Originally Published On 6/10/2020
Many beginner aerial yogis are coming to us for advice on the best aerial yoga equipment that will suit their needs. We’re always being asked, “What is the difference between the aerial hammock and the yoga swing?” and “Should I get the yoga swing, is it worth it, can’t I just get an aerial hammock to do Aerial Yoga??”
So if you have been considering getting your own aerial yoga equipment, but are not sure what to go with, we thought we’d just address this here for you in case you were wondering these same things!
A Comparison To Help You Decide
With so many options to choose from when it comes to aerial equipment, it can be overwhelming.
This is especially true when you’re still trying to decide on whether you need an aerial hammock or yoga swing, and then once that decision is made, comes the many types and brands available to wade through.
Let’s first talk about the similarities between the two types, because there are many.
Both aerial hammocks and yoga swings can be found in a few different varieties of fabric, size and usually come in an array of colour options. We’ll then draw some distinctions to see clearly what makes them different.
100% polyester Tricot or Teslon nylon fabric aerial hammocks are most common, being a high thread count 100% nylon fabric, and incredibly soft, durable and has a bit of weight to it with a little stretch.
These are usually referred to as “aerial silks” and used for aerial arts, and also aerial yoga, but is not always practical for aerial yoga and definitely not suited as a prop to use during your regular yoga asana.
The strongest and best suited fabric for aerial yoga and to assist with traditional mat yoga, whether you choose the basic aerial hammock or the yoga swing, is high quality 100% nylon rip-stop parachute material, (which is what we hand make ours products from), as it is taught and provides better support, especially for beginners.
The parachute nylon is lightweight and the aerial hammocks can roll up to a very small parcel so you can take them anywhere, however the yoga swings with the added handles are not much heavier, or all that much bulkier, and so they are just as portable.
The size of the nylon Tricot or polyester Lycra/Teslon fabric aerial hammocks are generally extremely long and they are just one piece of fabric cut to length.
The lengths are generally between 12ft. – 14ft. and allow you to do all kinds of poses.
At Gravotonics, we offer two sizes of aerial hammock and yoga swing. The regular size is the standard with the yoga swing which is perfect for aerial yoga and correct alignment during your traditional yoga practice.
Keep in mind that these are attached with hooks to daisy chain adjustment straps which can add plenty of extra length if needed.
Then the larger size for those who may appreciate the added length and coverage. This can be particularly good for Savasana, where you are completely cocooned by the fabric!
Depending on the fabric there are many different options for colour on the market. The tricot and teslon varieties can be found in an array of solid colours in pastels, brights etc, even ombre and tie dye patterns!
This is quite fun and you can find a colour choice and style to suit you.
The parachute material is rather limited in that it is all the one sheen and although still available in an abundance of solid colours, does not come in ombres or tie dye etc.
However, you can generally choose one single colour or even two or more colours in combination for your aerial hammock or yoga swing when made with the parachute nylon because the parts are stitched together, as opposed to a single length of material mentioned before with the other fabrics.
We have about 20 base colours and a few exotic colours available here and can often source others upon request, and having 2 colours together and customized means we can do hundreds of different combinations!
Although the tricot and teslon varieties can be used outdoors, they are better suited for strictly indoor use. The parachute material on the other hand is perfect in both circumstances although the colour may fade if left in the sun for a prolonged amount of time.
The tricot/teslon are simply like a sheet that you then then tie knots at each end to attach to your carabiners for hanging. Whereas the parachute fabric is triple stitched and s-hooks or carabiners are permanent attachments.
Most often you will find a package which comes ready to install with steel hooks and/or carabiners and daisy chains. Also, some come with the ceiling brackets, but more often they are an added purchase because everybody’s needs are different with their installation.
Either of the options are perfect most people generally supporting several hundred pounds.
Most if not all will come with a carry bag of some description, often colour matched in the same material as the equipment. Lastly, both options are generally easy to maintain and use, you’ll be able to perform many aerial yoga poses safely and with grace.
We’ve spoken extensively about the benefits of aerial yoga in other articles, so I won’t go into any detail here, only to say that the aerial hammock and yoga swing both help you in your yoga practice.
Whether you are focused on boosting your core muscle strength along with back and shoulder strength especially or improving your flexibility and go deeper into the poses.
Or if you are looking to be supported due to mobility issues or injuries, working through rehabilitation. Or, simply to focus more on your breath and meditation.
All of these things and more are the perfect reasons to get yourself some aerial yoga equipment and start today. Best of all it can add so much fun and extra variety to your practice.
So Aerial Hammock or Yoga Swing?
Okay so now here is a quick insight into what makes them different and wrap it all up.
The basic aerial hammock is used for anti-gravity yoga all around the world, and is a great tool to explore various aerial moves and to form the foundation of your aerial yoga practice.
There are also the meditative part to doing this for a prolonged period, especially if you are doing Savasana or Lotus poses.
Along with alleviating back pain and muscle tension, it is awesome to assist with alignment and progressing back bends.
It is simply the material secured to your aerial rig, without any bells and whistles. In most cases it will do the job beautifully and this is why it is most commonly used in aerial yoga classes.
However the yoga swing takes your aerial yoga practice AND resistance exercises to the next level!
This ultimate yoga prop is only found in the nylon parachute material, and this is what sets it apart from the basic aerial hammock counterpart.
Also known as a Yoga Trapeze featuring 2 handles with 3 comfortable padded foam grips on either side, it is extremely versatile, adjustable and comfortable.
With a yoga swing anything is possible – from vertical to horizontal with every conceivable angle in between.
The handles make it easy to support your weight and maneuver into different positions during your practice, including using the handles as stirrups.
The added support and maneuverability is amazing for beginners and experts alike, enabling you to achieve any asana imaginable. Everything you can do in an aerial hammock, you can do better in the yoga swing and it is even more fun!
The Choice Is Yours!
So there you go, they are both similar, however the yoga swing adds much more versatility, range of movement and ease of use than a standard aerial hammock.
The choice is really up to you and what you want to accomplish from your home aerial yoga workouts, however we always recommend people go for the Yoga Swing, not only for all the added versatility and benefits, but because you can always just separate the handles and use it just with the sling on its own as the aerial hammock.
So why not just spend the extra little bit upfront and have the option to use it how you want any time in future?
If you have not incorporated either the aerial hammock or the yoga swing into your daily yoga or exercise routine yet, what are you waiting for?!
Visit our shop to choose your favourite colours today.