Wondering what is aerial silk yoga? This post has got you covered. Whether you practice yoga at home or attend the occasional class, chances are you’ve heard of aerial yoga, which looks like a combination of Cirque du Soleil and gymnastics. Interestingly enough, this type of yoga, also known as antigravity yoga, does not require acrobatic moves to reap its benefits.

Are you up for the challenge? Before you arrive at your first class, here’s what you should know.

What Is Aerial Silk Yoga?

What Is Aerial Silk Yoga?

Aerial yoga involves similar poses to those you would perform on a yoga mat, except you use a silk hammock suspended from the ceiling to support your body.

By using the hammock, you’ll increase your flexibility and strength while you perform more challenging poses without having to put extra pressure on your shoulders, spine, or head.

Are There Benefits To Doing Aerial Yoga?

Your Handstand Will Finally Be Perfect

An aerial yoga class offers the possibility of doing supported inversions, such as a handstand, which may appeal to yoga devotees. According to Michele Dortignac, founder of Unnata Aerial Yoga, inversions can be challenging for many people, but they are more manageable with the aid of a hammock.

A hammock can be used for inversions because it’s relatively easy to go upside-down with it, and you can do it without any pressure on your head, neck, or spine. This may be more convenient for some students than the floor version.”


Strengthen Your Upper Body And Core Without Straining Your Joints

Holding onto the silk hammock for support can also increase upper-body and core strength, since the arms, shoulders, and abs are engaged. Aerial yoga can help increase joint mobility by opening tight areas in the back, shoulders, and neck if you have chronic back pain or tension.

As you invert with the hammock, your chest opens up and you put your heart over your head. This increases blood flow to the back.


Strengthen And Increase Full-Body Flexibility

According to Schenone, this is a full-body workout that strengthens all the muscles in the body. As you stretch and pose in the hammock, you enhance your full-body flexibility.


Reduce The Pressure On Your Neck And Back 

Standing or sitting all day can cause the spine to get shortened and compressed by gravity, but being upside down during certain aerial yoga movements can help lengthen the spine and decompress it.


Better Circulation

As an aerial yoga practitioner, Li says that the poses and movements promote circulation throughout the body as well as digestion.

Can I Do Aerial Yoga At Home Safely?

Aerial yoga can be done on a freestanding rig in your backyard or home. However, you should avoid hanging in your house unless you have it done by a professional. Aerial rigs can damage the ceiling and be very dangerous if not done correctly. 

Aerial yoga at home should only be practiced with a grounded base, which means at least one foot is on the ground during the movement. Walker suggests investing in a high-quality brand of aerial yoga hammock and installation set if your heart is set on buying one. 

Consider looking for local studios and seeing if you can schedule a one-on-one session with them. Go into your first aerial yoga class with an open mind, regardless of when you try it.

Conclusion

The same movements are performed with silk hammocks or slings suspended from the ceiling, instead of on a yoga mat. Hammocks are designed to provide support throughout your yoga flow, while also improving flexibility and range of motion. 

Furthermore, the hammock relieves pressure from the head and shoulders, which allows you to perform poses like headstands with greater ease. While many aerial yoga photos seem to show yogis completely suspended in the air, many poses only require you to lift one body part off the ground, such as your foot or leg.