Aerial yoga was founded by Christopher Harris in New York that has become popular over the last few years since its start in 2007. Studios offer this kind of yoga classes and sessions continue to pop up everywhere.
What is Aerial Yoga?
It is a unique practice, where you are doing yoga inspired by aerial gymnastics, Pilates and traditional yoga… but on yoga swings or silk hammocks attached to the ceiling.
7 Reasons to Practice Aerial Yoga
Here are 7 reasons to practice aerial yoga, including some of the many benefits it has on both body and mind:
1. Aerial Yoga is a Full Body Workout
This type of yoga incorporates poses that require your body to move and stretch, and it requires just about every part of your body to be engaged. It is especially good for abs because since you are fighting gravity, it especially requires full ab engagement through each pose and movement.
2. It Is a Zero Impact Activity
Since you are hanging from a hammock or swing, your body isn’t hitting the pavement or struggling against any hard-hitting machines, making it a zero-impact activity. This is a major benefit, especially for those who have physical challenges in traditional exercise methods.
3. It Counts As Cardio
In a study by ACE researchers, it was found that 320-calories burned in one 50-minute aerial yoga session is comparable to power walking. This is more of a surprise but just as convincing of a reason to try it, especially considering the other benefits.
4. It Makes You Stronger
Since your whole body is required for each aerial yoga pose, it significantly improves your strength. Not only will you be able to hold your poses for longer, but your ability to stabilize your body throughout will naturally improve.
5. It Improves Balance
Since you are flipped upside down and working against gravity, aerial yoga requires continuous stabilization and therefore improves balance. This is a benefit that you will see the results of in daily life.
6. It Can Help Ease Back Pain
In daily life, your vertebrae are stacked and pulled down together by gravity. For many this can cause pressure or back pain as your spine is consistently compressed. By flipping upside down, you relieve this pressure on your spine temporarily and this can help to ease back pain. With increased flexibility and a stronger body (especially a stronger core), this also helps to protect and strengthen your back. This is a great way to get in an effective workout that doesn’t put stress on your back.
Yoga practices in general incorporate body and breathwork, benefiting your mind and body. It makes you feel Zen, requires you to focus on your breath and how it is moving through your body, boost your endorphin and dopamine production, and some even say that hanging upside down may release more serotonin.
If you would like to start out with aerial yoga, check out beginner classes with qualified instructors to learn best practices and form. It is a safe way to become comfortable with yoga poses, enabling you to work your way up to traditional yoga poses (no hanging swing or hammock required). It is also helpful to incorporate a good stretching routine into your daily life so you feel more limber and flexible overall as well, more prepared for your aerial yoga practice.