from a reputable brand. And when you buy a yoga swing from a reputable brand, you are assured of getting a quality product, which will offer value for your money.
Best Yoga Swing Poses for Beginners
Yoga swing poses may appear intimidating or challenging to a beginner. But, if your heart is in aerial yoga, there are several beginner-friendly aerial yoga swing poses, which can help to get you started.
In this section, we will take you through beginner aerial yoga swing poses, which can help to get your aerial yoga practice rolling.
1. Downward Dog
The downward dog is a beginner yoga swing pose that you should include in your workout session. You can also begin with this pose as a warm-up exercise since it’s not hard to execute.
To do the downward dog, you will first need to stand firmly on the ground, with your legs spread to a shoulder-width distance.
Spreading your legs will help to enhance your stability when doing this pose.
After that, you will then bend over the yoga swing slowly and lower your hands to the floor, and then walk them towards the legs until they are straight.
You will then swing your body back and forth.
The downward-facing dog will work your hands, back and legs. It will enhance your shoulder strength, decompress the spine, alleviate pressure from the hamstrings and strengthen the core.
2. Aerial Lunges
Aerial lunges are beginner-friendly poses that come with numerous health benefits. When properly executed, aerial lunges can help to increase muscle density and enhance leg strength. Also, they can increase your overall flexibility and stamina.
For this aerial yoga swing pose for beginners, you will first need to assume the ordinary lunge position. And you will do so using support from your aerial yoga hammock or swing.
When you obtain this position, your back leg should be positioned on the swing while the forward bending leg should be planted on the ground firmly. While making sure your back remains straight, you will then move your back leg until it becomes parallel with the one planted on the ground.
And as the back leg moves backward, you should be bending the front leg. You can then interchange the legs and do the same sequence for the other leg. You can do as many reps as you want or as long as your body can withstand.
3. Aerial Planks
As much as aerial planks may appear easy, they may be a bit challenging to execute, compared to the other beginner yoga swing exercises.
Nevertheless, you will appreciate learning how to execute them from the early stages.
Planks work almost all muscles in the body.
Therefore, doing them frequently and mastering them, you will find it easier to execute more demanding aerial yoga swing poses later.
So, how do execute this pose?
First, you will begin on all fours while facing away from your yoga swing. With your hands planted on the floor firmly, you should then lift the left leg and then place it in your yoga hammock.
After placing the left leg on the hammock, you will then lift the right one and place it on the hammock too.
With both legs securely placed on the hammock, you should then hold this plank position for approximately 30 seconds or so. You can then increase this duration to several minutes, as your body becomes stronger.
Aerial planks will work your arms, core, shoulders, wrists, and even the back. By doing this beginner aerial yoga swing pose frequently, your body balance and strength will increase significantly.
Here is a cool idea, why not try a 30-day Plank Challenge?!
4. Chair Pose
The chair pose is one of the easiest aerial yoga swing poses. It’s one of the foundational poses for aerial yoga since it will help to prepare your body for more advanced swing yoga.
The main benefits of this pose are that it can help to improve your posture, align your back, strengthen your core and legs, and help you to become more flexible and improve your overall balance.
There are several variations of the child pose. But, the most beginner-friendly is the yoga swing-supported child pose. To execute this pose, you will begin by planting your feet firmly on the ground. Your hands should be holding on to the swing, which should be passing under your armpits.
After reaching this position, you will then need to bend your knees slowly and then move back and down as if you are sitting on an imaginary chair. Your knees should form a 90-degree angle as you lean down.
From there, you now have the option of letting go of the swing and letting it support your back. You then need to hold this position for a couple of minutes, as you breathe in and relax.
5. Aerial Mountain
The aerial mountain is yet another beginner-friendly yoga swing pose that you should add to your aerial yoga workout routine. Its execution is almost similar to the standing mountain pose.
But this time, you will be using an antigravity yoga swing to stretch the shoulders and open the heart.
So, how do you perform the aerial mountain pose?
Well, you will begin by standing with your feet placed together while the aerial yoga hammock swing will be behind you. Make sure you’ve adjusted the yoga swing’s height so that it’s resting slightly above the rib cage.
