The aerial yoga swing is a practice that dates back 2,000 years. It’s considered a great way to achieve overall fitness and stretch. Likewise with conventional yoga, aerial yoga also places emphasis on a deep mind-body connection. However, may add a fairly challenging twist.
This in-air suspension practice has become popular amongst fitness enthusiasts around the world. Aerial yoga can be an exciting way to push your limits or to simply change-up your yoga routine.
Also like conventional yoga, aerial yoga may be beneficial for issues like pain control. Specifically, back pain sufferers, mostly due to the support the swing offers, making the poses non weight bearing. Furthermore, this enables a safe stretch. Additionally, helping aide in stress relief, weight loss as well as increasing flexibility of both muscles and joints. Despite it’s appearance (which can often seem difficult), aerial yoga can be tailored for the beginner in mind.
What Is Aerial Yoga?
Essentially, aerial yoga is a special type of yoga that is done mid-air, whereby the weight of your body is supported by a sturdy aerial yoga swing or hammock-like supportive device. The best yoga swing for this purpose, is one that’s designed for both strength and comfort in mind.
Aerial yoga adds another dimension to the practice. For seasoned yogis, this may involve taking many asanas that you may already perform, and modifying them to work aerially. Thus, offering more variety in your training.
Keep in mind, there are many variations of swings on the market. Choose a yoga swing that’s best suited for your needs, body type, etc.
Popular Aerial Yoga Swing Poses to Try
This video offers a quick look at some different poses that can be completed aerially, using a hammock or swing.
Now that you’ve scene some live action, we’ll get into some other basic maneuvers to try. Like performing any style of yoga, it’s important to push yourself, but more importantly to understand your body. Furthermore, know your limitations. Especially, if you’re knew to yoga in general.
Anti-Gravity Warrior Pose
This position is all about balance, and high level of coordination. It’s important to concentrate on tightening your core during many of the mentioned poses.
Antigravity Warrior requires you to gaze straight ahead, keeping your arms steady. Again, tighten and focus on your core to achieve balance. Emphasis of this pose is on balance, stretch and strength. In particular, hip stability, and leg strength (hamstrings and quadriceps) do to the mid air suspension.
Leverage the straps to shift your body weight depending on the areas of your body you want to target. This is one of the more basic aerial yoga poses to verbalize, but maybe not the easiest to start with.
Aerial Warrior helps to open up the groin region, as well as help develop total mind-body connection/control, that all yogis strive for.
Anti-Gravity Pigeon Pose
Although a staple yoga pose completed on a yoga mat, Pigeon pose is certainly more difficult mid-air suspended. Indeed, there are other forms of the Pigeon pose. Specifically, poses in which the practitioner keeps one leg on the ground. A fully suspended Pigeon pose is considered an intermediate to advanced, yoga maneuver.
With your back straight and your legs slightly lower than your hips, take your “regular” Pigeon pose and move it to the aerial swing. You can further modify and complicate this pose by inverting it.
Using the right aerial yoga swing for anti-gravity Pigeon pose will help you to achieve a deep and beneficial stretch.
Inverted Pigeon Pose
Take Pigeon pose to another level. Try the inverted Pigeon pose via an aerial swing. This pose involves performing inversions that defy gravity. This position helps to re-align your spine, (again) work the hip region, and stretches the hamstrings. Additionally, this inversion helps increase strength in the core, feet, ankles, and arms.
Like many yoga asanas, Inverted Pigeon can be further modified. Inverted Pigeon is a more advanced aerial maneuver. Specifically, focusing on stretch, strength, balance and total body flexibility.
An intermediate aerial yoga maneuver, Superman pose involves lying flat, belly down, stretching out your arms to the front. Furthermore, lifting your upper body and lower body off the floor.
This is definitely a fun pose to perform aerially!
This maneuver may work better if your have a swing with handles to grab. Focus on keeping your core tight, arching and stretching your back, and extending those arms. Another pose focusing on strength, balance as well as stretch.
Another staple of “mat yoga” is Downward Dog. This is a beginner-friendly and level asana. Performing Downward Dog aerially, may be just the perfect starter pose. Thus, allowing you to acclimate to the swing. This pose allows yogis to get a feel for the practice, and how it begins to differ from the mat.
Downward Dog position involves placing your legs wide apart. Then, bend forward without bending your legs, if able. Using the swing helps support your body. Thus, allowing you to get a better stretch without straining. Furthermore, if so chosen, the practitioner may elevate their legs, allowing their body weight to rest on the swing.
Aerial Downward Dog places emphasis on the arms, back, shoulders, hamstrings, and chest. Additionally, the core should be a major focus of Downward Dog on an aerial swing.
