1) What is aerial yoga?
Aerial yoga is a relatively new method of yoga that uses an aerial hammock, or “swing, ” as a prop to help the student develop and/or deepen their yoga practice. Aerial yoga combines the fun of playful acrobatic aerial arts with the more grounding and alignment-centered details of yoga.
2) Do I have to have experience to take the class?
No experience necessary! I can’t say that enough. You don’t need to be familiar with yoga or any aerial art. You don’t have to be able to touch your toes you just have to be willing to try!
Almost anyone can take and enjoy the many health benefits of aerial yoga. With that said, those suffering from certain injuries and medical conditions should avoid aerial practice. Such conditions may include untreated high or low blood pressure, recent surgery, glaucoma, recent brain injury and other chronic cardiovascular conditions.
Women who are pregnant should not start a new aerial practice. Post-partum women should wait at least 12 weeks before beginning an aerial practice.
3) What if I am afraid?
Being aerial even though you are very close to the floor may push you right out of your comfort zone. It can be totally disorienting and scary. As adults we tend to lose that “no fear of falling” thing we had as children. By taking that step out of your comfort zone, you’re going to learn something about yourself and have a great time doing it! First and foremost, you won’t fall. I will make sure that you are safe and that the sling is supporting you correctly. As you practice you will learn to trust the sling and follow the instructions. Gradually the magic happens, and fear turns to fun! The mood in an aerial yoga class is very supportive! We are all overcoming fears of some sort, and we don’t perform every exercise perfectly. It’s a practice!
All exercise entails some level of risk, and aerial yoga is no different. I take safety and comfort very seriously. The most common cause of initial discomfort is due to the wraps themselves. 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. I take great care to ensure adequate time is allowed for clients to feel grounded through breath work and opportunities to reconnect with the earth after inversions.
4) What are some of the benefits of the class?
There are so many benefits! Aerial yoga allows students to:
Rapidly increase flexibility while improving balance and core strength.
Move more fluidly attaining proper alignment naturally
Decompress the neck and spine
Put less pressure on hands, neck, shoulders and joints than floor poses
Achieve more advanced postures while being supported
Use gravity to deepen stretches
Experience the benefits of inversions without risk of injury to neck or spine
Enhance, deepen, and advance her/his floor practice
Have fun while strengthening and lengthening
5) What is your approach to teaching aerial yoga?
My aerial yoga classes are safe, supportive and fun! My teaching philosophy could be summed up as follows. Each aerial yoga session should:
be accessible, challenging and interesting to whoever comes
build my students’ body intelligence and mindfulness
leave students feeling healthier, refreshed and integrated physically, energetically, mentally and spiritually
have an element of exploration, play, fun and laughter
be an evolving conversation between me and my students, their needs and abilities
6) What if I cannot do something in the class?
Here’s a secret, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing when I walked into my first aerial yoga class. Nobody does! It’s quite different from any other yoga or gym class because we are all novices. It’s absolutely okay if cannot or do not want to do something in the class. It is okay to not know what you’re doing. I expect you to not know what you’re doing. I will show you what to do, and then I will show you again because you may not get it the first time around. With patience, guidance and support you will be amazed at the things you can do!