Originally published on 04/05/2020
It’s totally normal to feel nervous about taking your very first Aerial Yoga for beginners class.
Will I be strong enough?
Do I have to be super flexible?
Is Aerial Yoga hard to do?
These are probably some of the many questions newbies to Aerial Yoga like you will ask!
Let’s say you’ve already bit the bullet and finally got yourself enrolled in your first Aerial Yoga class.
Maybe you’ve done some research or asked around friends and family who also do the class, but for some reason, you’re still feeling a bit restless as you’re leading up to the big day.
Here’s the thing— It’s only natural to feel a little anxious about joining your first Aerial Yoga for beginners class.
Aerial Yoga classes are all different, each taught in a specific style, using a variety of hammocks and silks. As it continues to be popular, instructors eventually develop their own techniques for their students.
Along with this, there are different studio policies for the classes you go to, so know that when it comes to what to expect at your first aerial class, this will depend on where you are taking the class.
Let’s break it down and look at the main things you need to know before your first Aerial Yoga class, so you can feel more confident to hang out (literally) and feel like a pro!
Research the Aerial Yoga Style & Studio
Fortunately, people who have gone to their first aerial yoga class eventually continued their classes. In most cases, they all get hooked after their first class.
In terms of the flow of each class, beginner Aerial Yoga classes would usually stick to a general flow so that they can guide the students well and help them navigate through their first class with ease and with less stress.
The idea of a beginner yoga class is for you to have a preview of what it will be like in the next classes. This is to prepare your mind and body for practice and see if this is something that you’ll enjoy doing.
As mentioned above, there are different styles of Aerial Yoga, and these styles can vary greatly. These will differ based on the teachers and the tools or equipment used in practice. For beginners, Yoga Hammocks are often used as they are the most simple and more accessible to others.
The basic hammock will pretty much act just like a hammock throughout your routines. It gives aerial yoga amateurs just enough support to do the poses without the added accessories, which can actually be quite daunting for some without the added security of handles to grip onto.
If you’re looking for a more support or even a challenging beginner class, there’s also more comprehensive equipment that can also be used in your first session. This is called a Yoga Swing, which has additional elements such as handles with multiple padded grips and adjustment straps, giving you a wider range of postures and support, particularly as they are helpful to maneuver from one position to the next with greater ease.
Besides the equipment used in the class, you should also consider the type of class being offered. The definition of a beginner session could be different for everyone. Some classes can appear more dynamic, strong, and active, which could include acro styles, while others focus more on being gentle and restorative Yin practices.
Now, you can start with either (as long as there is an open-level or aerial yoga for beginners class option available), but this may require more in-depth research as you might have to ask for reviews from people who have actually taken these classes.
Make sure to spend time researching the studio where you’re going to take the class, look online to see if there are pre-class tips or requirements, and make sure you are booked into a class (if there’s an online booking).
Ultimately, it’s about what you want. Do you want a strong and sweaty class? Or a slow, restorative one? Do you want something more ‘grounded’ or a comprehensive practice that may even include a lot of fun?
Think about what works for you and your body so you’ll be able to enjoy the experience. This will help you choose the studio and the class and then you can start to make some inquiries into location, class times and so on for your new routine.
What’s important is that you feel comfortable in what you’re doing and you’re not stressing yourself too much.
Aerial Yoga for Beginners – What & How to Prepare
Your first aerial yoga for beginners class is a big moment that’s why you might easily feel tensed and intimidated.
Actually, those that walk into the class more nervous at the start are generally the ones who are more celebratory at the end of class, having conquered their fears! It’s easy to enjoy the session once you actually get to practice and go through the different poses.
If you’re already into yoga to begin with, the transition would be a lot easier for you as Aerial Yoga is also grounded on the traditional yoga principles. It’s just basically doing your regular routines but with the inclusion of the equipment and being suspended throughout some of the poses.
Just like in other practices, you also have a pre aerial yoga checklist that might help you with your preparation.
Choice of clothing
In every class, comfort is key. It would be easier for you to execute the poses if you’re in comfortable clothes. You don’t want to be thinking about zippers getting stuck in your hammock in the middle of the session. This is why it’s advised to wear tights or long shorts below the knee as this allows less friction and more comfort for the material touching your body.
