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What is Aerial Yoga?

What is Aerial Yoga?

woman practicing aerial yoga at dusk


People tend to look down on newer, modern forms of yoga because there aren’t many studies to back the beneficial claims.

Aerial yoga may be more contemporary than other ancient yoga practices, but it can help students tremendously. Suspending yourself upside down may feel like you feel like a kid again, but hanging outside your comfort zone can actually have more benefits than you think. 

Aerial Yoga Overview

Aerial yoga is a type of yoga where you use a hammock or yoga swing.

The hammock and yoga swings help students perform postures in the air that they wouldn’t necessarily be able to on a yoga mat. In Aerial yoga, a hammock is kept less than a meter from the ground. The swing supports your hips mid-air.

History of Aerial Yoga

Dancer Christopher Harrison created aerial yoga in 1991.

He was a Broadway choreographer and a former gymnast that had a background in acrobatics. Harrison combined elements of yoga, dance, aerial acrobatics, Pilates, and calisthenics to form what the world now knows as Aerial yoga.  

When he created the first aerial workouts, he collaborated with gymnastic athletes who still wanted to do aerial exercises after they retired.

How Hard Is Aerial Yoga?

All levels of people can do Aerial yoga.

It’s recommended that pregnant women and people who suffer from vertigo do not do aerial yoga because it can be difficult for them to do flips and inversions. 

Is Aerial Yoga Suitable for Beginners?

Yes, if you have an instructor that will teach you Aerial yoga, it can be a suitable practice for beginners. 

Is Aerial Yoga Dangerous?

Aerial yoga can be dangerous because it’s an acrobatic workout at a suspended air height.

Although you can get injured practicing Aerial yoga, practicing with a licensed instructor can limit your chances of suffering from serious injuries. 

What Fabric Is Used for Aerial Yoga?

Most Aerial fabric hammocks are made of five meters of 40-denier Nylon Tricot fabric.

The fabric works well with the body and skin so that you can feel comfortable executing the moves. 

Is There a Weight Limit for Aerial Yoga?

Most of the Aerial yoga weight limit has been tested to handle up to a maximum of 330 pounds. 

Benefits Of Aerial Yoga

There aren’t many studies to prove Aerial yoga’s benefits because it’s a relatively newer practice, but besides the amazing physical benefits, Aerial yoga is also great at creating a better connection emotionally and spiritually. 

What Is Aerial Yoga Good For?

Although there aren’t many studies to prove Aerial yoga’s benefits, yoga teachers laud it for being great at improving circulation, boosting digestion, and lifting your mood.

Can You Lose Weight Doing Aerial Yoga?

Studies show that Aerial yoga can not only offer peace and relaxation but can help burn calories too.

Aerial yoga can actually help you lose more weight than many aerobic exercises and lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. 

Does Aerial Yoga Tone Your Body?

There aren’t many studies to prove this, but Aerial yoga instructors do state that Aerial yoga movements force every part of your body to move and stretch, so your muscles do become toned and redefined. Your joints can strengthen and regenerate too. 

Is Aerial Yoga Good for Back Pain?

Although there aren’t many studies that show Aerial yoga specifically can be good for back pain, a study shows that inversion therapy can reduce symptoms of lower back pain.

Movements that involve putting your body upside down and at an angle can create spinal traction. The spinal traction decompresses the body and relieves nerve stress and pain. 

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pregnant woman in black sports bra and leggings doing a yoga pose

How Often Should You Do Aerial Yoga?

Start with one class for a week and build from there. 

How to Practice Aerial Yoga

Every Aerial class is different based on your instructor, so most teachers encourage students to enroll in a guided class if they are a beginner. Certified instructors will be able to shape how you approach your Aerial yoga journey.

What Can I Expect From an Aerial Silk Class?

When you first start Aerial yoga, you can expect to learn the basic moves on the floor before you start executing them in the air. 

Can You Do Aerial Yoga at Home?

Freestanding Aerial yoga rigs are super popular for practicing Aerial yoga at home.

Make sure that you’ve been practicing aerial yoga in a traditional studio first and with a professional instructor before you safely start at home, though. 

Aerial Yoga Tips for Beginners

When you first start Aerial yoga, you may be a bit nervous, but you’ll be fine. It’s advised that you wear tights or long shorts, so there isn’t any friction. More body coverage is better for first-timers because you don’t want to irritate your skin while learning Aerial yoga. 

It would be best if you took off all of your jewelry before practicing, and it’s recommended that you don’t wear any perfume. Perfume scents can linger and could possibly irritate others with skin allergies or sensitivities.

It’s also highly recommended that you’re hydrated but don’t drink a lot of water because you’ll be hanging upside down a lot.

Try also not to eat for at least two hours before you come to class. Certain studios have their own policies, so make sure to check in before you first start a new class. 

The Bottom Line: Is Aerial Yoga For Me?

If you’re looking for a fun but unique workout, Aerial yoga is for you.

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