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, 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 and the good news is that aerial yoga can help to combat stress while maintaining a healthy physical state.
In this post, we are going to be looking at some of the various aerial yoga poses for stress that you can use to reset your stress levels and make yourself feel lighter than air.
How Does Aerial Yoga Help With Stress?
One of the first things that people think about when they imagine a yoga swing is a high-intensity work out that requires a lot of physical strength.
They might also imagine a nimble athlete gracefully moving through the trapeze with a goal of maintaining a healthy weight.
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, but that isn’t to say that there is not a softer side to this.
Much like traditional yoga that is done on the mat, aerial yoga can go one of two ways – cardio workouts and strength training or a restorative practice. Both of these can be good for 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 levels.
- 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, your restorative aerial yoga class will bring everything back down and give you a chance to relax.
- Being in the moment is a huge part of any yoga practice and this can often contribute to stress relief. As you go about your day, you will very rarely have the chance to stop and appreciate the little things – the smell of your morning coffee, the feeling of a fresh breeze on your skin or the sound of the birds. All of these simple things can be very calming but when we haven’t had the chance to notice them, we are anything but calm. Those few minutes that you remain in a yoga pose will give you the opportunity to be in the here and now.
- Yoga combines three main elements; the mind, the body and the breathing. 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.
- 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.
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 medical advice.
The Importance of Breath
As 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.
In yogic terms, this is known as pranayama and this refers to the breath and how we can manipulate it.
Most of us don’t breathe correctly and so it can take some used to when practicing these techniques, but you will quickly see how they can be beneficial where stress is concerned.
You can spend a little time before you get into the yoga swing working on your breathing or you can focus on the breath as you move through the poses.
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 aerial yoga practice can improve your stress levels, it is time to start exploring some of the wonderful poses that can help with this.
Whether you want a challenging inversion or a simple suspended savasana, there will be aerial yoga poses for stress relief that you will love.
This 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 the chest.
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.
The 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 and it isn’t like you will be suspended in mid-air.
To achieve this pose, you need to use the silks 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
If 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 severe warrior poses that are found in regular 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.
If you have practiced regular yoga on the mat, you will 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 aerial 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. Nothing could be more simple and relaxing, as they say, less is more.
Aerial Yoga Helps Relieve Stress!
Aerial 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 one of the more impressive aspects of the practice is that it is extremely advantageous to anyone who struggles with high levels of stress.
It is no secret that the demands of modern life are causing more and more people to take time off work and struggle in their day to day lives.
However, by performing certain aerial yoga poses for stress relief, you will notice how the stress seems to ebb away and at that moment, nothing but you and your aerial yoga swing matters.