Originally Published On 10/5/2020
Is Aerial Yoga For You?
Aerial yoga is a trend that is becoming more and more well-loved the world over, and many people from all walks of life are getting involved.
However we often get asked questions by people contemplating whether aerial yoga will actually suit them, especially because there is a lot of online debate about who can do aerial yoga and whether it is okay for men, pregnant women, overweight, or practicing certain religions and other individuals in general.
In truth, everyone is welcome to take part, and the only time that anyone might find the practice challenging is if they have any sort of chronic physical limitation – but even so, there are potential ways that these people can still take part.
In this article, we will be looking at the various types of people that may question whether aerial yoga is suitable for them and how the practice can be enjoyed by anyone, regardless of their gender, spirituality or illnesses and physical fitness.
Who Can Do Aerial Yoga?
As we mentioned, people from all walks of life are welcome at an aerial yoga class and yet, there are still many people who wonder if they are able to take part for their specific situations.
Well you’ve come to the right place to find out if you should give it a go or not. Although if you’re still unsure, reach out to us or even find a free trial class close by to you and ask your instructor some questions first and give it a go! That’s the only way you’ll truly know if it is good for you.
Can Beginners Do Aerial Yoga?
One of the great things about the global craze of aerial yoga is that there have been a variety of classes springing up. These classes are not limited only to those who already have experience of floor yoga practice or an in-depth knowledge of the practice of aerial yoga and there are many beginner classes to choose from.
The most important thing is that beginners should attend a class that is instructed by a trained and qualified professional. Of course, there is the option of installing a yoga swing in your own home and this is a great way to complement the classes you are attending. However, since this can be a potentially dangerous practice if not done correctly, learning under the guidance of an instructor is advised.
There are also a lot of people that already have experience with traditional practice, who wish to make the transition from mat yoga to an at-home aerial yoga workout and incorporate it into their routine.
While this is an awesome idea and likely far easier to get into the swing of things (pardon the pun) since they already have a knowledge of the yoga poses – it is still advisable to gain instruction until you are confident enough to practice alone.
Can Pregnant Women Do Aerial Yoga?
If you are expecting a little one, it goes without saying that there are certain activities that you must be careful when doing.
We do have an in-depth article on whether pregnant women can do aerial yoga, but if you are looking for the short answer – You certainly can, however there are a few extra safety considerations to take note of.
There are three main risks to women who are pregnant – these are falling, nausea and damage to the connective tissues.
If you are simply using your yoga swing or aerial hammock to assist with your regular asana, you should not have any issues, however if you are going “full ape”, then perhaps its best to tone it down a little or even put it on hold altogether for some time.
This is especially true for performing inversions. Do not do any full inversions and only do partial inversions under the supervision for a short duration.
That being said, there are more and more aerial yoga classes designed for the mother to be and it can be a very wise idea to attend these if you are looking to get into the practice whilst carrying.
In terms, of engaging in an aerial yoga routine at home, we would advise avoiding this until you have delivered your baby and stick to group classes just so you can ensure you have the right support during your session.
Can Men Do Aerial Yoga?
For the most part, if you perform a Google search relating to aerial yoga, you will be confronted with thousands of images and articles of women, created by women, and this unfortunately gives a false impression that it’s a women’s only activity.
But this is simply not the case. Much like traditional yoga, the aerial alternative does not discriminate against gender, and men are more than welcome in the yoga swing.
Whilst the practice may be dominated by females, it was in fact, first conceived and developed by a man named Christopher Harrison. This should be enough to suggest that it is appropriate for all genders.
However, many men may now feel that they are stepping on the toes of their sisters, wives and mothers by taking part in ‘their’ activity. Or may simply feel intimidated to do this practice in a studio full of women and appear vulnerable. Fortunately, there are more and more classes for men popping up all over the world.
Can Overweight People Do Aerial Yoga
Another of the most common misconceptions about yoga – aerial or otherwise, is that you have to have a super-slim physique and ultra fit in order to take part, but this is, quite frankly, a load of nonsense.
One of the great things about yoga is that it gives you the freedom to do a cardio workout and burn calories as well without they typical stresses of activities such as running on the treadmill. Add to this, muscle toning, stretching muscle and connective tissues and the many mental health benefits and you’ve got yourself one of the best full-body workouts in the world.
