Even if you haven’t tried it yet yourself, chances are you have seen some of the amazing photos of this relatively new fitness trend of aerial yoga, also known as anti-gravity yoga, posted on Facebook or Instagram. Don’t let the artful, acrobatic like poses put you off though, aerial yoga isn’t exclusively for those that are already strong and limber. It can be appropriate for almost everyone and has some amazing health benefits to offer, both physically and mentally.
Increased flexibility - Even though this is a benefit that can be gained from any form of yoga, the cloth from which you are suspended during aerial yoga enables you to gain further movement which in turn helps you move deeper into specific practices. Helping open up your joints, gain a deeper stretch and enabling your to increase your flexibility even further.
Increased strength - The increased strength is an all-over benefit, from your legs, buttocks and hips, to your shoulders, arms and back. Yet it is your abs that seem to really benefit from this next level yoga as your core works to stabilise your movement during each pose.
Zero impact - This might not be a specific benefit, per say, however, the zero impact on your joints is a major draw card for some practitioners. Being suspended by material takes most of the pressure off your joints and gives you a weightless feeling. Really worth a try!
Grounding and balancing - Despite being up off the ground most of the time, aerial yoga has an incredibly grounding effect on the mind. The suspended variation on normal yoga prompts you to become more alert and aware of both your body and your surroundings. Bringing your focus into the present moment and helping create a calmness and clarity of mind.
Stress relief - Just like with normal yoga, aerial yoga is an excellent way of relieving stress in both the body and mind. Physically your can work to release tense muscles and stimulate your circulatory system. Mentally and emotionally this type of yoga provides a weightless feel to your thoughts and emotions, as well as to your body. I find it really helps me calm my thoughts and create focus.
Like with all forms of exercise or physically challenging activity, there are contraindications for some people. These include pregnancy, heart conditions, vertigo or anyone who has recently undergone surgery or been injured. So make sure you check with your health professional if you think there is any reason that aerial yoga may not be suitable for you, and always inform your instructor of any underlying health condition or concerns you may have, so that they can best guide you.