If you are looking for a fun and enjoyable means of exercising and stretching your body, then you should consider aerial yoga.
But what exactly is aerial yoga?
Aerial yoga involves performing inversions and poses using a swing or hammock, suspended from a tree, ceiling, or frame.
So, instead of performing yoga poses on a mat like conventional yoga, you will be using a suspended sling.
Aerial yoga is also known as anti-gravity yoga, aero-yoga, zero-gravity yoga, air yoga and flying yoga, just to name a few.
If you come across any of these terms, just know that they are talking about the same thing, although each generally have their own differences in focus depending on the style you choose.
Read on through this aerial yoga guide for its benefits, the equipment needed, and how to do it like a pro.
Is Aerial Yoga Hard?
Aerial yoga is not as hard as it looks. In fact, it’s one of the most relaxing methods of working out. You will also be burning some calories as you perform aerial yoga poses.
Also, it’s not reserved for athletic, skinny, or flexible people. Anybody can do aerial yoga, regardless of their current fitness level.
However, you will need some time to get used to it, especially if you’ve never performed similar exercises, that’s why we suggest aerial yoga for beginners.
Within a short time, you will get comfortable performing the different poses. And you will start looking forward to the next session.
So, whether you are a seasoned athlete or you are just getting started with your fitness regime, aerial yoga is perfect for all fitness levels.
What are the Health Benefits of Aerial Yoga?
You may be probably asking yourself why you should start doing aerial yoga. Well, aerial yoga is more than just a stretching routine. It combines strength and flexibility training, as well as cardio.
In short, a single session of aerial yoga will give you a full-body workout. The additional benefits of zero-gravity yoga include:
- Alleviating back and neck pressure: If your occupation involves standing all day, there is a high chance that you normally experience back pain or neck stiffness. When you stand all day, gravity will weigh down your spine, thus causing these issues. But when you assume an upside-down position, you will decompress the spine, thus helping to alleviate the pressure.
- Improve body balance: When you are suspended upside down, you will be positioning your body against gravity. As you do this repeatedly, your body will eventually benefit from improved stability and balance, which is usually needed to perform various day-to-day activities.
- Enhancing circulation: When doing aerial yoga, you will be breathing through the movements and poses. And this is a great means of enhancing circulation throughout your body.
- Boost mood and confidence: Aerial yoga can significantly boost your mood and relieve stress. Therefore, if you are feeling down or stressed, hanging free in the air will make you feel much better. Thanks to aerial yoga, you don’t have to pay for expensive counseling sessions to help you deal with stress and anxiety. You just need to join an aerial yoga class and you will start rebuilding your emotional system.
- Rejuvenates your body: Another benefit of aerial yoga is that it will improve your body’s internal functioning and cleanse your system. When you do zero-gravity yoga, you will be improving the functioning of your respiratory, circulatory and digestive systems. And when these systems are regulated and improved, your mental abilities will also be boosted, your mind will be relaxed and your skin will glow.
- Boosts digestion: Upside-down yoga will also boost your digestive system. According to recent studies, aerial yoga can help to heal a wide range of digestion-related issues such as indigestion and constipation. The stretching will also help to relax your abdomen while providing relief from irritable bowel syndrome.
- Burns calories: Apart from providing peace and relaxation, air yoga can also help your body to burn calories. Maintaining the various aerial yoga poses requires a stable and balanced core. Hence, as you try to keep your body balanced, you will also be burning calories. So, if you are looking for a means of burning fats and losing weight fast, then you should integrate aerial yoga into your workout routine.
As you can see from reading this aerial yoga guide, it offers a wide range of physical and mental benefits. It will boost your fitness levels, help you to be more relaxed and provide relief from everyday stress.
What Equipment is Needed?
Just like floor yoga, you don’t need expensive equipment to do aerial yoga. Furthermore, the equipment needed is readily available, accessible and affordable. The good news is that you can do aerial yoga practically anywhere.
