If hanging upside down wrapped in silk sounds like something you’d love, aerial yoga offers all that, plus some amazing stretching and pain-relieving benefits.
Although going to classes is the best option for those just starting out, practicing at home isn’t mission impossible. Of course, you have to have the space to install it.
What Is Aerial Yoga?
Aerial yoga is a specific style of yoga that involves hanging in a hammock or sling suspended from the ceiling. You use the benefits of gravity to work your muscles and joints in an entirely different way than you ever would on the ground. It’s become so popular over the recent years that many studios now offer a variety of upside-down classes, such as aerial barre, aerial Pilates, and other silk workouts.
Yoga poses are, of course, modified for hanging purposes, so even the practice of the most advanced yogis will change and evolve. In fact, many people report feeling more stable and balanced on the ground after they’ve taken a few classes in the air. It’s all about changing your perspective.
What Are the Benefits of Aerial Yoga?
Besides just being a really cool workout, aerial yoga offers a ton of benefits. It strengthens your shoulders, core, and legs, and improves your balance. It also increases your range of motion and decompresses your spine. Plus, you can take some really awesome pictures to frame later!
Since being suspended in the air relieves pressure on the joints, it’s suitable for those with ankle and knee injuries, as well as pinched nerves and disk prolapses. When your spine gets a 180-degree turn, gravity forces work in the opposite direction. Instead of feeling the weight of your shoulders on your hips and legs, you create space between each vertebra, release the tension, and relax the fascia.
Being inverted also stimulates the flow of lymph fluid that reduces swelling and edema. It improves your digestive system and helps your body flush out toxins more efficiently.
Can Everyone Practice Aerial Yoga?
While aerial yoga tends to be safe for most people, individuals with specific health conditions should get the green light from their physician before wrapping themselves up in the silky fabric.
Inversions also aren’t recommended for those with high blood pressure or diabetes due to the blood pressure spike that can occur before your body acclimates to being upside down. Also, people with brittle bones or osteoporosis, as well as women in the later stages of pregnancy, should probably choose another form of exercise.
If you’re managing any condition, you should always consult your physician before doing anything outside your regular workout routine, including aerial yoga.
How Can I Safely Install It in My Home?
To install an aerial yoga swing in your home, you have to have both the space and a strong ceiling to anchor it. A door frame or any sturdy ceiling beam would be best. Unless you have a really poor floor and ceiling infrastructure, though, most ceilings should be okay.
You can even hang your swing from a tree in your backyard or in your garage. The most important thing is that you anchor it so it can bear your weight (and then some). If you don’t feel confident anchoring it yourself, enlist the help of a skilled friend or professional.
Most sets on the market come with plenty of anchors, looper chains, and other safety hooks. Still, a separate ceiling mount might be your best bet, depending on the type of beam or frame you install it in.
Once you’ve found the best fit for your space, it’s time to set it up and start browsing the different colors and materials. One of the best on the market is Yogabody. In addition to selling different hammocks and slings, it also offers training and workouts you can follow.
UpCircle Seven and Wellsem Deluxe receive raving ratings from the majority of their customers. EverKing Aerial Yoga Hammock uses the same fabric used to make parachutes, along with extra-comfortable padded foam handles, strong hooks, and slings.
Where Can I Find Workouts?
Now that you’re mounted up to a ceiling beam, it’s time to get upside down! The aforementioned Yogabody teachers have great videos on their website and YouTube channel for everyone, no matter how far you are (or aren’t) on your aerial yoga journey.
There are also tons of professional videos that can help you perfect your poses and get in a great workout, as you swing around and transition from one pose to another. Practice your backbends and bring your toes closer to your head each time you hop into your silky sling.
There are also videos of teachers practicing in their own living rooms, like this one from fairy vibes or this one from Aerial Coco. These are specifically for beginners trying to figure out some hacks and tricks before attempting a longer, more challenging workout.
What If It Doesn’t Feel Good?
If you’re just starting out, note that wrapping a silky fabric around your hips and thighs might not be the most pleasant thing in the world for everyone. Some people even develop blisters and bruises from it. That’s all perfectly normal, and these will go away the more you do it. However, you can prevent it by wearing double layers or something with extra padding.
Of course, if there’s no one around to spot you or correct your moves, there’s always a possibility that you’ll do something wrong. Unless you can figure it out yourself, it’s better to have someone check your form and tell you what you’re doing wrong. Constantly repeating the same uncomfortable (or even painful) moves is far from ideal.
If you can’t figure it out on your own, consider taking a few classes with a teacher right there to guide you.
If you’re looking to take your workout to a whole new level (and you like being upside down), aerial yoga is perfect for you. So, wrap yourself in some silk and start flying across your living room!