So why shouldn’t people who are carrying a few extra pounds be able to take part? In fact this is one of the primary reasons why someone might take up the practice of aerial yoga. The only thing that you should consider is that most yoga swings and the rigging do have a maximum weight capacity.
The aerial yoga weight limit is usually over 400lbs, so it is more than inclusive for those who are overweight and looking for a way to keep fit. However if you are extremely overweight, best to first start with floor yoga and slowly incorporate the yoga swing for the support that it provides when moving into and holding the poses.
Having said that, if you are physically able to get into a yoga swing and enjoy the practice, then there is no reason why you should worry about the weight limit for aerial yoga.
Can Disabled People Do Aerial Yoga?
At first thought, one might think that those who are confined to a wheelchair or otherwise, would be unable to take part in aerial yoga but this again is just not true. There is a practice known as adaptive aerial yoga which gives people with disabilities a chance to enjoy this practice as much as someone who is fully able-bodied.
In this modern-day, there isn’t much that those with limited mobility can’t do so there is no reason why the wonderful practice of aerial yoga shouldn’t be available to them also.
In one of the adaptive classes we’ve seen, the participants begin in their wheelchairs and gradually move out of them until they are fully supported by the yoga swing.
Using the yoga swing as a prop to support people with a lack of mobility is fantastic. For those with permanent disability it is used to maneuver and hold poses that would otherwise not be possible and for those with injuries and other chronic problems, can likewise be used in this way, as well as a key device in rehabilitation settings.
This is also great for people who have problems with their joints and can help to flush out the lymphatic system that may have a build up of toxins and fluids from having limited movement each day throughout the body.
Can Children Do Aerial Yoga?
Traditional yoga may not grab the attention of children and teenagers in the same way that aerial yoga might and for this reason, it isn’t very often that we see young people on the mat. Because of this, parents may be wondering who can do aerial yoga and whether their child can take part.
Not only is aerial yoga fun, but it also provides so many health benefits, both physically and mentally that it can be extremely beneficial to children and young adults.
Of course, it pays to keep in mind that a child should never be left on a yoga swing unsupervised as there is the very real potential that they may fall and become injured. However, much like the other types of tailored aerial classes, there are many that have been specifically designed with children and teenagers in mind, and we are really starting to see kids joining swing yoga classes!
These classes aim to help your child learn the correct yoga breathing techniques for grounding and regulating their emotions, to gain strength and flexibility as well as building their overall physical fitness and confidence.
Because aerial exercise is exciting and classes can be so fun, why not encourage your children to give it a go?!
Can Religious People Do Aerial Yoga?
People of certain religions often wonder whether they can do aerial yoga, because for a long time, there was some discussion, particularly among followers of the Christian and Muslim faith, that yoga could not be practiced due to conflicting spiritual beliefs.
Over the years, some of the spiritual stigma that is connected with yoga has been removed and also what is not commonly known is that whilst there are many spiritual elements and philosophy in traditional yoga practice, these are completely optional and there are many people who take part in yoga purely as a physical work out.
Alternatively, there is the option to combine your own spiritual beliefs with your yoga practice – yoga is not a religion and despite having origins in the Hindu faith, modern-day practices are much more relaxed with it.
Can Elderly People Do Aerial Yoga?
The term elderly covers people over the age of 65, but physical fitness can vary greatly at this age with some 65-year-old people who rely on the walker with very limited mobility and some 90-year-olds going on a daily run and attending the gym.
Age is not a concern with this exercise and it is widely accepted that, provided the user feels able, there is no time of life where an aerial yoga practice should not be enjoyed.
Seniors are the perfect group of people who can do aerial yoga, and there are, as you may expect, classes that are designed with the older person in mind – one of the most popular is the over-50s aerial yoga class, many of which run all over the world.
One thing we have found, is not only does it help with mobility and keeping up strength for daily activities, but it is also a great outlet for fun social interaction and feeling young and joyful again.
Aerial Yoga Is Open To All!
We hope this article has shed some light on who can do aerial yoga, as it can be done both at home and in a structured class and where you practice may depend on your physical ability.
For example, if you are in the older or younger age groups, have a physical disability or are pregnant, you may find it better to attend a class that has been specifically tailored to meet your demands.
But one of the best things about this activity is that there is no limit on who can take part and whilst there has been a lot of confusion over whether aerial yoga is suitable for certain groups of people, the reality is that anything goes and anyone is welcome. No matter your age, gender, health or beliefs, there will likely be a session that you can take advantage of!