The equipment needed includes:
- Yoga hammock/swing: A yoga hammock or yoga swing is generally a fabric sling which can include the handles, suspended from a tree or ceiling etc. Yoga hammocks are available in different sizes, colors and designs. So, you just need to choose the one that suits your needs and preferences.
- Door-frame bar: If you will be doing aerial yoga at home, then you want to try a door-frame bar. As the name suggests, a door-frame bar provides an anchor point where you can hang your yoga swing. You can also use the same bar for performing pull-ups and chin-ups.
- Suspension hooks: Apart from using a door-frame bar, you can also suspend your yoga hammock using suspension hooks on the ceiling. Suspension hooks tend to be stronger and firmer, compared to a door-frame bar.
- Freestanding aerial rigs: If you are looking for a convenient and versatile means of hanging your yoga swings anywhere, then you should get yourself a freestanding aerial rig. These rigs can be used outdoors or indoors. Furthermore, they are height-adjustable, meaning you can customize them according to the workout level that you want.
Can You Do Aerial Yoga at Home?
Yes. You can do aerial yoga at home. But first, it is advised to seek an aerial yoga guide by joining a local class. Aerial yoga classes are almost everywhere, meaning you should not have problems finding one.
The classes will help you to master the basic movements and poses. From there, you can then start doing the movements at home.
Working out at home will give you the flexibility that you need to create your own workout regime. Also, you can customize your workouts based on your current lifestyle and schedule.
So, if classes are not convenient or affordable for you, then working out at home is an option.
However, if you decide to work out at home, make sure the equipment is installed by professionals. Unprofessionally done setups can be lead to accidental falls, which may prove fatal.
Also, you may end up damaging the ceiling if the rigs are not properly installed. It’s also advisable to invest in quality gear.
Aerial Yoga Tips for Beginners
As noted earlier in this aerial yoga guide, you don’t need any prior yoga experience. You just need the right gear, setup at home or join a class and your instructor will take it from there.
If you are a beginner, here are some tips that will help to make your sessions more successful and enjoyable.
- Wear the right gear: Just like any other fitness activity, you need to wear proper gear when going for your aerial yoga sessions. You will be more comfortable if you are wearing fitted clothes. So, avoid loose shorts and pants. Instead, you should wear leggings or tight yoga pants. You will also need a form-fitting top, yoga socks and shoes, a headband as well as a sports bra for women.
- Trust the hammock: If you are new to aerial yoga, you may have some reservations concerning the slings and hammocks. However, these slings are built to withstand weights of up to 200kgs+ therefore you have nothing to worry about. No matter your body size or shape, anyone can enjoy aerial yoga.
- Avoid heavy meals before the sessions: Aerial yoga involves plenty of stretching and inversion poses. Hence, if you eat a large meal before going to class, you will find it extremely uncomfortable to do the poses. If possible, don’t take a large meal an hour before you head for classes. But it doesn’t mean you should go on an empty stomach, a small pre-workout snack should do the trick.
- Don’t wear jewelry: Earrings, necklaces, bracelets, watches and other types of jewelry can easily get snagged in the slings. And they may end up tearing and destroying the hammock. Therefore, it’s best if you just leave the jewelry behind when you are going for aerial yoga classes.
- Relax and enjoy: Some poses and moves may appear challenging and intimidating, especially for beginners. And frustrations may start to set in. But don’t allow this to happen. Just relax and breathe through the different poses, go at your own pace and everything will work out just fine.
Aerial Yoga Guide
Aerial yoga provides a full-body workout as well as a spiritually uplifting experience.
It will take your mind away and create a feeling of relaxation and peace. It will also boost your creativity, help you to develop artistic skills and give you a rush of joy and positivity.
So, we hope you’ve enjoyed this aerial yoga guide! Get your gear ready and start enjoying the immense benefits of aerial yoga today.