If you've attended any of our aerial yoga classes, you've likely noticed by now that we are much more than just moving through pretty gravity-defying shapes and sequences, flipping in and out of complex tricks, and that you don't need to be an acrobat in training for the circus to join our classes.
When we say that our aerial yoga is for every ONE and every BODY, we truly mean it. If you have a body you can do yoga. The same rings true for aerial yoga. Why? Because those statements have 2 things in common = yoga.
One thing we have cultivated in our studio over the years is to ensure all of our aerial yoga classes are actually rooted in a traditional mat based yoga asana practice. Think of it this way: we are doing yoga simply using the aerial hammock as a prop.
And yes, the fabric will hold your full body weight. The beauty of the aerial hammock is it makes sometimes more challenging asanas more accessible (hello handstands and headstands). It will take your stretching deeper, build stability, mobility and balance, build your grip strength and even help you work on our pulling strength (the counter to mat work where we only work on pushing strength). Translation: often times bigger results and you get to have FUN while doing something good for your mind and body.
So how exactly does your mat practice translate into the hammock? So. Many. Ways. First, we'll explore a shape that is traditionally performed on the ground and walk through how we incorporate the hammock to accomplish the same shape.
Fish Pose (Matsyasana)
So, let's look at a traditional mat based asana and translate it into the hammock. Fish pose, matsyasana, boost the body's energy and fights fatigue, while building confidence with a loving stretch in the shoulders. It's even said that if you perform matsyasana in water, you will be able to float like a fish!
In aerial yoga, we keep our fish pose grounded by simply adding in the use the aerial hammock to further extend the shape, lengthen the spine and oftentimes make this grounded shape more accessible to every BODY.
The same benefits of getting into this shape on your mat apply, but by adding in the support of the aerial hammock we have some additional benefits to the arms and the shoulders, and of course = hello grip strength!
Let's take a look at the benefits of our aerial fish pose:
Boosts the immune system
Stretches the hip flexors (psoas)
Stretches intercostals between the ribs
Stretches and stimulates the muscles of the belly
Opens the chest and heart chakra
Stretches throat and stimulates the thyroid gland
Strengthens and stretches the arms and shoulders
Stretches and strengths the quadriceps
All Respiratory aliments
Wand to learn more?
Do you love learning about the philosophy, benefits and application of aerial yoga in your practice? Join us for one of our aerial yoga teacher training programs! In these programs we breakdown our aerial asanas to learn more about them in great detail. Even if you don't want to ever teach aerial yoga, our teacher training programs are a great way to immerse yourself and educate yourself on aerial yoga. Learn more.
Also, comment below if you want to see more mat based shapes translated into the aerial hammock!
Photos by: NVS Photography