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Best Aerial Yoga Poses For Stress

aerial yoga poses for stress
Originally Published On 11/3/2020

 

There is no denying that modern life is super stressful! With so many people working long hours, the daily commute, social and family responsibilities and trying to find time to manage the household and so on, life can quickly become overwhelming.

It is no surprise to learn then that as many as 33% of people report that they have suffered extreme stress with more than 77% of these people having ill effects on their physical health as a result.

There must be a way to relieve all of that stress? Well the good news is that there are things that can definitely help to combat stress while maintaining a healthy physical state, one of which is exercise.

 

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In this post, we are going to be looking at how aerial yoga can help and share with you some of the various aerial yoga poses for stress relief that you can use to reset your cortisol levels and make yourself feel lighter than air.

 

What is Aerial Yoga?

aerial yoga poses for stress reliefJust in case you are not yet familiar with aerial yoga, or swing yoga, we will fill you in a little here.

Aerial Yoga is a modified variation of the traditional yoga that we are used to, however the practice involves the use of specialized equipment such as aerial hammocks and yoga swings which are attached to the ceiling using strong metal fittings, safely holding you suspended in the air while you perform your asana.

Its origin is a little unclear, however it may be attributed mainly to a well-known guru named B.K.S. Iyengar who is believed to have introduced inversions and the concept using ropes and slings to the people.

More recent developments have come from Michelle Dortignac, Christopher Harrison and others.

 

How Does Aerial Yoga Help With Stress?

To add to the statistics, Anxiety is a very real issue in the world that is generally caused by stress in the body.

We can all suffer from anxiety in some form or another, mostly its just occasional jitters, however it is estimated that nearly 40 million people suffer from anxiety related disorders each year in the US alone, and this is quite debilitating when it comes to living a successful life.

One of the first things that people think about when they imagine a yoga swing is a high-intensity work out with a goal of maintaining a healthy weight that requires a lot of physical strength. They might also imagine a nimble athlete gracefully maneuvering about on a yoga trapeze and feel like this is the prerequisite!

Both of these things are true, in certain forms of aerial yoga you will go through a fast-paced workout and burn a lot of calories, and there are certainly varying levels of intensity – but that isn’t to say that there is not a softer side to this that you can explore.

Much like traditional yoga that is done on the mat, aerial yoga can go one of a few ways – light cardio workouts, strength training, with a primary focus on stretching or as a restorative practice. All of these can be good for reducing stress for various reasons.

  • If you are doing a high-intensity aerial yoga workout then your body will naturally release chemicals known as endorphins. These hormones are linked with feeling good and when released in the appropriate dose can drastically diminish those stress and anxiety levels. Along with that, it will help the body turn down the production of our main stress hormone: Cortisol
  • For relaxation, a restorative aerial yoga session will work wonders. Stress is often a result of an energetic and busy lifestyle where things get on top of us. In contrast, practicing restorative aerial yoga poses for stress will bring everything back down and give you a chance to relax.
  • Yoga poses may help you release physical blockages like muscle knots and tension. There is no doubt that having sore muscles in the neck and back from poor posture and working all the time can lead you to feeling stress and visa versa. Swing yoga poses can ease this physical tension and pain, and perhaps even release pent up emotions.
  • Being in the moment is a huge part of any yoga practice and this can often contribute to effectively relieving stress. As you go about your day, you will very rarely have the chance to stop and appreciate the little things – to smell the roses as they say, or the smell of your morning coffee at least haha, or to enjoy the feeling of a fresh breeze on your skin or the sound of the birds. Those few minutes that you remain in a yoga pose will be quite meditative and give you the opportunity to be in the here and now and help you to be more present as you go throughout your day.
  • Yoga combines three main elements; the mind, the body and the breath. In day to day life, these things are not usually connected – unless you are a dedicated yogi living in a mountain retreat, which, let’s face it, most of us aren’t. During this quiet time, you are able to connect all three of these elements and reduce your stress levels dramatically. Focusing on your breath is incredibly grounding and it will help you find that stillness of mind and in turn your body will thank you.
  • Aerial yoga is physically demanding, there is no getting away from this, even when you are doing a less active workout. This is excellent because being in good physical health can help where stress is concerned. We have already touched on the fact that many people struggle with physical symptoms as a result of stress so keeping fit is imperative, and the aerial yoga poses for stress we explain soon will go a long way in helping with this common issue.

It is important to point out that while aerial yoga can be an excellent aide for stress relief if you are finding that you are struggling with your mental health as a result of stress, you should always seek advice from a qualified health practitioner.

