Aerial Yoga/Pilates & Suspension Fitness

Aerial Yoga/Fitness/Pilates uses a suspension system with therapeutic value: An aerial yoga “silk,” or hammock—suspended from the ceiling or a metal frame—that can support your weight, ease pressure, create space in your joints, decrease compression in your spine, and help you find more mobility. Hanging upside down may seem risky, but you can invert in the hammock without putting pressure on your head or spine as you would in classic inversions, which can lead to back and neck pain and injury over time.

The hammock can also be used to strengthen muscles and find correct alignment in most poses, not just tricky inversions. Research on suspension training indicates that you have to use your core muscles more when you’re suspended than when you’re on the ground to keep yourself stable, and then there’s the arm strength you gain by hoisting yourself into and around the silk. because students have to pull down on the hammock to lift themselves up, they build a kind of core and upper-arm strength that they don’t build in traditional yoga, where most arm movements are about pushing, not pulling.

Aerial silks can also provide natural alignment adjustments. For example, if you were to do a suspended variation of (Downward-Facing Dog Pose), with the hammock at your hip crease, the placement of the sling helps glide the heads of the thighbones back—which is how they should move when you fold forward at the hips, but is hard for some people to achieve on the floor. For these practitioners, the sling could help relieve pinching at the front of the hip joints in forward bends.

Using the silks is especially useful to beginners. When a new student drapes over the hammock, in Down Dog, for example, gravity does the work for them.  The hammock helps with lengthening and creating internal space.

For all of its therapeutic and alignment value, an aerial practice is also fun. The word ‘antigravity’ can also mean against graveness. People are also naturally curious about what it might feel like to fly or be suspended, Aerial yoga is a chance to dream and to play, to try something different and put yourself  in a position you never thought you could be in.

Aerial yoga offers many of the same benefits and enjoyments of regular yoga, but it also has some additional benefits as well:

Greater Flexibility. Since you have more freedom of movement, you can move your body into new positions. In some cases, this can result in a deeper and more fulfilling stretch than traditional yoga offers.

Better Focus. By putting yourself in a more challenging situation than usual, aerial yoga forces you to be more alert and aware of your surroundings. You are likely to concentrate harder because you're not used to being suspended in the air during your yoga practice.

Strengthened Muscles. Because gravity is working harder on your body than usual, your muscles work harder too. Aerial yoga is also a great core workout because you have to engage your core muscles to balance and stabilize yourself during your yoga session.

Stress-Relief. Much like traditional yoga, aerial yoga is great for stress relief. Not only do you use poses and stretches common to other forms of yoga to relieve stress, but you also experience the joy of knowing that you did something new and exciting, which makes you feel good.

Of course, any kind of physical exercise poses some risk of injury. So what are the risks associated with aerial yoga?

Is Aerial Yoga Safe?

Aerial yoga is a safe form of exercise, in that all aerial yoga classes should be taught by a certified aerial yoga instructor.

Furthermore, you are only suspended three or so feet from the ground during aerial classes (although you can adjust the height of your hammock to suit your needs or make the class more challenging). Therefore, the risk of injuring yourself from falling is quite minimal.

Some considerations to take into account, however, are the multiple risks associated with hanging upside down for too long. Of course, no reputable yoga instructor is going to keep you upside down for longer than is healthy, but you should be aware of the health risks associated with this activity nonetheless.

Most people can engage in aerial yoga with few to no problems. However, if any of the following apply to you, you should consider a different form of exercise or -- at the very least -- consult with your doctor and yoga instructor before trying an aerial class:

For those of you who have decided to give this unique form of exercise a try, here are some tips to help you avoid accidents and injuries in your first class:

Wear form-fitting, but comfortable, clothes. Loose or baggy clothing can make it difficult to move and has the potential to get snagged or tangled in the hammock's mechanisms.

Go barefoot. You'll feel more comfortable moving around in the hammock this way.

Drink plenty of water, and eat a light meal. This will prepare you for the intensity of the workout ahead.

Avoid soft drinks and other acidic liquid before class. These might cause unpleasant feelings in your gut when performing the upside-down movements.

Do not use hand lotion. It might stick to the hammock, or make it harder for you to maintain your grip.

Remove jewelry, watches and anything else that can rip into or get tangled in the hammock. This also includes untrimmed fingernails and toenails.

Be considerate toward your instructor and classmates. If you have good relationships with them, they're more likely to give you help when you need it.

Aerial yoga might seem like an intimidating exercise at first but it can be incredibly rewarding and exciting.  Classes range from Beginners to Advanced Power Aerial.  Exercise disguised as fun!!


View our Timetable to see when classes are scheduled or contact us on 376574