Originally Published on 12/3/2020
Cardio, Strength, Balance & Core Training.. You know a good health and fitness regime will incorporate all of these elements.
Many people around the world are now starting to take their fitness seriously, by starting a new workout routine, taking supplements, eating organics and generally looking after their mental and physical well-being through meditation and spiritual practices.
This is all fantastic, and what better time than now, as we draw an end to 2022 and prepare for the new year, then to start exploring ways to workout and get fit in 2023 – maybe even try the ultimate aerial fitness system!
Many people are getting excited about jogging and cycling these days, and even more are joining fitness groups and classes at their local gyms.. Other’s decided to set up a home gym during the lock-downs and have managed to maintain their routines…
However, as much as I personally love to run, swim, do martial arts and lift some weights, one thing I have found that adds a whole other level of fun and dynamic training is aerial fitness!
Aerial Fitness adds more dimension to your training, and perfect as an all-round functional training routine or alongside your regular workout or even to elevate your home yoga practice.
Today we’ll explore some of the ways you can incorporate aerial fitness using:
The Gravotonics Yoga Swing & Aerial Fitness System!
The Yoga Swing is perfect for all kinds of applications, as it is an extremely versatile piece of fitness equipment and you’ll be sure to fall in love!
It can be with you for serious yoga alignment, aerial yoga, fun active workouts and suspension training, inversion therapy, restorative practices and also utilized in physical therapy/rehabilitation settings.
Let’s take a look in more detail:-
Let’s start with the obvious one.. Using the sling as a yoga prop. The aerial yoga swing will elevate your regular yoga practice higher – literally!
The aerial hammock was a natural adaptation for the use of hammocks to help with alignment of traditional mat based yoga poses. This evolved into its own practice of suspended poses called aerial yoga.
From this, the yoga swing was developed to add extra functionality. It’s unique design allows you to move into a range of yoga positions both in the horizontal and vertical planes, and maneuver into almost any pose imaginable.
You can do all styles, including yin/restorative yoga, yang/power flow, and the Gravotonics Yoga Swing is particularly suited to Iyengar to assist in the correct alignment of asanas, as you would use ropes, along with straps and blocks.
With the support of the yoga swing, you can move more deeply into each posture safely and comfortably and enabling you to hold postures for longer without strain, while developing stamina and relieving discomfort.
Further, while suspended it helps you with balance and stimulates proprioception of the nervous system.
As with all yoga practice, the muscles of the body, skeletal structure, brain function and internal organs will benefit from the use of a yoga swing and aerial hammocks. It helps to strengthen and tone your muscles beyond floor based yoga, particularly through the shoulders.
Most importantly, the Gravotonics Yoga Swing & Aerial Fitness System is FUN!!!
One of the most popular variations is Aerial Pilates. Pilates was introduced by German physical trainer Joseph Pilates in the 1920s as a means of helping dancers and athletes to continue training safely.
Since then, this type of workout has evolved into different forms, and as the name suggests, Aerial Pilates entails the use of aerial hammocks or yoga swings, where you will be doing most of the same exercises you would do in a normal Pilates class.
This combination results in a challenging type of workout, and comes with incredible benefits, both physical and mental! From improved core strength, enhanced flexibility and joint mobility, spine decompression, better posture and better balance, you should definitely consider incorporating Aerial Pilates techniques.
The integration of ropes in yoga is not new and many practitioners have used tools such as ropes as part of their discipline, and it is attributed to BKS Iyengar bringing it into modern times, by studying paintings of people suspended in mid-air using ropes from ancient times.
A relatively new form of yoga which has sprung from the these principles is Rope Wall Yoga or Yoga Kurunta.
This type of yoga utilizes ropes attached to the walls in the practice. However, now it’s becoming popular to use the aerial hammock or yoga swing in place of the usual ropes and padded straps.
Similarly to aerial yoga – Kurunta allows you to have more dynamic flows than regular yoga as it can assist you to access a broader range of motion and is a great option for people who want to focus on their alignment and help with back issues.
Resistance Training / Functional Training
We already know that flexibility and balance are vital. However, to function optimally, strength is a key aspect of an effective and well developed body. In order for strength training to be most effective, it is beneficial to incorporate functional training.
Functional training utilizes exercises that focus on your primary movement patterns like pushing, pulling, bending, squatting, rotating and carrying etc. Which essentially means moving through full ranges of motion with weight or resistance applied.
Functional training helps provide you with the strength, stability and mobility you need to thrive in your life. This kind of strength, much like that developed by a young gymnast, crosses over to all activities allowing you to achieve you life goals more easily.
TRX Suspension Training is well known for this type of exercise, because suspension training destabilizes your body.
This forces your core and joint stabilizers to work hard, improving your balance and stability over time. Fortunately, the Gravotonics Yoga Swing & Aerial Fitness System is perfect for suspension training!
With good coordination on the swing, you can develop a body that is strong, lithe and well developed. You can supplement your strength training workouts with your yoga swing at home.
