Because of the pandemic, quite a few of us have resorted to many things to relieve stress. Luckily, some found the best coping mechanism for their thoughts, but sadly, there are still those who have not.
Now that we are slowly going back to our everyday lives just like before COVID began, if you are still upset and looking to how you can ease extreme stress that you may be experiencing, then maybe it is high time you take a pause, and try aerial yoga.
Mental Health Matters… So Much
Talks about mental health, journals, and articles have surfaced because of the confinement that we went through when the calamity hit.
A lot of us endured anxiety, intrusive thoughts, and depression, and may have been enduring it up to the present. We at Gravotonics are one of the many people that assures you that you are not alone.
Aerial yoga is an activity that involves you being suspended in the air. Although it might sound scary, but our yoga swings may help in facing your fears and letting go of what is burdening you through poses and simple breathing exercises.
Did you know that practicing breathing exercises helps with how your mind function? Yes! Proper breathing allows for oxygen to reach your brain leading to the stimulation of your parasympathetic nervous system.
When this happens, your mind enters a state of calmness, making you feel more connected to your body and most importantly, for grounding, which will help to ease extreme stress.
Aside from breathing, the pressure that the yoga hammock provides against your body can ease sensory issues. This imitates the feeling of being held, promoting relaxation and trust in your surroundings, to what you are doing, and most importantly, to yourself.
People who experience anxiety and extreme stress often feel like there is so much going on that they cannot comprehend, that there are so many things to do but do not know where to start, or when it feels like every possible thing is happening all at once.
It is definitely overwhelming and often ends up with not being able to do anything at all — and this is where we will let aerial yoga enter. Aerial yoga is not the sole answer to make all the stress go away. It can be, only if you will allow yourself the support, literally and figuratively, that it will give.
When it comes to choosing a breathing exercise, the most important thing that you should consider is your comfort. We do not want you doing something that does not adhere to what your body asks for, considering your current stressed state.
Here is a few breathing exercises that you could try:
This breathing exercise is simply as it is. What you will do is you inhale once and then exhale twice, both through your nose. This will seem like chanting but through breathing. This breathing exercise is good for releasing unwanted energy from your body.
This one is also very simple. The principle in equal breathing is you must make the duration of both your inhales and exhales the same. This keeps your attention focused on breathing and breathing alone.
The length can be in between 3-5 counts, depending on your capacity. Do not push yourself to last too long in either inhaling or exhaling because this might cause more stress and make you light-headed.
Resonant or Coherent Breathing
Inhale slowly for five seconds, letting all the oxygen in, and then exhale slowly again for another five seconds, letting all the negativity out. Do this repeatedly until you feel more tranquil.
Resonant or coherent breathing is one of the most effective ways to ground yourself and help your body focus on the present and not wander someplace.
A Tranquil Flow to Relieve Extreme Stress
There are a lot more breathing exercises and techniques that you can try and discover, but that’s for another entry. In this one, let us stick to what we mentioned above and incorporate it into our aerial yoga flow today.
This flow is specifically curated to be tranquil and not strenuous. We hope that after doing this flow, you find calmness and peace within and outside of your body.
Raised Legs (Uttana Padasana)
This aerial yoga pose is easy and is a very good choice for grounding.
- Adjust your yoga swing so that it will be at the level of your hips.
- Lie down on the ground, raise your legs and then insert them into your sling, just about your ankles.
- Your legs must be in a 45-degree angle by now.
- Lay your arms at your sides or you can form a triangle using your hands and place it just above your pelvis. This is a style that directs the area to either relax or engage.
- Practice your chosen breathing exercise as you stay in this pose for one minute.
Bridge Pose (Setubandha Sarvangasana)
In order to transition to the next poses, we will continue with another lying one.
- You can lower down the adjustment of your sling a little if you find too high or uncomfortable based from our first pose.
- While still lying down on the ground, lift your pelvis up and remember to engage your core.
- When you do so, keep your head steady, do not tuck your chin in or use it to lift your body. Your core is the one responsible for lifting — let it work.
- Let your arms lie flat on your sides and use them for extra support if you need them.
- Breathe all throughout this pose. Stay for 30 seconds to a minute.
Sphinx Pose (Salamba Bhujangasana Uttana Pada)
In this next pose, we advise you to lower down the adjustment of your yoga swing until it is at the middle of your legs.
- Once your sling is properly adjusted, turn from lying on your back to lying on your chest. Do this slowly and without haste.
- Let your pelvis and abdomen keep contact with the ground as you rise your upper body up. Position your arms in a 90-degree angle as you do so.
- In this pose, you should feel the stretch in your abdomen the most and your legs as well.
