Are the past few weeks starting to take a toll on your mental health? Have you been having a hard time getting things done? Is it starting to feel more impossible to get out of bed and go through your day?
If things are beginning to feel like this or anything close to this, then it is time to give yourself a total break.
Mental health is one of the major concerns of today’s day and age, particularly since the pandemic hit, because of the isolation and quarantine, a lot of us lost social interaction. In extension, the unspoken support system we are used to having suddenly went away. We cannot really deny that even the simplest things that we do with our peers aid to keep all the bad thoughts away.
In this blog, we will be talking about aerial yoga for your mental health.. How taking care of yourself with aerial yoga and daily meditation can help you, along with a few calming aerial yoga poses that you should try even in the comforts of your own home.
Here at Gravotonics, preserving the good state of everyone’s mental health is one of our main priorities with the aerial yoga that we share with you. It is a sensitive topic and as delicate as it is, we do our best to work on it the same way with regular aerial yoga practice.
Is it a ‘me’ problem?
Most of the time we tend to try to take control of a lot of, if not all of the things going on around us. We often get annoyed or stressed whenever things do not work out the way we want them to work out. There are also times when we try to do a lot of work all at once but end up not finishing even a single thing. The habit of being too hard on ourselves is all too common.
We know how important it is for us to keep up with the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives, but this is a reminder that it is okay to live a softer life from time to time. What do we mean by a ‘softer’ life?
Simply living a life with minimal to no expectations from your environment and even from yourself. It is a way of living wherein you make everything okay, without needing to fake it. Like all other inspirational and motivational quotes and expressions out there, it is easy to say, although hard to do. Yet, maybe you can manage to live a softer life if you let aerial yoga help.
Going back to the question, “Is it a ‘me’ problem?” To be honest, the answer could either be a yes or no.
Let us start with it possibly being your fault. As we were alluding to, we cannot truly control all the things around us to our preference. Some, yes, but not all. We have to remember that even when it feels like we have the power over everything and we do have some sway that is certain, it is not absolute.
This way of thinking could be toxic and could also lead to habits and behavior not worth keeping. It is no news how hard it could be to unlearn things, so let us assess and prevent as much as we can.
But when can we know that it is not your fault? This you can get easily. The world can be unfair a lot of times and it will give you situations that seem too hard to handle, people that are just plain rude or difficult, or again, simply, things that are out of your control.
It is just the way it is and it would be hard to make big changes especially if you feel like you are at your most fragile state, but it would also be nice to do even small ones. In these cases, realize that everything is perception and to help preserve a positive mental state it is worth viewing everything as a learning experience.
Every challenge and setback, every “negative” encounter is an opportunity for growth, and is for your highest good. We all play our part and its best to take 100% responsibility rather than placing the blame on outside circumstances or on others, because if you rely on things out of your control to make you happy then you will often be disappointed and unhappy.
Aerial Yoga – Meditation and Restoration
Aerial Yoga has been used alongside the traditional floor yoga that we know, for restorative practices — and it is because of a number of things that you should certainly consider as part of your routine to help boost your mental health!
How is Aerial Yoga restorative? Aerial Yoga uses either an aerial hammock or a yoga swing. The poses both here and in the traditional yoga are quite similar only that with aerial yoga, you have the advantage of gravity on your side, as aerial yoga poses often incorporate a lot of inversions, which are great for many things
Inversions effectively recirculate bodily fluids that have accumulated in your lower extremities due to prolonged standing or sitting. It has effects on our body’s normal internal activity that is why it is also good that you help your body recover and not just leave all the work to it. A primary benefit of aerial yoga inversions is spinal decompression, easing tension and back pain, which can of course improve your mental wellbeing.
Aside from doing the aerial yoga exercise alone, we also recommend that you incorporate meditation in your practice! We know you might have already been doing a lot of thinking in your down time.
In meditation, we will practice to face and understand our emotions and resolve them through breathing patterns and techniques alongside executing aerial yoga asanas.
There are various breathing techniques that you can do when practicing aerial yoga for your mental health.
Combining good breathing practices while exercising helps the oxygen in your body reach the brain a lot more regularly despite the constant movement that you do. This provides for a clearer thinking and better focus during and after your aerial yoga session.
A quick note about aerial equipment
Both the aerial hammock and yoga swing are handmade by Gravotonics using high quality parachute fabric with triple stitching so you are assured that it is safe to use and can withstand weight and pulling. They are also lightweight making them portable so you can them anytime and anywhere as long as there are available hooks specifically for the practice, or some sturdy beams to hang over.
To differentiate, an aerial hammock is the basic option. It is essentially just the sling itself. You can use this if you are a beginner and is only starting out on basic positions and poses. Aside from using it for aerial yoga, it can also serve as a humble hammock for sleeping, lounging, and resting.
