What is Aerial Yoga?
Aerial Yoga is a relatively new approach to a traditional yoga practice. We use a silk fabric called a ‘hammock’ or ‘swing’ to support the weight of our bodies, helping us achieve various postures with more depth, ease and excitement. By relieving 20-80% of body weight, the hammock allows students to rapidly increase their flexibility while improving balance and core strength. In doing so, students are able to reach more advanced yoga poses if desired, like inversions, offering drastic improvements in health and vitality in a short amount of time. In addition, the swings are used as “wraps” on our bodies that gently massage and stimulate various acupressure meridians of the body. An overall detox effect can be experienced and felt by practitioners.
Who can take Aerial Yoga?
Anyone! Almost anyone, that is! Students of most ages, men and women, practice Aerial Yoga and reap the benefits of this therapeutic style of yoga. That said, there are a few ailments that would prevent someone from attending. People who are or have very high or low blood pressure, easy onset vertigo, pregnancy, glaucoma, recent surgery, heart disease, osteoporosis, bone weakness, recent head injury, cerebral sclerosis, propensity for fainting, artificial hips, carpal tunnel syndrome, severe arthritis, sinusitis or head cold…cannot participate in aerial yoga. Students must be 18 years or older to attend. As with all exercise programs, we strongly advise anyone suffering from any kind of medical condition or injury consult their doctor before beginning aerial yoga. You will be required to sign a safety waiver before you register online or in person. As far as current fitness level: It is recommended to have a basic understanding of yoga--being able to comfortably complete a Vinyasa, including a chatturanga (yoga push up), would be an appropriate starting point before beginning Aerial Yoga.
Is Aerial Yoga Safe?
All exercise entails some level of risk, and aerial yoga is no different. That said, we take the safety of our clients and instructors very seriously. Our yoga hammocks, steel carabiners & structure are rigged to hold several 1,000 pounds worth of dynamic movement/weight, and have been designed and installed by certified engineers. The most common cause of discomfort when beginning an aerial practice is due to the wraps themselves, and you may experience some minor irritation, discomfort, and even bruising as you condition your body to the sensation and pressure of the wraps. Some people may also experience dizziness as a result of inverting, and we take great care in our classes to ensure adequate time is allowed for clients to breathe and reconnect with the earth after inversions. It is essential that you inform your instructor of any existing medical issues, injuries, or other concerns before beginning class and review the “Can I take aerial yoga?” section above to ensure you do not have a condition that may prevent your practice.
Can I eat or drink before class?
Because you will be inverting (going upside down) during class, we advise clients not to eat or drink anything acidic for at least an hour before class starts. This is especially important during the early stages of your aerial practice, as your body won’t be used to inverting yet. Please arrive with a very light stomach.
What if I've never worked out before or am really out of shape?
Aerial yoga is a great way to get in shape, and we support and encourage clients of all shapes and sizes. We do not judge anyone and understand everyone is in a different place in their journey. Ensure that you are attending the appropriate class for beginners. If you are concerned you may need additional support, we strongly recommend starting with a private, duo, or trio appointment before moving into a larger group class. Aerial yoga does require some core and overall body strength, and our instructors are able to provide you with more modifications and personal support during private instruction.
What should I wear to class?
You should wear form fitting clothing, in breathable cotton fabrics. New aerial students may also want to wear a shirt that covers the underarms, as some of the wraps may cause discomfort at first. Leggings, fitted yoga pants, tanks, t-shirts, and other yoga basics all work great. Please avoid clothing with a shiny or slippery surface and anything non-breathable, as these can become very uncomfortable as the detoxifying poses often stimulate a lot of sweating. Women may want to want to wear a properly fitted sports bra, as wardrobe issues during inversions and other upside down poses and transitions are not uncommon. While many men prefer to wear shorts, new male student may want to wear pants until they become more comfortable in the wraps. For safety concerns as well as to protect the hammock fabric, what NOT to wear is more of a concern. You must remove all of the following items before class as they will damage the swings: Shoes
Jewelry of ANY kind, including earrings
Yoga socks or other yoga footwear
Clothing with gems, sequins, glitter, or other sharp or abrasive surfaces
**PROPER HYGIENE IS ALSO REQUIRED** You must bathe and use appropriate antiperspirants before arriving to use our yoga hammocks. Perfumes and oils and smoking prior to class are NOT permitted either as they damage and stain the fabric. We wash our fabrics regularly but we need your cooperation in preserving the quality and cleanliness of the hammocks.
What class should I take first?
All new clients will take the Aerial Yoga class. Our Aerial Yoga classes begin to familiarize students with using the fabric, gain confidence on how to get into poses safely and gain the trust needed to build the bedrock for your aerial yoga practice. Depending on your current fitness level, previous aerial experience, and general comfort with the basic aerial wraps and poses, you can then move up to our next classes and beyond as your abilities and interests allow. During your first class, we will be happy to answer any questions and make recommendations of what classes will best meet your current practice and goals.
I'm a yogi (or dancer, gymnast, crossfitter, Pilates instructor, etc.), do I really need to start with the basic class?
Yes. Aerial yoga is different from traditional yoga, dance, Pilates, and other movement methodologies. While having the fitness and body awareness these practices provide, it is essential you learn the basic wraps and safety taught in Aerial Yoga. Aerial yoga and other aerial arts also require practitioners build strength in areas of the body other fitness, yoga, and dance programs may not provide. This is most true when it comes to forearm strength, which is essential for our upper level classes.