Aerial yoga or antigravity yoga is a form of yoga that is done using a soft, fabric hammock that hangs from the ceiling. This can be a great way to work on your fitness, flexibility, muscle strength, and more. It’s also something different to try if you’d like to do yoga but feel the traditional style isn’t for you.
How does aerial yoga work?
The fabric is held up by carabineers, chains, and webbing straps. The fabric normally hangs around three feet off the ground, but the height can be adjusted to your preference.
Throughout the class you are asked to a variety of traditional yoga poses or aerial adaptations of yoga poses while using the hammock for support. Poses vary from sitting on the hammock while doing stretches and poses to hanging upsidedown while doing stretches and poses.
Why do aerial yoga?
Aerial yoga offers all of the great benefits you get from traditional yoga and more, such as:
The fabric hammock allows for you to have a greater range of movement which means that you are able to put your body in new positions, which could lead to greater and more fulfilling stretches.
Since you are hanging on a fabric hammock your muscles are working harder to keep your body in balance. Aerial yoga is especially good for strengthening core muscles since these muscles are what are most used while trying to balance on the hammock.
Similar to traditional yoga, aerial yoga helps relieve stress. Yoga allows you to release some of the tension in your muscles that build up with emotion and stress, and aerial yoga can feel even better when you’re hanging in the air.
Aerial yoga causes you to concentrate harder on poses you are doing since you are in a more challenging situation by hanging on a hammock. It also causes you to become more aware and alert of your surroundings.
How to prepare for your first class
Here’s what to bring with you and what you’re better off leaving at home:
Wear form-fitting clothes
Baggy clothes can cause extra hassle while trying to maneuver and do new poses the hammock. Form fitting clothes like leggings and slim fit t-shirts or tank tops might be a better option.
Ditch your shoes
You will find that going barefoot will be much easier and feel much more natural when it comes to doing aerial yoga than doing it with shoes on. Be prepared to take your shoes off for the class. If being barefoot makes you uncomfortable, you could look into getting a pair of yoga socks, or just wear your regular socks.
Come hydrated and nourished
Make sure you drink lots of water and eat a small meal before going to your aerial yoga class, you will find that this will be beneficial in keeping your energy up for the class.
Leave the jewelry at home
Try not to wear anything that can get caught or tangled in the hammock. It’s best to avoid wearing these things when you’re going to your aerial yoga class.
Try to connect with others
Respect your instructor and fellow classmates – the nicer you are to others the more willing they will be to help you when you need it.