Aerial Yoga: The Beginner’s Guide to the Aerial Hammock

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The aerial arts can be done in many forms, one of which is being in the hammock.Yoga hammocks are used for Anti-gravity or Aerial Yoga, and the soft fabric of the hammock assists you in maintaining proper alignment and deepening your bodily awareness. If you want to experience the full benefits of Aerial Yoga in a hammock, you can join a beginner’s aerial hammock class. If you are an experienced yogi or a general gym rat, your practice in an aerial hammock will leave you with new knowledge about your capabilities, strengths, and expectations for what you can achieve.

Here are 7 key points that you can learn from an Aerial Yoga hammock class:

1. Don’t Be Intimidated

At first glance, the moves you will perform in an aerial hammock can look intricate and complicated. It’s easy to think that you will never be able to do it yourself, but you’re wrong. You start with basic moves, and slowly build your skillset and sense of confidence as you move into the more difficult poses. So many of the moves build off of each other, and one slight change can get you into a completely different position. This is the fun part! Aerial Yoga offers so much potential for creativity and progression in the practice.

2. Importance of Warming Up

As it is with any workout, the warm-up is so important. Some moves in an aerial hammock put a lot of strain on your muscles and ligaments, so you really want them to be warm and limber. You want to make sure that your shoulders, hands and arms especially are ready for action!

3. Upper Body Conditioning

Doing yoga in an aerial hammock will help you become more aware of your upper body strength (or lack thereof). Your instructor will lead you through a warm-up at the start of the class, but they will also encourage you to do some during your own time before and after class. There are a lot of ways you can incorporate the hammock into your warm-up, such as utilizing it for push-ups, pull-ups and squats. The hammock is a great way to improve your strength overall.

4. Battle Scars

You will feel pain and there is no way around that. When you first sit on the hammock, you will feel a lot of pressure on your hip flexors. The good news is that you will find it gets easier as time goes by. There are many moves where the hammock will hit a spot that’s uncomfortable. Sometimes, like when you’re going upside down, it’s a matter of positioning the hammock on your lower back in a spot where it doesn’t hurt. Other times, it is important to know where more sensitive areas are, such as close to the top of your legs, versus a bit lower down and closer to your knees. These things are important to be aware of as you transition into each position.

5. Flexibility

Bending, reaching, twisting, flipping, turning. Whether you’re in your first Aerial Yoga class or you’re more advanced, flexibility goes a long way. With just one flip, a beginner’s move can transition into an intermediate move. Another flip, and you’re in an advanced move. Flexibility is something that you can work on, and with each class, you will find it getting easier and easier.

6. Positioning Matters

In order to get the moves right, the small details are incredibly important. The direction that your foot faces, your leg being kept straight, the hand you are holding on with – all of these seemingly trivial points will be the difference in whether or not you will be able to accomplish the move. Once you’ve accomplished the move, you really want to finesse the details of the posture. Focus on your leg extension, pointing your toes or keeping your core tight so for example, your plank pose doesn’t look like a floppy fish.

7. Relax

Some Aerial Yoga moves are more comfortable or easy to practice than others. It’s okay to just take a moment and enjoy a position. If you can’t enjoy what you’re doing, there is no point in doing it!

During your Aerial Yoga classes, you may find it normal to be sore and a little bruised at times. Don’t be surprised by this – it is completely normal! Your hands will be sore, your sides and legs will develop bruises, and every muscle in your body will ache, especially during the first of couple weeks. As time goes by, it gets easier and you will get stronger.

Whether you are a seasoned yogi, or brand new to the practice, Aerial Yoga in a hammock is a great activity to check out! You will feel the benefits and learn a new art. Recently, I saw a quote at my gym that said, “It never gets easier, you just get better.” By the time you go through an Aerial Yoga class, you will believe that. The moves don’t get easier, and they don’t change at any point. You change, and you will get better!

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