- Keep your sight forward.
- Stay in this pose for up to 5 cycles of your chosen breathing exercise.
Frog Cobra Pose (Bheka Bhujangasana Pada)
We are almost near to rising from the ground!
- From the last pose, fold both of your knees out, forming a diamond. This opens up your inner thighs.
- Straighten your arms forward as you push your upper body up, allowing for a bigger stretch than the last pose.
- You should feel the stretch in your abdomen and inner thighs.
- Let your head stretch along your upper body. This is also good for your neck.
- Again, stay in this pose for up to 5 cycles of your chosen breathing exercise.
Celibate Pose (Tolangulasana)
In this pose, is where you start to rise.
- Sit on your yoga swing until the cloth is below the middle of your thighs or near to the back of your knee.
- The cloth of your sling must now be behind your shoulders.
- Use your arms as you lift your legs up until parallel from the ground.
- Your back will naturally form a “C” so let your head naturally align with it as well.
- You can close your eyes to maximize the relaxation.
- Stay in this pose for 30 seconds or longer, depending on your preference.
Supported Camel Pose (Salamba Ustrasana Griva)
This pose is good for opening the chest and relieving tension in the neck.
- In this next pose, adjust your yoga swing higher, hip-level or pelvis-level when you are standing.
- Kneel down on the ground with your sling behind you. Insert your arms behind you into the sling.
- Straighten your arms back and let them reach for your legs, one at a time.
- Lean your head back and down and let the yoga swing provide support.
- Stretch back further slow and controlled until the longest point of your hands reaches the back of your legs.
- Close your eyes again for maximized relaxation and focus.
- Retain the pose for 3-5 cycles of your chosen breathing exercise.
Half Forward Fold Pose (Ardha Uttanasana)
- You can adjust your yoga swing to be a little bit higher from the last pose.
- Stand with your sling in front of you and take a few steps back.
- Use your hands to grab onto the sling.
- Keep your legs straight and let your upper body fold forward until it is parallel with the ground.
- Let your arms stretch out as it holds onto the swing for support.
- If your legs are too tight, it is also okay if you relax your knees a little.
- Do this pose for one minute or less and remember to breathe.
Standing Backbend Pose (Anuvittasana)
- Adjust your swing to be more than one meter from the floor. It is essential to do so since it is a part of the pose. Don’t worry because we will guide you to it nice and easy.
- Stand with your back to the hammock, and reach back, inserting your arms through and let the cloth rest at your armpits
- As you lean back let the aerial hammock take your weight.
- Place your hands together behind your head making sure that your arms are stretched out and not just slouched down.
- Let the swing support you as you tiptoe up and bend your upper body back.
- You will feel the stretch at your neck, arms, back, and thighs.
- You can stretch further to increase the satisfaction.
- Stay in this pose for one minute while doing your breathing exercise.
Aerial Corpse Pose (Savasana Aerial)
And now we are down to our last pose! This one is a good flow-ender and good for cool down and resting.
- This pose is very simple. Adjust your hammock hip-level or even lower if you are still not used to suspension.
- Wring out the fabric and lay down on it making sure that your entire body are fully covered and supported by it.
- Stretch your limbs out such as your arms are stretching above your head and your toes are pointed outwards.
- Lie in your hammock comfortably and take in all of the calmness. Let the support of the swing ease your tension and allow yourself to relax.
- By now, it is okay if you just breathe normally now. Inhale and exhale.
And we’re done! You did so well.
Why easing down helps
With all the hustle and bustle that we go through everyday, it is only natural to feel tired and want to break free.
But before you do so, it is also important that you do not go into a full stop and shock your system. Slowly easing down and starting to let go of things one at a time helps you adjust better to relaxation and also help you to better recover.
Going slowly into stopping lets your body gradually accept the changes in moderation. In aerial yoga, there is no need for you to execute the poses quickly. What we want for you is to learn and take them by heart, and let it heal your soul.
Our goal is to chase the troubles away, and ease extreme stress as much as the yoga swing allows us. Let the yoga swing be your friend.
Where can I get one?
Do not stress further looking for the perfect Yoga Swing!
You can read more information about our yoga swings and let us help you into your new journey.
Is aerial yoga good for beginners?
Yes! The practice offers various levels of difficulty to accommodate every capabalities and age.
It seems so hard. Can I get assistance?
Yes! Here at Gravotonics, we offer manuals and videos for you to follow. We also post blogs for you to get to know about aerial yoga more.
Is there a community I can join in?
Definitely! You can visit an aerial yoga studio near you or if you don’t have one, you can also connect with us and find online communities on Facebook which are also helpful and very supportive.