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6 Things you need to know about Aerial Yoga

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

What is it?

Aerial Yoga takes traditional yoga poses and puts them in the air with the use of a sling or hammock, hanging from the ceiling. Some poses, like Scorpion, that you normally do on the floor would be done upside down on the silk. It gives you a new perspective and lets gravity help align your body and get into the pose. You will be able to develop our balance and control, using the sling for some challenging new variations. However it’s not all about yoga, and you do not need a yoga background to be able to really enjoy this form of exercise.

Aerial Exercise or Aerial Fitness is a more vigorous extension from Aerial Yoga, where there is more focus on intense exercises and lifts to develop strength in your core, upper body and legs. The logical progression from here is aerial somersaults and flips – all while safely supported by the fabric, and some very demanding floor based manoeuvres.

At Miss Fit we exclusively use (and sell) the stretchy Fly Gym slings which are far more comfortable than the rigid silk slings. The height of the sling can be adjusted so that you can fly low or high.

What are the benefits?

1.The fabric makes it much easier to do inversions and with less stress on your back, neck and joints.

2.Many poses that are difficult to do on the ground are easier in the air and you can get into a deeper expression of the pose.

3.It’s a great gentle strength workout. Nearly every pose uses your core and transitioning between poses builds upper body strength.

4.It helps flexibility. Being in the air allows you stretch deeper into the poses.

5.You are hanging upside down, which allows your spine to lengthen and decompress.

6.It will push you outside of your comfort zone and it’s fun!

Some observations from an experienced yogini:

I was a little nervous because I don’t have a lot of upper body strength and I’ve never really been called graceful. I had visions of me somehow falling out of the sling and being carried off in a stretcher. Thankfully, that didn’t happen.

It was a small class and the instructor was amazing. We started out with some simple standing warm ups and then moved onto poses, building on difficulty.

I’ve done yoga for years, but flipping the poses upside down made me look at them in a new way. Familiar poses feel very unfamiliar aerially.

I think this is where a good instructor makes all the difference. The instructor walked me through the poses, showing me where we were going and how to get in and out of them before we started. Several times, she even got out of her sling to help me figure out what I was doing – more times than I should probably admit.

When the instructor flipped around her silk, the poses were beautiful and graceful. When, I did it, there was definitely more panic involved, but I did manage to hit the poses. What seemed impossible when the instructor did it, became possible when we broke it down into steps.

She seemed genuinely happy when I was able to get myself in and out of the poses, which was cool. I did clutch the silk for dear life several times, but I didn’t fall out even once. Whew! Sometimes, you just have to close your eyes and have faith that you won’t let yourself fall. Then, amazing things happen.

Overall, it was a great experience, and I can’t wait to do it again. My back felt amazing when I left and the next morning, muscles I didn’t know I had were screaming at me.

Thinking of trying a class? Here are my tips for your first class.

5 Tips for your First Aerial Yoga Class:

1.This isn’t the kind of class you can walk in, hang out in the back and fake your way through. Tell the instructor it’s your first class and let him/her help you.

2.Dress for class. Don’t wear jewellery that could snag the sling. You want a shirt that covers your armpits and that’s not going to ride up, as well as pants that cover your knees. I wore my glasses and wished I hadn’t. They were really annoying and almost fell off several times. So, I would also recommend wearing contacts or leaving your glasses off.

3.As there are several slings in a Fly Gym set, your instructor will show you how to setup, adjust and use your slings. It’ll seem a bit fiddly at first, then it’s quick and easy.

4.If you are uncomfortable falling forward or backwards, take it slow. Every pose has modifications. Work in your comfort zone.Nobody is an expert when they first start out.

5.Everybody is different so don’t look at the person next to you. You know your body. Only do what you feel you can safely do. If you don’t want to take your hands off the floor, don’t.

Like to try a class? We have Taster Classes running at our 3 studios – Artarmon and Castle Hill – next week. Booking prior is essential. Check out the dates and times on our Taster Class pageFill in the on-line form and we’ll get you started. Each Taster Class is $20-.If you then choose to join up for our new 4 week mini-term starting on 23rd Novemberyou’ll get a $20- discount off your term fees.

Want to book in for the mini-term? Go to our Timetables Page, select your location, select Acro and Aerial Workshops, then select your class times.

Flying is Fun!

cheers, Miss Fit