A yoga swing comprises of a sling as well as three level of handles. This option is great if you are a beginner and/or aiming to progress to more complex poses and is a bit more adventurous. A yoga swing would also be the best option since the handles are detachable, it can also serve as a stand alone hammock or use the handles on their own for suspension training routines. It is a two in one and an absolute upgrade!
Giving yourself the care you deserve
Self-care can come in many forms but it is also vital that you examine if it is a healthy one or not.
“Not a good self-care practice? Is there such a thing?” Yes! Some of us practice self-care but counter-productively. There are some activities that do not truly help you learn and recover from your previous state — they only, possibly, worsen it by tolerating the attitude.
Alongside taking care of your mental health is practicing accountability. While you were in a depressive state, the chances that you have done something wrong to the people around you and to yourself are somehow high. At that point, you are in a constant survival mode and it is understandable — yet, not all people do.
Remember, this is NOT a for-everyone-instructional-manual to “fix” your mental health. If it works for you then good, if not, then there are definitely other ways. Do not give up!
The first thing we suggest you do after getting out or to get out of a bad state is to acknowledge that you are indeed in it and are feeling all the emotions that you have and this is okay, you are not broken. You might have been hearing this for a long time now but it is okay and you will be okay. You just have to take your time.
Next, find an activity that will help you meditate and realign yourself back to life. Or, if not back, something that will help you start anew. Our suggestion? Aerial Yoga for your mental health!
Aerial Yoga for Your Mental Health
Now we have arrived in the most exciting part! We will teach you a few great aerial yoga for your mental health poses that are easy to follow and are most certainly helpful in the betterment of your mental landscape.
Keep in mind that if you ever feel like we are going too fast, it is okay to take things a bit slower and stay at your own pace — there is nothing wrong with that.
Aerial Raised Hand Mountain Pose
This pose is great for grounding and calming down yourself especially when you feel overwhelmed. Aerial Raised Hand Mountain Pose is freeing and is great for giving your body a good stretch.
First, set your sling to be as high as your chest. Then, insert your upper body onto the sling and let the fabric rest on your upper back. Lean back little by little while finding your balance. Remember not to do this fast so we can avoid any unwanted injuries.
Once you find your balance, let go of the sling and raise your arms up above your head and into a praying position. Keep your feet flat on the ground as well. Do not worry about falling because if you have found your balance and are executing this pose correctly, you will be fine.
Remember to straighten your body as you stretch. Stay in this pose for 30 seconds or longer, depending on what you want and your pacing. You can start doing your breathing techniques as well.
Aerial Chair Pose
Aerial Chair Pose is a pose that you can do as a follow up from our last pose. In any form of yoga, it is important that you sequence poses so that your body will only execute a very little amount of effort in transitioning.
To do this pose, you can opt to adjust your sling a tad lower or not. Still, let the fabric rest on the middle part of your back and insert your hands into the fabric as well.
Then, sit down like how you would normally sit on a chair, bringing your legs to a right angle and the soles of your feet firmly planted on the ground. Raise your arms up to the sky but keep them close to the fabric. You are not supposed to grasp the aerial hammock.
You can also opt to raise your head for more relaxation and stretch. Do this pose for 30 seconds up to one minute, or depending on how long you want but not longer than 5 minutes as this may lead to cramping.
Aerial Standing Backbend Pose
In this next aerial yoga for mental health pose, we will ease you back standing up so adjust your yoga swing higher, just about the height of your chest. Let the sling rest on your chest and insert your arms into the sling.
Then, position your hands at the back of your head. Lean your upper body back and tiptoe to stretch your lower body. Bend as much as you can and as long as there is no discomfort or unwanted stretching.
This pose gives a very good stretch in the upper back, shoulders, legs as well as opening up the chest. Again, keep in mind to execute these poses slowly and controlled. Stay in this pose for another 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Aerial Half Forward Fold Pose
Aerial Half Forward Fold Pose is a good recovery pose from the last one. This pose is great for stretching your back and your legs as well. Adjust your sling to be just about the height of your hips or pelvis. Then, grasp the bottom of your sling as you stand and raise your arms up.
With your feet planted on the ground, fold your upper body forward until you form a right angle and your arms are holding down the sling. If your yoga swing is too short or too long, you can adjust it to the right height and begin again.
You should feel the stretch at the back of your calves and thighs and your shoulders as well. Do this pose for another 30 seconds. Breathe.
Always Bounce Back!
Mental health is a hard topic to begin with since each of us has their own coping mechanisms and ways to recover. Yet, if you ever feel like needing a way with dealing with your mental stresses that is productive and energizing, realigning and healthy – Aerial Yoga for your mental health is here for you!