Aerial Yoga seems like a unique and fun one off activity to try with friends. However, the unique health benefits gained from a regular Aerial Yoga practice is what keeps bringing aerial fliers back for more.
1. Reversing gravity
Gravity is pretty great. I mean, if we didn’t have it, it would be pretty hard to keep track of all of our stuff and of course, drinking coffee would be a nightmare! But, for all us earth dwellers, gravity can sometimes get pretty wearing on parts of our bodies such as our feet, legs and backs. We spend our lives either sitting, standing or lying down with gravity bearing down on us and keeping us grounded on the earth. So being suspended in the air, in the support of the hammock allows us to gently reverse gravity and relieve the pressure that’s accumulated in our bodies.
2. Decompression of the spine
As mentioned, gravity is great for keeping everything down and together, but without giving our muscles and skeleton periodical release, it can become tight and compressed which can lead to pain and loss of mobility. Hanging like a bat in the aerial hammock allows the vertebrae of our spine to gently decompress. This is done by letting gravity gently pull apart the vertebrae and the discs between them, causing fresh synovial fluid, oxygen and other nutrients to flood in and nourish them.
3. Low impact/cardio workout
Cardiovascular training is classed as any exercise that increases our heart rate. We need this to keep our heart muscle active and strong. Weight bearing training is performing exercises using our own body weight or with added weight. This is important for our skeletal muscle health, and possibly more importantly, bone density. After the age of 30, if we are not actively maintaining bone density, our bones begin to lose minerals and thus become depleted and fragile. This can lead to osteoporosis. Aerial yoga facilitates low impact exercises by combining strength training, stretching and cardiovascular endurance. Meaning, with the support of the hammock you’re able to adjust the intensity of the exercise to suit your level while also, lessening the impact on joints.
4. Circulation/lymphatic movement
Everyone can appreciate the feeling of putting your feet up after a hard day’s work. This is because the fluid in our bodies can become trapped and stagnant in our lower limbs from being upright for lengthy periods of time. Thanks gravity…! While our blood is pushed around our body from the continual pumping of our heart, our lymphatic fluid is not. Our lymphatic system is directly related to our immune system and requires movement to circulate. This can be in the form of massage or physical movement. By changing the way our body is positioned, for example raising our legs above our heads in a supported and suspended inversion, we’re able to move our lymphatic fluid around our body and help deliver fresh blood to our organs and muscles.
5. Deep core strength
The look of a killer six pack is pretty impressive, but having deep core strength is more important than popping the abdominals. A strong core not only cares for back health, it isback health and holistic health. The muscles surrounding your spine support and protect the vertebral column, and keeping these muscles conditioned and flexible, prevents aches and pains caused by knots and tension. By removing the stability of the ground, the core is required to work harder and in places that may be ignored during standard floor work ab drills. The aerial hammock allows for a variety of poses that intensify core activation and development.
The feeling of conquering a challenge is empowerment. Trying something new can be a challenge, and trying something out of the ordinary can be an even bigger challenge. The realm of aerial yoga provides challenges for every level. From conquering the fear of lifting your feet off the ground for the first time, to completing your first drop from Dew Drop pose. Every challenge delivers a little rush of adrenalin, followed by release of endorphins and the desire to high five yourself.