Potential Benefits of Aerial Yoga:
As you become more accustomed to the practice and art of yoga, you’ll find certain paths of yoga can help support you in other styles.
For example, understanding basic asanas on a yoga mat, will often make it easier to transition aerially. Specifically, because the poses will not be completely new to the practitioner.
Likewise, when practicing aerial yoga, many conventional benefits of yoga apply. We’ll discuss some of these benefits below. As we have become more of a research based community, yoga has proven to be a great adjunct when used with other therapies.
1. Aerial Yoga May Just Help You To Get A Good Night’s Sleep
Like conventional yoga, there can be many benefits that directly correlate to aerial yoga sessions as well. For example, yoga as a sleep aid.
Are you someone who suffers from insomnia or difficulty sleeping through the night? Is it impacting the quality of your everyday life? If so, aerial yoga may be able to help.
Likewise to conventional yoga, this style takes a tremendous amount of focus. The shear amount of concentration can take the mind to another level. Doing poses aerially may also place efforts on smaller muscle groups within the body, often referred to stabilizer muscles.
These muscles, along with joints, can really be taxed with certain aerial asanas. This type of physical and mental training helps to empty your mind and remove much tension from the body. Thus, hopefully helping to aide in stress relief and discomfort.
In fact, a national survey found that 55% of individuals who practiced yoga, found it to help them get better sleep, and 85% stated, “it helped reduce stress”.
Yoga promotes the release of hormones that aide in relaxation. Incorporating training of the mind, body like meditation, and aerial yoga in your daily routine may be just the what “the doctor ordered”. Thus, providing another outlet for relief, and avoidance of un-natural remedies.
2. Combats The Signs Of Aging
Aerial yoga, like many other forms of exercise, may help to keep away age-related problems. According to Health.com, it can help to “improve varicose veins and you may even see a reduction in fine lines.” It targets different areas of the body, helping you to achieve a good physical shape.
Likewise, advanced aerial yoga will get that heart rate up. Oftentimes, lying within the fat and/or aerobic burn zones. Individuals may see improvements in respiratory and cardiovascular fitness with regular exercise and aerial practice.
Staples of aerial yoga include improving flexibility, strengthening muscles and joints, and burning calories. Aerial yoga can be practiced by just about anyone, regardless of age or fitness level.
3. Aerial Yoga Delivers A Better Full-Body Workout Effect
Looking for an effective workout that targets different areas of your body? Aerial yoga is designed to engage all muscles within the body, based on asanas performed. Therefore, it’s an ideal exercise for anyone looking to achieve full-body benefits, while preventing disproportionate muscle growth.
Aerial yoga helps to strengthen joints and ligaments, improve endurance and stamina, build lean muscle, and can even temporarily relieve pain symptoms with specific poses. The support of the swing, makes getting into deeper stretches safer and often more effective.
Whether your goal is to tone your core, shed those unwanted pounds, or simply stay healthy, aerial yoga can be an ideal routine to incorporate into your fitness regimen.
4. Can Help You With Your Yoga “Mat Game”
Let’s face it, certain poses are super hard. Oftentimes, geared away from the novice yogi. Ever try a handstand, headstand, forearm stand or poses that incorporate these type of maneuvers? Hard right? Indeed, there are ways to modify these maneuvers. Eventually even conquering more challenging positions, like using a wall for support.
However, why not try building-up strength in a more comfortable way. One that allows you to hold postures for longer periods of time while supported, not straining.
Now, take this experience to your next routine yoga class (with your traditional yoga mat). We know you’ll see the added benefit of the aerial yoga swing.
5. Aerial Yoga Improves Your Mood
Aerial yoga can help aid in reducing stress, manage anxiety symptoms, and improving your mood. Like moderate to vigorous exercise, this type of training can help to promote the release of hormones such as serotonin, which helps to regulate one’s mood.
Generally speaking, yoga can help to reduce immune system chemicals that are associated with stress and depression. If you’re someone who suffers from, stress, anxiety or symptoms of depression, aerial yoga as well as other forms of mind-body training, may provide some relief!
Final Thoughts On The Aerial Yoga Swing!
It’s best to choose a comfortable and secure aerial yoga swing to get the most out of this practice. This may include attending a few aerial classes to get an idea of your comfort zone.
Several options of swings are available. However, certain aerial swings may be more appropriate for your home. Whilst others lend themselves to be used in more commercial settings or gyms.
As always, when you’re unfamiliar with a workout routine, or specific props utilized, take up a training session, run by an expert. They can be an invaluable asset and may even teach you additional tips and tricks with certain yoga props or tools.
Be sure to consider your unique aerial yoga needs when choosing an ideal yoga swing.