By: Rebecca Rondone of Pura Vida Yoga in Maryland

What Exactly is Aerial Yoga? Aerial yoga combines the physical practice of yoga with elements of acrobatics through the use of a suspended hammock constructed out of the silk material that is often used in aerial performances. Aerial yoga is considered a hybrid mind-body practice that combines Hatha Yoga with gymnastics, dance, Pilates and circus arts using an aerial hammock, also known as the aerial silk. Students are often attracted to the Aerial Yoga for spinal traction and passive backbends, but very quickly they learn that the functional pulling and grip strength offered compliments a mat-based yoga practice to create a full mind body and spirit work out.

The ultimate trifecta experience. Instead of performing yoga poses on a mat, aerial yoga utilizes a silk hammock or sling that is suspended from the ceiling to perform those same movements. The purpose of the hammock is to provide support through your yoga class, while also improving flexibility, range of motion, and stilling the mind.

Here are just a few of the Benefits:

  • release of dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine, all of which help to improve mood
  • to supplement existing treatments can lessen the symptoms of anxiety disorders, especially panic disorder
  • Reducing stress
  • Promoting healthy habits
  • Improving sleep
  • Assisting in managing anxiety or depression disorders
  • Enriching social life
  • Increasing balance

Here are the Bonus Benefits:

  • Instant traction on your spine (within minutes)
  • Relief of back pain and possibly sciatica
  • Core strength development
  • Deeper backbends, shoulder tension release
  • Functional upper body and full body strength

Experience length, strength and depth like never before when experiencing an aerial class. Due to muscle tightness from stress mentally or physically, practitioners may experience pressure and even slight warmth in the areas where the fabric touches. Its part of the process. It’s also common to feel a little bit of motion sickness from many variables in class one or your 27th class! This is why it’s important to experience again if you do feel a little sick in your first class. Thought, dehydration, lack of food or even too much food in the belly may be the culprit.

It’s all a part of self inquiry and getting to know your own signs and signals your body ques you with. A yoga practice or exercise routine that integrates Aerial Yoga, even if just once or twice per week, includes pushing, pulling, holding, twists, backbends, forward bends, hip opening and so much more. You can work your shoulders, calm your nerves, and leave class floating on air.

At Pura Vida Yoga, we encourage in any class to meet yourself at your hammock/mat as you are without judgment and mold the experience to you. We have held classes here for individuals age 4-84. Age won’t stop you here. Nor will ailment or injury if you don’t let it. It’s possible and we have experience for wheelchair bound individuals and those with loss of limbs. Here at Pura Vida we encourage mind over matter. Set yourself no limits.

You can expect some synchronized moves complimented with many open playground play breaks. Just do YOU!

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