Sometimes working out is something many people hate doing or simply can’t be bothered to do because they are too lazy for it. Sometimes people who really need to start working out and exercising don’t really do it, even if it’s necessary for their health.
There are many ways to make working out something you actually like doing, besides being obligated to do so by your doctor. One of the ways to do so is to look for something that is fun and doesn’t feel like an obligation. Another way is to do these fun activities, sports, or exercises with your friends.
There’s one workout that is very creative and that we consider can be a fun exercise for you, and it is aerial yoga. This practice will provide many mental and physical benefits, besides a lot of fun acrobatics too. You can consider it a very therapeutic and more accessible option of yoga.
Aerial yoga, what is it?
This yoga practice combines traditional asanas, which are the postures of yoga that are physical, and some yoga philosophies with aerial arts. Ropes or silk fabric are hung and these will help you to form shapes. The silks or ropes will fully support you not only when you are lying down but also when you wrap them around some of your body parts, keeping others on the floor.
When you are hanging fully or some of your individual body parts are suspended, this will create some traction while opening your body in a more intuitive and gentler way than when you are practicing yoga on the floor.
As this practice is a combination of athletics and arts, it offers many benefits, whether they are psychological or physical. It will improve your stability, flexibility, and balance. It will also help with traction and the decompression of the joints. This is possible when you are inverted and hanging upside down.
Aerial yoga also reduces the risk factors that can develop into heart disease. This is not an exercise that has a high intensity, on the contrary, it is low to moderate. It’s said that around 50 minutes of practicing it can burn around 300 calories. And your mental health will also improve. There have been some studies that show that there have been some improvements in stress levels and depression in those who practice it.
Can you practice it at home?
We know sometimes it's hard to find a place to practice aerial yoga, sometimes you simply just don’t want to leave your house or might feel ashamed or insecure in group classes. When you practice it at home, the experience ends up being less intimidating. You’ll only need some ropes or swings and connect them to any metal frame, which will allow you to fly outside or inside.
Another good option is setting up the ropes or silk around any study tree branches or even front porch beams, like for example, you would do with a hammock. You can even install them directly into your ceiling. But remember it is always important to check up the setup before you start, as the attachments can loosen with time and you can have an accident.
What equipment do you need?
Obviously, if you are attending a class, the only thing you will need is your presence and your body. Also, it will be important to wear activewear that is well-fitted and that also has decent coverage. Why? Because the ropes or silks will and can rub against your skin. It is better to have fewer obstructions or direct contact with your skin. You can bring your own towel to help with cushioning or some studios might provide them.
If you want to do it at home, we recommend you look online for the best brands and keep in mind that some pieces might be sold separately.
What expectations can you have?
The first thing to have in mind is that you don’t really need to have any prior yoga knowledge. You can also expect to surprise yourself and maybe laugh a lot too. For those who already have some yoga experience, when they start aerial yoga, they start with a beginner level or classes that are more restorative. All of this will allow everyone to get a lot more comfortable with moving with the fabric, before even trying to attempt sequences that are complex.
Sometimes it will be normal to feel a little bit dizzy in the first class, especially in the moments when you are coming back up after hanging upside down. If you have any underlying health conditions or illnesses, it's important that you let your instructor know.
Some tips to make the experience much better
We have put up our best tips for beginners that will make the experience of practicing aerial yoga not only fun but an enjoyable experience that you want to repeat as much as possible converting it into a really healthy habit.
One of our first tips will be to always listen to your body. Ask for any assistance or take a break if you feel that something isn’t feeling right. Communication is always very important. In this case, if the placement of the sling and ropes feels uncomfortable and even painful, it is important that you ask your instructor for help to find the perfect placement, as it is key during practice.
It’s important to go easy, sometimes knowing that a little can go a long way is very important during the practice of aerial yoga. Start slow and get used to the style. Always trust, trust your teacher, the contraption, and yourself, and for sure, and don’t forget to have fun. Sometimes some of the shapes will feel out of reach for you, especially if you are brand new to it, maybe you’ll get tangled or confused, but it’s always important to remember that you are there to enjoy and have fun.
Nowadays there are many styles of yoga available for everyone and each one has its unique benefits. Aerial yoga can be not only fun for people who are more acrobatic, and even for those who aren’t, but it can also be restorative, therapeutic, and accessible.