Aerial yoga – learn how to fly!
What is Aerial yoga?
In an Aerial yoga class, you will experience yoga positions in a completely new way, with the help of a silky hammock or “swing” hanging from the ceiling! This type of yoga can be very playful, and you will feel lighter and increase your body awareness. “In the air” yoga is easier to perform as the hammock helps us to access more tissues and work on a deeper level. Moreover, you will work on flexibility, balance, and strength. You will especially shape, strengthen, and stretch the inner muscle groups (muscles of posture). All you need to do is to relax, develop trust and keep breathing!
The Aerial hammock
The hammock is your partner and as in every relationship you need to develop trust for it to be fruitful. Your body weight will be supported by a trapeze-like silky hammock. For instance, by hanging upside down (inversions), or just having parts of the body in it, leaning against it, or sitting in it, will you experience Aerial yoga’s benefits. All you need is courage and curiosity. Just wrapped into the hammock at the beginning and at the end of each class will give you a “cocooning” sensation, a feeling of safety and where you can get closer to yourself and nurture your body with conscious breathing and focus.
Physical benefits of Aerial yoga
Challenging yoga postures done on the mat are easier with support of the swing such as backbends, rotations, and handstands. Aerial yoga is especially good for overweight people and people feeling stiff as working with gravity makes it easier. You will strengthen your core – abdomen and postural as your muscles will be engaged the entire time to keep you stable during a pose. In Aerial yoga inversions lengthen and release tension in the spine and detox the body by massaging the organs. Inversions increase blood pressure and challenge the lymphatic system that can reduce the feeling of cold feet and hands. Hanging upside down will increase gland function and sweating will be easier having a detox effect on your body. At the same time the hammock works as myofascial release and will help you to ease up tight muscles.
Mental benefits of Aerial yoga
Close contact between your body and the hammock increases your self-confidence and you will become more aware of how the poses feel. You will increase your body’s perception in space. Some of the participants find it challenging to let go and lean backwards, meaning they work on their fear. Others can’t relax as they need to be in control all the time. “Happy hormones”, such as serotonin, endorphins, oxytocin, dopamine, are released and you can feel very happy afterwards. Many of the women in their 50s experience a great energy boost directly after the class and just feel awesome.
What to expect in an Aerial yoga class?
Come with an open mind! Most people are capable of far more than they think. At first the idea of hanging upside down might be intimidating but you may find the feeling of freedom and lightness. After a few classes you get used to the pressure of the hammock during the different poses, especially around hips and shoulders, that makes it easier to focus and relax. You might even experience dizziness during the first couple of classes. Take it easy and move slowly, rest in between the poses and drink water! At the beginning you can feel the blood rushing into your head increasing pressure. But don’t worry! Not all poses will be done upside down. Before you do a sequence of poses, I will show and explain the poses one time, and I will always be by your side for assistance.
Aerial class structure
A class usually starts with a meditation pose sitting in the hammock and some gentle stretches. We focus on breathing as a relaxed breathing will relax the mind. Depending on the class we will do mainly static poses (Aerial Yoga Beginners), dynamic sequences (Aerial Flow) or long static yin yoga poses near the floor (Aerial Yin Yoga). We start with deeper static stretches and move on to more dynamic postures. In Savasana, the final relaxation at the end, you will enjoy lying in the hammock.
What should I wear and bring to the class?
Tight-fitting clothing is best. Leggings covering knees and a top with short or long sleeves that protects your knees and armpits from getting pinched in certain positions. Feel free to bring a water bottle and socks for relaxation at the end of the class. If you have a sticky mat or sticky socks bring your own. But I provide basic yoga mats in the studio.
When is AY contraindicated?
• Increased eye pressure (Glaucoma)
• Surgical procedures (for example on shoulders, eyes, back, hip or pelvis, wrist)
• Heart disease including high or low blood pressure
• Vertigo or extreme dizziness
• Osteoporosis, osteoarthritis
• Recent head injury
• Severe arthritis
• Common cold
• Hiatus hernia
• Disk injuries (recent)
• Recent stroke occurred
• Hip replacement
• Neuropathy or Radiculopathy
• Heavy cramps or bleeding during menstruation
AY BEGINNERS (60 or 90 min)
Beginners class is about learning all basic postures of Aerial Yoga that build the foundation for all other Aerial Yoga classes. Here you will improve inflexibility, balance, and body awareness. All postures or sequences will be done in a slow motion, and you will perform some yoga poses hanging up and down (inversions). Perfect for everyone who wants to learn a more acrobatic style of yoga, improve overall strength and balance. Some of the poses are held for a longer period, others will be done dynamically. No previous yoga experience is necessary for this class. I am trained to individually modify the yoga postures according to your level and help you safely in and out of the poses.
AY FLOW (60 or 90 min)
In an AY flow class, we will do different kinds of sun salutations in a slow motion. It is a dynamic yoga class where we will hang upside down or have our hands or a foot in the hammock doing the sun salutations. We will work on our balance, core stability and fitness. Previous knowledge: Experienced in dynamic yoga or participation in one Aerial yoga introduction workshop and/or Aerial yoga course.
AY YIN (75 or 90 min)
Aerial yin yoga is a more therapeutic form of aerial yoga. We perform gentle yoga postures while the shawl is only 10-15 cm above the floor. We will not hang so much up and down, just have our backs in the mat and legs in the shawl in some of the poses. In this class we will focus on our breaths, body awareness, relaxation of mind and body. No previous yoga experience is necessary for this class. AY yin yoga is more suitable for people with high or low blood pressure than the normal aerial yoga class.
AY CORE (45 min)
Aerial core yoga is a class where pilates-like exercises are combined with yoga postures. The hammocks height is low, in other words, you will be sitting or lying in the aerial shawl near the floor. Sometimes we will use a pilates ball to strengthen core muscles. Even here, we focus on the right breathing and to activate our inner muscles in a slower pace. We repeat a sequence of poses or exercises to build endurance.
AY Personal Training (60 min)
For you who wants to do Aerial Yoga one-on-one with special attention on your personal needs. Maybe you are two friends who want to practice yoga together? You decide when you want to practice yoga which gives you more flexibility. For PT-yoga prices check here. To schedule private classes, contact me here.
If Aerial yoga is not for you, I do offer other yoga classes such as yin yoga, hormone-balancing yoga, and yoga for stress-relief. You can also look at my online yoga platform if you prefer to do yoga at home.