Additionally, if you think you’ll be too bothered with straps or fabric wrapped on you, it would be better to wear a top that would have more coverage. If you’re not one to be bothered by any of this, you may just opt for your normal gym outfit as most of them are already skin tight and comfortable to work out in.
Again, just avoid those that would have additional elements or designs that can get stuck in your straps or aerial fabric. No matter how cute the outfit is, safety is still very important.
Speaking of materials that can get stuck in the fabric, jewelries are also advised to be removed, especially the ones that are dangling. This includes hair clips, rings, body jewelry, and piercings. This is not just for your safety but also to avoid damaging the material since the yoga hammock could be useless once they get holes.
Along with this, taking care of the equipment is also a sign of respect to the studio owners. Chances are, you’re not the only one using these tools so it’s best to take care of them as well.
Another thing that is also important but can be overlooked is the usage of strong perfumes. As mentioned, you are not the only one enrolled in the class so you still need to be respectful to others who will be joining in with you and also after you have finished and left the building!
You don’t know who you’ll be with in those classes and wearing strong scents might trigger or irritate someone. A hint of your perfume might be already triggering for those who have allergies and are sensitive to smell.
You may still bring it with you but just put it after your class once you’ve refreshed yourself.
Don’t overeat/drink before your class
It is expected in an aerial yoga class to have some poses that would require you to be hung mid air. That is why it is advisable to come into class hydrated and energized (with food) but not too much. You will regret eating and drinking too much once you are moving, swinging, and hanging upside down with a sloshy belly full of liquid.
Just have an adequate amount of liquid before class and bring a bottle with you just in case you feel dehydrated in the middle of the session. Don’t overdo yourself by drinking too much in one go. The same goes for food. Leave at least 2 hours after you eat any big meal before you come to a class. Simply save the meal until afterward, when you are surely hungry after an active practice.
Ask about the policies of the studio
Another important thing that you have to put on your list before starting a class is asking about the studio policies. This is not only for your protection but for theirs as well. When you are in the studio space, there will be specific rules to uphold for your safety, as well as respecting the class environment.
Although fun, this is Aerial Yoga, after all – not a circus class. Most teachers will let you know that filming and photos during class are not allowed, though they may give you some space to take pictures after class.
Additionally, bringing a drink bottle in the class near your mat might also be restricted for some studios that prefer no additional objects or props near the hammocks.
There are also a lot more regulations that might differ from one studio to another so it is better to ask them before hand so you’re already clarified of what you can and cannot do in their studio.
Enter with an open mind and heart
One beginner class is not a determinant of how you’re going to do in the future. Go in there without expecting much from yourself. After all, it is a continuous practice. You’re not there to be ‘perfect’ at something you’ve never done.
In the end, you are simply there to move, flow, explore your body and breathe, open yourself up, and enjoy the experience of expanding your awareness and capabilities.
You will not be judged by the people around you for making mistakes and trying new things. A beginner aerial yoga class is the perfect avenue to explore yourself and learn about what your body can do.
Always be curious, don’t forget to smile, and release any expectations you have so that you can be fully present in the experience.
Final words of advice
Before fully immersing yourself in the class, it is best to think about your safety first. If you have preexisting conditions, check with your doctor beforehand.
Additionally, though it is very rare, some people may feel nauseous during or after class. If you experience motion sickness, this could be a normal reaction of your body. It doesn’t mean you can’t ever do aerial yoga again, generally, this only happens the first few times, and then it settles. Again always consult your doctor if it becomes persistent.
Likewise, if you are pregnant, it is not recommended – unless it is a restorative class and/or the teacher has given you correct modifications. Check here for some further contraindications.
Please always you should check with your instructor and speak to your general healthcare professional for the right advice. Your safety should be your utmost priority,
Aerial Yoga Is For Everyone
Aerial yoga for beginners is a fantastic new experience. This is one of the best ways to learn more about yourself and your body. As you go through the practice, you will feel incredible not only physically but also mentally. This is why you easily get hooked with it after your first class!
Savasana can often be some of the most profound experiences that people have after an aerial class. There’s always room for you in Aerial Yoga. If you think you are not flexible enough, or you’re dealing with injuries, are overweight, older, or have never practiced yoga – you can still definitely try and enjoy Aerial Yoga.
To put it simply, Aerial Yoga is for everyone. Yes, it can be daunting at first, but it can be done by anyone. You just have to take the first step!
Good luck and don’t forget to have fun!