What is Aerial Yoga and How Can it Benefit You?


Yoga is something that many people love and adore. It’s a relaxing form of exercise that not only works your muscles and your body, but it relaxes you and eases your stress and anxiety levels as well. Many  rehab centers like Miami rehab says  it’s a great method of exercise for those who want to get in shape and relax, and it’s very popular with celebrities. Of course, like anything else, even yoga has to be changed up every so often to keep it interesting. From regular yoga to prenatal yoga to Bikrum yoga, there’s always something new in the works to keep people interested in the classes. The newest and most popular form of yoga at the minute is something called aerial yoga. It’s not new in terms of just being introduced, but it’s new in terms of being the hottest form of exercise on the market.

Celebrities such as Mariah Carey and Gwyneth Paltrow swear by the fact that their great bodies are a result of aerial yoga, and it’s got many men and women getting on board to try out these new classes. So, what is aerial yoga, you ask? To sum it up, it’s yoga you do in the air.

Aerial yoga uses a trapeze. It’s a soft trapeze that allows you to easily contort your body midair to make use of the different poses and forms of this particular exercise. What happens is that you put your body into this aerial trapeze and you make it a point to turn, twist and maneuver your body while in the trapeze so that all your poses are done while suspended in the air. These trapezes cannot be hung up just anywhere. It takes some special skill, some certifications and some licensing to be able to legally do an aerial yoga class, and that’s something you should check into before enrolling in a class. Serious injury can occur if you’re not able to use a sturdy trapeze.

The purpose of aerial gravity is to give your body a new and beneficial type of workout. This is done by counteracting gravity. You are better able to use your muscles and your body when you work in the air, as gravity’s natural reaction is to pull you down and toward the ground. Working with gravity is fine, but working against it is very beneficial to your bones and muscles. What happens in aerial yoga is that your muscles and bones are more relaxed because there is less pressure placed on them. It will give you stronger muscles, a straighter spine and several other benefits.

Now that you know all about aerial yoga, we can talk about all that is involved. Essentially, you have a yoga instructor whose job is to help you get through the different poses in class while you do them in the air. Additionally, there are some mental and spiritual benefits as well, should you choose to look at this form of exercise in this particular manner.

History of Aerial Yoga

The history of aerial yoga is interesting, but not very old. The concept was not born until just recently and it’s grown very quickly over the years. Jayne Bernasconi is a woman who was a freshman in college when she decided she was going to start dancing. She loved dance and the exercise it gave her, so she moved to Maryland in 1999 and began teaching dance and yoga classes. She began teaching as an aerial dance teacher, which is a very unique and special form of dance. Many years later, after teaching both aerial dance and yoga in her classes, she had the idea to put the two together. She recently did this and began teaching aerial yoga classes.

She’s now credited with starting the biggest trend in yoga that’s come around in recent years. She began to feel that the principles that came along with aerial dance also applied to yoga and thought that the health benefits would be significant, and she was correct. She also made it a point to start her own aerial classes, which began to catch on all over the country. Now it’s a serious contender with hot yoga for the most popular type of yoga imaginable at the moment. It’s very trendy, very healthy and it’s become a very profitable form of exercise for the creator.


Benefits of Aerial Yoga

There are benefits and downfalls to everything, but it seems that the benefits of aerial yoga far outweigh the negatives. For example, it seems that the benefits include a great deal of good feelings. Many people state that the concept of aerial yoga appeals to them because it’s a more fun and less chore-like feeling than regular yoga classes. It’s different, it’s exciting, and combining hot yoga, aerial yoga and traditional yoga classes into their exercise routine helps to keep things fresh and interesting for those who love to work out and want to have healthy bodies.

One of the biggest benefits of aerial yoga is obviously the effect it has on the body. This form of yoga, like all yoga, is great for muscle tone. Since yoga uses the muscles in the body to build more muscle and tone the body, it’s a great way to exercise. You will notice, after several classes and regular exercise, that your muscles begin to feel better, become stronger, and look more toned that ever before. You will begin to see your weight drop, your inches fall off and your body become tighter and healthier. You will also find that you are stronger once you begin practicing this.

Other health effects are obvious, but we will point them out. As you become thinner and stronger, you will suffer less from shortness of breath and other health issues associated with being overweight. You will sleep better because exercise is a great way to encourage deeper, stronger sleep. You will feel more energized because your body will actually learn to produce more energy. Your metabolism will quicken because you are exercising. You will feel more confident because your body is looking better, and your mind will notice that and it will reflect in the way you carry yourself. It’s also a sport that can help relieve back pain, muscle pain and other issues that you develop as you get older or when you live an active lifestyle.