 

The Importance of Breath

aerial yoga poses for stress - pranayamaAs we mentioned above, breath is so important, particularly during your yoga practice, so before you get into a pose and certainly whilst you are in it, it is extremely wise to focus on your breathing for optimal effect.

In yoga terms, this is known as “yogic breath” and this refers to the control of our breathing during the practice of yoga asana, through a specific technique.

Most of us don’t breathe correctly and so it can take some getting used to when practicing these techniques, but you will quickly see how they can be beneficial where stress is concerned.

There are also yogic breathing practices known as “pranayama” which are done to cultivate the flow of vital life force. You can spend a little time before you get into the yoga swing focusing on your breathing and this will help you to retain your focus as you move through the aerial yoga poses for stress.

The important thing is that you try to make that connection between the breath, body and mind. One of the best and easiest things to do is to breath as you move.

 

The Best Aerial Yoga Poses For Stress

Now that we have a good understanding of how a regular swing yoga practice can help to reduce your anxiety and stress levels, it is time to start exploring some of the wonderful aerial yoga poses for stress.

Really you can do any aerial yoga poses that you feel drawn to, whether you want a challenging workout, simple inversions or just relaxing in suspended savasana, there will be swing yoga poses that you are sure to love.

Here are the poses for stress we recommend you try today to help with relieving stress:

 

Cross Pose

aerial yoga poses for stress - cross poseThis is one of the most simple, yet effective aerial yoga poses for stress owing to the relaxed nature of the pose.

You will use your yoga hammock to support you around your waist as you gently recline back and spread your arms wide; this is where the pose takes its name from.

Physically speaking, this pose has a wide range of benefits, it will allow you to stretch your back muscles which is brilliant if you have been sitting at a desk all day but it also stretches the shoulders and really opens up the chest and heart chakra.

On top of all of this, it is a great way to let the tension melt away from your body and is an excellent pose to couple with visualizations where you might imagine the stress and tension falling away from you like leaves or water, for example.

 

Star Inversion

aerial yoga poses for stress - inverted star poseThe star inversion is one of the most beneficial inversions in aerial yoga – it can help to improve posture and stretch out the back muscles, proving effective relief from pain.

However, this pose can also greatly reduce stress due to its calming nature and the reverse flow of blood.

You may feel a little nervous when moving into your first inversion and you wouldn’t be alone but the good news is that the yoga swing provides excellent support for you while you’re suspended in mid-air. Its advised to take it slow and even to do inversions with supervision until you are confident with them. Many people become addicted to the feeling!

To achieve this pose, you need to use the sling to support the waist while you hang upside down. Your head will be just a few inches off the mat and your legs should be spread and pointing outwards and upwards.

You can also extend the arms if you feel confident enough in doing so or you right simply rest the hands on the floor for extra support.

 

Aerial Warrior Sequence

aerial yoga poses for stress warrior poseIf you want to relieve stress by doing something a little more active, you might consider doing an aerial warrior sequence. The warrior poses are designed to give an all-over physical workout and have a wide variety of benefits.

These include opening the hips, extending the spine, working on flexibility and muscle tone among others. As we mentioned, a high-intensity aerial yoga workout will help your body to release endorphins which will make you feel excellent.

Furthermore, keeping your physical health intact is vital. There are several warrior poses that are found in regular floor yoga and these can all be performed with the help and support of your yoga swing.

You might decide to move through them quickly to build up a sweat and release tension, or you may opt to go through a slower sequence, feeling your body release as you perform each pose.

 

Suspended Savasana

If you have practiced yoga on the mat, then you should be very familiar with savasana – the final resting pose.

This can be just as easily achieved when using your yoga hammock and is one of the most simple ways to combat stress through swing yoga. It is important to keep in mind that this pose requires absolutely no physical exertion and is designed to be completely restful.

It is great for meditating which is also proven to help with stress. All you need to do is lie in your yoga swing, close your eyes and focus on your breathing. You may even drift off to sleep, as nothing could be more simple and relaxing in this pose, as they say, less is more.

aerial yoga poses for stress - aerial savasana

 

Swing Yoga Helps Relieve Stress!

It is no secret that the demands of modern life are causing more and more people struggle in their day to day lives and needing to take time off work due to stress and fatigue.

Swing yoga is an amazing activity that has so many health benefits – it will help with flexibility, endurance, strength and weight loss among other things.

But as we have just spoken about in length, one of the more impressive aspects of the practice is that it is extremely advantageous to anyone who struggles with high levels of stress and anxiety.

By performing certain aerial yoga poses for stress relief, you will notice how the stress seems to melt away and as you connect with your breath and your aerial yoga swing, in that moment you’ll feel as if none of those stressful things matter anymore.

 

 

 

 

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