Aerial yoga is a form of yoga where one combines the traditional forms of yoga with aerial arts to create an integrated yoga practice. Aerial yoga is possible by incorporating a circus fabric to offer support to the body either partially or wholly as you undertake the traditional yoga poses.
Practicing your aerial yoga is taking the yoga moves you are used to on the mat and practicing them in the air. By suspending your body, you get to elongate your spine and free-up the compressions in your physical body which are necessary for the healthy joint mobilization. Aerial yoga poses also build up your core and upper-body strength. Here are the yoga poses to try out when practicing aerial yoga.
1. Aerial Lunges
Start by standing at the center of your yoga mat, directly behind your hammock. Ensure that the length of the hammock aligns with your pelvic bone. Place your right leg in the ‘U’ of the hammock and continue to bend your leg in a way that the hammock supports you just above the knee. Ensure that your other leg is still at the center of the mat.
Position your hands on your hips and ensure you can breathe properly. When inhaling, lean your body into a lunge position and stretch your quad and hip flexors. Hold the pose for as long as you are comfortable. Upon exhalation, press the suspended leg into the hammock and move back to your starting position. Repeat the process at least four times then switch legs and repeat the whole process.
2. Half Boat Pose
While standing squarely on your yoga mat with the aerial yoga hammock in front of you, reach up and hold onto the two sides of the hammock. Slide both of your arms through the hammock like you are putting on a backpack bag. Slide your hands down until your wrists are resting on your hips while standing on your tiptoes.
Stand with your feet yoga mat wide and position your scrum on the bottom of the ‘U’ shape hammock. Engage your abdominal muscles while leaning back against the circus hammock lift up your legs and hold on t the hammock to prevent it from sliding up your back. Bending the knees will help you to transfer your weight from the floor to the hammock.
Hold on to the hammock at a higher position and proceed to straighten your knees. To help you balance, part your legs as wide as possible until you find the perfect balance on the hammock. For the half boat pose, deeply inhale and exhale five times while staying in the position.
3. Plank With Feet In Hammock
Ensure that the ‘U’ of the hammock is slightly higher than an arm’s length from the ground. With your palms set firmly on the ground, place your feet in the ‘U’ of the hammock and hold the position for as long as it is comfortable.
This aerial yoga pose strengthens and tones your core, spine, arms, shoulders as well as your legs. Aerial yoga enthusiast has reported that this pose helps relieve lower back pain when you engage the glutes since the hammock raises the feet higher than the traditional plank on the Yoga mat. This aerial yoga pose also improves your confidence and posture increasing stability as well as balance.
4. Star Inversion
Maneuver yourself in that your scrum is on the ‘U’ of the hammock. Bend your knees to shift the weight from the floor and to the hammock. Spread your legs as wide as possible and lean your upper body in a position that your wide spread feet are in the air and your head close to the ground. Also, spread your arms as far as possible while at the same time keeping them firmly on the ground.
This pose helps you in decompressing the spine, as well as relieving stress, insomnia, mild depression and anxiety. By regularly practicing this aerial yoga pose, you continually calm the mind which helps you to think more clearly and independently.
The star inversion poses help in increasing blood circulation which contributes to decrease inflammation in your body. It will also regulate your temperature allowing gravity to align your spine. For women, it relieves menstrual cramps as well as menopause symptoms. Hold the pose while inhaling and exhaling at least five times deeply.
Aerial yoga has been confused with aerial dancing which is two different things altogether. Aerial yoga is closer to the ground allowing you to practice yogic postures on a suspended hammock. The above aerial yoga poses combine the traditional yoga practices with the physical training of an aerial dancing.
A determined beginner can learn all the aerial yoga poses in the shortest time possible. Try out the above and more aerial yoga poses for balance, physically, spiritually, and mentally.