Regardless of your fitness goals, abilities or limitations – functional training should be a part of your exercise routine. As the swing is free moving, while using it you challenge and strengthen your core muscles such as the back and abs to achieve a deeper state of body integrity.
When the back/spine is healthy there is a better flow of energy and you feel stronger. By strengthening the lower abdominal muscles the entire bodily structure becomes incredibly strong and unified.
Well Rounded Cardio Workouts
With the Gravotonics Yoga Swing & Aerial Fitness System you can tailor a challenging cardio training regime which is fun.
A cardio workout is any activity that moves your body and elevates your heart rate.
It is important to incorporate cardio into our workout routines for your cardiovascular health.
These workouts will increase heart rate and build your endurance especially because the yoga swing requires you to use more muscles than in a workout done just on the floor.
The supported and free movements in the air and the feeling of flying adds a new dimension to the workout – which people can’t get enough of!
Back Pain & Inversion Therapy
Other ways of using these Yoga Props include traction and Inversion Therapy, which we’ll discuss now..
Today back pain is one of the most common of all physical complaints in the world. Approx. 70 to 90% of men and women in the U.S. will experience at least one bout of incapacitating low back pain.
When the back muscles are not exercised they become weaker and put a painful strain on the back muscles. Likewise, sitting places higher loads inside the lumbar disc than standing (between 150 to 250% depending on posture). Many of our back and other problems are due to gravity’s chronic downward pull on our bodies, often causing compressed or pinched nerves.
Now with the aid of the yoga swing you can begin reversing the flow of gravity easily and without bulky or expensive inversion tables or tools.
Simply hanging by the handles is an easy way to help decompress the thoracic and lumbar spine and promote a healthy range of motion of the shoulders.
There is an enormous body of evidence that a compressed disc, whether or not it is actually ruptured, can be aided by Yoga Inversion Therapy.
Inversion increases the inter-vertebral space and can assist in reversing this compression, allowing the disc to return to its “shock absorber” and “spacer” function.
Keep in mind that before surgery became so popular for back problems, traction was the therapy of choice.
Some benefits include being ideal for gentle passive lumbar or sacral traction, which has had astonishing healing results for the lower back in minutes.
It provides an excellent stretch to the muscles, joints and ligaments necessary for a healthy spine. The results we have seen are impressive. You can then carry out back strengthening exercises to heal low back pain / injuries and avoid future re-injury. The ability to perform any task in life may be increased by orders of magnitude after performing continued inversion.
Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation
Yoga swings can also be used for rehabilitation purposes for recovery from injury or to build back body coordination through supported movement therapies.
Aside from all the above mentioned such as stretching and strengthening as part of a rehabilitation program, it can be used as an actual tool to assist the practitioner while treating clients.
One way is being able to support the client in different positions, however it becomes really interesting as a tool for added leverage for deep tissue techniques and myofascial release during bodywork.
While suspended the practitioner can apply manual therapy or range of motion and joint mobilization techniques as part of effective treatment and likewise a great way to get extra leverage for deep and targeted tissue techniques.
Rehab Specialists, Osteopaths, Physiotherapists, Remedial and Myotherapists would all benefit their clients by incorporating the yoga swing into their practice.
Relaxation and Mental Health
Used simply as a hammock hung anywhere that you love, in quiet relaxing places in nature, or just in your home studio, you can truly let go.
Mental heath battles are on the rise as people all over the world face the onslaught of technology innovations, work deadlines, health disruptions, global issues and so on.
Finding time to relax, perhaps meditate and generally disconnecting is more important then ever. Finding your special place becomes easier with a yoga hammock, and the added feeling of weightlessness takes your relaxation to another level.
Another way to use the aerial hammock that is relatively unknown is as a sensory swing for children with sensory issues.
Kids in generally will find playing on the yoga hammock and yoga swing extremely fun, and can even inspire them to do things like yoga and exercise which is a huge added bonus. It’s a great outlet for excess energy and a way to calm your kids down, perfect for any play room or outdoor play equipment!
However, many children who are on the spectrum deal with overwhelm from noise and so on. The aerial hammock is increasingly being implemented in home nurseries as a sensory swing for kids to cocoon within, to escape and feel comfortable in, helping to ground them when it all gets a little too much.
General Health Through Aerial Fitness
There are many restorative and therapeutic uses for the Yoga Swing.
As discussed, you can stretch and strengthen virtually every muscle in the body. This will often lead to the alleviation of neck, shoulder and lower back conditions as I have discussed above.
It can be used to reduce high blood pressure, balance the nervous system and improve all the systems of the body. Yoga asanas can be implemented for the treatment of Asthma, relieving discomfort, developing stamina and diaphragmatic breathing.
Also supporting you to move blocked energy through the body, and restore emotional stability for peace in body and mind. The Swing is portable and easy to set up. In minutes you are ready to hang out in a peaceful setting.
The numerous practical benefits on a health and therapeutic level of the Gravotonics Yoga Swing & Aerial Fitness System is outstanding. It is truly a complete exercise gym, yoga, stretching and osteopathic therapy alignment device!