Other health benefits of aerial yoga include mental and emotional benefits. Yoga is a wonderful form of stress release. It’s a kind of exercise that forces you to breathe very deeply, which is great for lowering levels of stress and anxiety. You will notice that practicing yoga makes it possible for you to live your life in a much more positive and much better mood. You won’t feel so tired, sluggish or out of energy. Things that bother you won’t seem to affect you as much. Yoga, particularly aerial yoga, is a magnificent form of stress relief.

Another of the many benefits of aerial yoga is something very specific to aerial yoga and cannot be found in other types of yoga. This is something called “facing your fears.” Many people are afraid of heights. They are afraid of new things. They are afraid of anything they don’t deem normal or “the same,” and this is a problem that plagues so many people. However, when you practice aerial yoga, you have no choice but to face your fears. It’s virtually impossible not to face at least one fear when you pick yourself up off the floor and hang in the air, twisting and contorting your body for an hour every day. It is virtually impossible to leave that class not feeling amazing, as if you’ve slain your own personal demons and fears. Aerial yoga is not something most people would classify as in their comfort zone. Anytime you face something that’s not inside your comfort zone, it has this amazing effect on your mind.

Aerial yoga is also very spiritual. It’s something that can make you feel a bit more in-depth and connected to your spiritual side. One of the biggest misconceptions that so many people have about yoga is the fact that it’s something that is for those who are deeply religious. It’s not. It is, however, a very spiritual type of exercise. But it’s not anything that has to do with religion. You needn’t take up meditation to practice yoga anymore than you have to form a relationship with Buddha or even with God. You can form your relationship with yourself on a more spiritual level. You can incorporate your spiritual and/or religious beliefs into your yoga if you want, or leave them out. The beauty is that this is something completely up to you in every way, shape and form.

The Popularity of Aerial Yoga

Since its introduction just a few years ago, aerial yoga has become exceptionally popular all over the country and the world. One of the biggest reasons it’s become so popular is the love that so many celebrities have for this form of yoga. Gwyneth Paltrow is a huge fan of aerial yoga, and she talks about it often. The free press and publicity that this gives the practice is part of the reason it’s growing so quickly in its popularity. A few years ago, it was something you would only find in Maryland. Today, there are aerial yoga classes all over the world. They are some of the most popular. The reason is different for everyone, but the popularity of these classes cannot be denied.

There are virtually no negative reviews of these classes. If you look them up, you will find that those who have tried to practice aerial yoga love the practice. If they don’t love it, they don’t hate it, they simply don’t feel it’s their thing. In short, it’s the kind of exercise that’s going to make you either love it or not want to do it again, but you’re not going to leave an aerial yoga class feeling as if you wasted your money or got nothing out of the class.

Important Information about Aerial Yoga

There is a lot that goes into doing aerial yoga, and with any form of exercise it is not something that’s recommended for everyone. The most important piece of information to keep in mind if you choose to participate in an aerial yoga class is to speak with your medical professional before you sign up. There are several women for whom this type of yoga is not recommended. The first is pregnant women. The suspension and the moves required for this class are not safe for those carrying a baby. Expectant mothers who want to participate in yoga should speak to their medical professionals and obtain permission to engage in yoga and then sign up only for a prenatal yoga class, which is specially designed with moves and poses that are safe and beneficial for women carrying a child.

Other women not recommended for aerial yoga include those who are menstruating. Additionally, any woman or man who suffers from health issues such as vertigo or severe sinuses should talk to their doctor for permission to do this type of exercise. On top of that, anyone that is going through any type of cancer treatment or other form of serious health issue should talk to their doctor before engaging in this type of yoga class. Finally, anyone who recently had any surgeries on their eyes should not participating in aerial yoga until cleared by a medical professional with a deep understanding of their medical history and recent surgeries. The same goes for anyone who recently underwent plastic surgery.

There are not fitness restraints that come along with aerial yoga. There is no such thing as a fitness level when it comes to this. It’s great for beginners and for those who have done it for years. There are no age restraints with aerial yoga, either. As long as you are in good health and have permission from your doctor, it’s a great form of exercise to try for any man or woman.

Photos by Getty Images


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