Aerial Yoga & Meditation
There is a reason why yoga and meditation are gaining new practitioners.
Studies show that it offers a lot more than just flexibility and exercise. With yoga, many individuals have found an avenue to relieve stress, anxiety, and depression.
Kids, parents and families will benefit together as yoga encourages flexibility, fitness and coping skills. Yoga even has physical and emotional benefits for people of all ages including children.
There are many yoga techniques that you can rely on, especially when you are trying to forget about your parental roles for a little bit. You might be well familiar with the traditional yoga poses you do on your mat, but are you looking for an exhilarating challenge?
This is where aerial yoga comes in!
How Aerial Yoga Works
Traditional yoga deals a lot with you staying on the ground. As the name suggests, aerial yoga means you spend the better part of your yoga practice hanging in the air. (Not like in this picture lol!)
However, you will be using a hammock swing, usually made from strong nylon material.
The material is pretty soft for your comfort but is very strong and can accommodate a lot of weight.
Strong as they are to support you, the hammocks are also suspended by robust straps or daisy chains, and hooks/carabiners.
Aerial Yoga provides stress relief for parents in a variety of ways, and with the hammock, you can do more than the traditional yoga poses. It allows you to do stretches while hanging in the air.
With time, as you learn and perfect your skills, gaining better balance, enhanced stretch and start to perform any pose you like – you can hang upside down, meditate, go into a quite zone, and hopefully feel calmer.
What to Keep in Mind
The only way to ensure you enjoy your aerial yoga and enjoy its maximum benefits is to keep a few things in mind. These ensure you are as comfortable as possible for your yoga practice:
- Ensure your clothes are comfortable but well-fitting. Baggy and flabby garments will only get in your way of maneuverability, which could lead to entanglements and accidents. Apart from your clothes, you will need to be barefoot for your feet to be more comfy and free for any pose.
- Do not have any jewelry on you, from your necklaces to earrings or other objects that might restrict your movement or get caught up and potentially tear the material.
- Aerial yoga is of high intensity, ensuring you eat a light meal and your body is hydrated. However, avoid any carbonated drinks and drink water only. With the kind of movements aerial yoga provides, like upside-down poses, the acid in carbonated drinks will make you uncomfortable.
- Unless you have perfected your skill, always perform aerial yoga in the company of other people, like an instructor or at the very least take a few lessons and then follow some sessions on youtube. It ensures you have maximum safety as you learn.
Benefits of Aerial Yoga & Meditation
Like traditional yoga, aerial yoga comes with several benefits that can help in relieving the stress that comes with parenting.
With time, you could even gain more from it than you would with traditional yoga.
1. Stress Relief
Imagine what it takes for you to hang upside-down? Not just hanging, you can stretch as much as you want from that position. By any feat, aerial yoga allows meditating and putting all your concentration into something different, like correct alignment and balance, while staying safe.
To achieve this, you will need to cultivate positive thoughts, allowing you let go of any negative thoughts that might be causing you a lot of stress.
2. Relieve Anxiety Symptoms
Aerial yoga will help relieve stress and reduce any anxiety you might be experiencing due to parenting.
The level of concentration and patience required to ensure your practice is evolving while hanging on a hammock doing yoga enables one to gather all their emotions and remain calm.
Because of this, you can use aerial yoga whenever you experience anxiety.
Parenting can be pretty overwhelming for any parents, from crying and screaming to a load of house chores, not forgetting the physical and emotional healing process that accompanies parenting.
These can easily cause stress and anxiety, and aerial yoga can come in handy to calm you down.
3. Burning Calories
Are you looking to burn more calories through yoga?
Raising a family is hard enough, and sometimes, there is no much time for you to hit your local gym. With time, you might experience some weight gain, leading to stress if you do not know how to shed extra weight.
Aerial yoga could be just what you need. It is more engaging than traditional yoga, requiring you to use more energy to stay in balance when hanging in the air. It also involves more techniques that come close to acrobatics.
All these are an excellent way to burn a sweat like you would when exercising.
Studies by the American Council on Exercise about the effectiveness of aerial yoga in burning calories show a 50 minute routine of aerial yoga can help one burn up to 320 calories.
If you are stressed because your parenting roles leave you no time to exercise, try aerial yoga. You will burn calories that could help shed the extra weight and relieve the stress by taking time out for your body temple.
4. Improve Your Breathing
One of the best ways to calm yourself down and relieve stress is by controlling your breathing. Generally, traditional yoga allows you to do that. Just because you will be practicing yoga from an aerated angle doesn’t mean you still can’t learn how to control your breathing.
In fact, you might need to learn about controlling your breathing more than ever. As you hang in the air, relax your muscles and body, you get to maintain your breathing for better comfort.
With time, this practice will also help increase the capacity of your lungs.
5. Better Sleep
It is not new for parents to struggle with insomnia. Between worrying about your kids’ future, your family, the daily chores, and everything else, you end up getting less sleep than you should be getting.
This is quite unhealthy and leads to intensified stress levels.
Aerial yoga and meditation can be pretty effective in resolving this. The relaxation of your body, muscles, and mind is excellent at boosting sleep.
6. Positive Thoughts
Most of the stress that comes from parenting is usually from all the negative thoughts. When this happens, you can take a break and give yourself a few minutes to practice yoga and meditation.
The process requires you to remain calm, focused, and keep positive thoughts. It will help you forget about all the negative things that could be worrying you, leading to stress relief.
7. It is Fun!
Most importantly, aerial yoga is a fun activity.
Once you have got the hang of it, you can easily practice your aerial skills from your home. This way, you can include other family members or loved ones in practice, making it more fun.
There is no better way to relieve stress than doing something that you enjoy.
The Best Aerial Yoga Techniques for Stress Relief
By now, you are well aware of how aerial yoga can be an excellent stress relief option for parents.
Below we will outline the best poses and cover how aerial yoga provides stress relief.
To ensure you get the best out of this, ensure these strategies and poses are part of your aerial yoga routine:
Pranayama, which simply means yogic breathing is a big part of the soothing aspect of yoga. One of the ways aerial yoga provides stress relief is through strong, steady breathing.
As you progress from one pose to the other, ensure your breathing is even and deep. To achieve this, you keep your intensity such that you don’t have to hold your breath of breath too hard.
This position could be intimidating when you start doing aerial yoga. However, you do not have to be scared.
Your hammock will be holding you safely. Plus, you are not that far from the ground, and your mat will offer some cushioning.
The star inversion pose involves full inversion while spreading your arms and legs as the hammock supports your waist. Apart from calming you and help relieve stress, star inversion also helps relieve back pains by reducing pressure on your spine.
Believe it or not, aerial lunges are comfier than standard lunges. Standard lunges leave you prone to knee injuries, while aerial lunges do a better job at stretching your body fully and deeply.
Ensure you stand close enough to your mat to have an easier time sliding your leg into the saddle of the hammock and keep the other leg in the middle of the mat with toes pointing forward.
Then, gently assume the lunge position, stretching your hip flexors and quads. Ensure you repeat the position with the other side to relieve tension on both sides.
Bridge pose enables one to relieve pain and tension on your neck and back and headaches from tensed muscles.
With the cross position, you lean back into the hammock on your back and spread your arms. If you are dealing with back pain and tensed muscles, this is an excellent position for you.
Aerial Yoga Provides Stress Relief
Aerial yoga provides stress relief for parents, just like with traditional yoga. Coupled with meditation, whether floor based or suspended, is a powerfully calming practice.
Even if this is your first time practicing yoga, you can most certainly count on aerial yoga to deliver all the benefits of traditional yoga like increasing flexibility, gaining more balance of your body and mind!