So, what’s the deal with all these people hanging out on these colorful silk hammocks? Basically it’s taking the serenity, introspection, and contortion of yoga and elevating it to new heights – literally!
My typical choice of yoga style is Vinyasa, so I am used to being able to flow through the various motions with grace and poise. However, this was not that. Partially due to being quite confused about what the heck I was doing and partially due to my inability to balance due to my foot still being slightly inflamed post marathon. But luckily the lady next to me was also a little off-kilter and we smiled/laughed whenever we bumped into each other. The class was intimate, with about 10 people, which is exactly what you want when you are trying a new thing and are prone to embarrassment. I was a little nervous and there were definitely some veterans in the room to the practice, but honestly, overall it was extremely invigorating and uplifting! No red face due to embarrassment here, just the red face due to inversion and blood flow. Inversion and blood flow! That’s the stuff we want to talk about, right? Not how I cocooned myself into the silk hammock and let it envelop me into calmness…
What are the benefits of aerial yoga?
People seem to have this weird misconception that all yoga is is stretching in a room with a bunch of other people and doesn’t really involve much muscle. *ding dong wrong* Yoga is so much more, yoga is a full body workout. And aerial yoga takes the movements and efforts of normal yoga and adds more of a full body aspect due to the nature of utilizing the silk hammock. You spend a lot of time getting yourself up into the silks and holding static poses or you use the silks to help suspend various limbs while also holding static poses. Aerial yoga acts as a method of cross-training as it incorporates both strength and flexibility, as well as having a strong core focus (static holds don’t just happen). It heavily focuses on core strength and spinal and shoulder flexibility.
There are more than just physical benefits to doing aerial yoga. There is also a psychological benefit as the inversion can help to release tension and stresses in the body with the suspension. Exercise, in general, puts you in a good mood – think Legally Blonde: “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t!” On top of the release of endorphins being released due to exercise you are getting shots of adrenaline from the anti-gravity aerial aspect. These two combined create an invigorating reaction to boost your mood and make you feel energetic!
Why should you try aerial yoga?
Honestly, I can recommend or suggest anything but you have to be willing to test it out. This year I made a pact with myself to try new things and things that kind of scare me, also I am kind of exhilarated by heights (maybe I’m more like 40:60 terrified:excited for heights – I blame sky diving, it’s got me hooked on that feeling). But you should definitely test it out if you are looking for something new and different, want immediate stress relief and tension release, or would like to increase your flexibility and mobility! There is no way you are walking around NYC without any tension, stress, or decreased flexibility from sitting at a desk all day. So go go go!
Try new things! You never know until you try!