Once you’ve adjusted the swing’s height, you will then need to lean back into it slowly, while ensuring your feet are planted firmly on the ground.
Then, you will push your arms over the head with the palms in a clasped position. You should then allow the neck to release tension and the heart to open, as you stretch the entire body in this position.
6. Inverted Bow Pose
If you’ve ever attempted doing the bow pose on the yoga mat but it appeared as if it’s too challenging, you will find it easier to execute using a yoga swing.
The yoga swing will be supporting your back, meaning it will take some of the pressure and strain off your body.
To do the inverted bow pose, you will start by sitting on the yoga swing while ensuring your body weight is uniformly distributed. You should then grab the hammock or the silks and hold it firmly.
Once you’ve ensured that you are holding onto the hammock securely, you will then bend your back slowly, as you lower your head towards the floor. You should lower your head as far as you feel comfortable.
After attaining a comfortable position, you should then release the yoga hammock and then hold the ankles. From there, you should then stretch your neck and release any tension around that area. You can stretch as much as you want, depending on your level of flexibility.
The inverted bow pose will stretch and open the shoulders, stomach and back. It will also open the lungs while stimulating your digestive and nervous systems. Also, this pose will decompress and lengthen the spine, making it the ideal stretching exercise after sitting in front of a computer all day.
7. Aerial Butterfly Pose
The aerial butterfly is a great pose to meditate, unwind and stretch out the hips. It will improve your posture, open the hips, boost executive function, increase body awareness as well as promote concentration and focus, among other benefits.
To execute the aerial butterfly pose, you will first need to sit on your yoga swing and then grab the silks or handles on either side. After that, you should bring your feet upwards and tuck them right under the pelvis inside the swing.
Make sure you keep your core engaged and your back straight as much as possible, as you balance on your legs.
It may take some practice to master how to do this pose right but from there, you will be well on your way to executing it effortlessly.
It’s worth mentioning that this pose places a considerable amount of pressure on the hips and knees.
So, if you have knee or hip injuries, you should avoid it until you’ve fully recovered and given the go-ahead by your physician.
Safety Tips When Using Yoga Swings
Yoga swing poses are safe. Also, the rate of injury is quite low, compared to other forms of working out. But with that said, there are certain tips to observe, to ensure your aerial yoga workout sessions are safe, injury-free and productive.
Consult Your Physician
If you have underlying health-related issues like herniated discs, sciatica, vertigo, weak knees, plantar fasciitis or diabetes, it will be advisable to check with your physician first before you begin doing aerial yoga swing poses.
Your physician will conduct a medical assessment on you to determine whether it will be safe for you to do aerial yoga swing poses. While swing yoga is generally safe, you may end up aggravating some underlying conditions you may have.
Wear Proper Clothing
You also need to wear proper clothing whenever you are doing aerial yoga swing poses. And in this case, you should wear form-fitting or close-fitting clothing. Also, you should avoid wearing clothes that have embellishments, zippers or other similar objects.
If you wear loose clothing or clothing that has several embellishments, you may end up getting caught in the yoga swings. And this can lead to a fall, which can lead to serious injuries.
Wearing jewelry like large earrings or bangles also poses a similar risk, so you should avoid them whenever you are going for your antigravity yoga swing sessions.
Apart from helping to minimize the risk of injuries, wearing form-fitting clothing will also enable you to execute the various poses well, without any form of hindrance.
Check Whether the Yoga Swing is Secure
Before you start doing the poses, you should first conduct a thorough assessment of the swing, to ensure it’s secure. To this end, check all the anchor points and ensure everything is in place. You can also test its sturdiness by pressing it toward the floor with your hands.
Also, check whether the yoga swing’s capacity can comfortably support your body weight. Different yoga swings come with different load capacities, so ensure the one you intend to use can accommodate your load.
Aerial Yoga Swing Poses For Beginners
Aerial yoga swing poses can provide an effective workout method for improving posture, strengthening the core, enhancing your flexibility, building strength and muscle, as well as helping with back pain, among other benefits. And, as you can see, you don’t need to be an experienced yogi to enjoy these benefits.
There are numerous beginner-friendly aerial yoga swing poses, which you can begin with, even if you’ve never practiced aerial yoga for a single minute in your life.