What is Aerial Yoga?

What is aerial Yoga and what are the benefits?

After almost a year of threatening to try an Aerial Yoga class, I finally gave it a whirl!

Aerial Yoga, otherwise referred to as Anti Gravity Yoga, was started in New York by Christopher Harrison. A former dancer with a performance background in acrobatics. You basically move in a suspended hammock. Aerial Yoga combines Yoga with other modalities such as Pilates, dance and acrobatics.

Benefits include:

  • Improved core strength
  • Increased spinal and shoulder flexibility.
  • Reduced back pain
  • Increased blood flow which is beneficial to the circulatory system
  • Support for the Lymphatic system
  • It takes you out of your comfort zone improving neural functioning
  • You can expect a total body workout

I attended my first Aerial Yoga class late on Sunday afternoon. The class was held at Shakti Yoga. Taught by Kevin Perlin. It happened to be a full moon class. The style was a Yin Aerial Yoga class followed by a Yoga nidra practice. This was the perfect introduction.

You could not wish for a better introduction to the art of practicing Yoga in a hammock. Believe you me, this practice is an absolute art.

Every bit of attention to detail was there. From instructions as to how to get into the ‘hammock’, to the playlist, and even general playful approach to being suspended was wonderful!

It is amazing how aerial yoga makes general muscle and flexibility imbalances so apparent. You will quickly notice the differences in your own body. Even more noticeable than in a regular Yin practice. The use of the hammock provides an ideal ‘prop’.

Once you realise that the silk hammock will actually hold all of your body weight. You will quickly relax and start to move with more confidence.

Especially during the Yoga nidra practice. To be fully suspended and engulfed in your silk hammock during the Nidra script is so relaxing and restorative.

If you are really nervous, ask the teacher to start your hammock a little bit lower to the floor if possible.

A few do’s and don’ts before getting to an Aerial Yoga class:

  • Do arrive hydrated
  • Avoid wearing jewellery or watches that might snag the silk hammock
  • Be honest about your level of practice
  • Follow the teachers instructions, don’t try to skip a step!
  • Wear tight fitting clothing with sleeves if your skin is sensitive to prevent chaffing
  • Allow yourself to relax and be playful with the movements
  • Find a teacher you trust and enjoy like I did!
  • Go with a friend! It is always way more fun

Kevin teaches a weekly Monday evening class at Shakti Yoga.