Surprising Health Benefits of Aerial YogaJun 02, 2021 01:53PM ● By Eden Shaw
Aerial yoga uses a hammock or swath of soft fabric that is suspended from the ceiling. It has many benefits, most are based on inversions of the body, the cocooning feel of the hammock, and achieving deeper stretches since the hammock stretches with the body. Each of these three aerial techniques offer benefits for all ages. It is suited for anyone who can get in and out of the hammock themselves.
Best for: Structural alignment.
Benefits: May lower blood pressure, relieve back compressions, support a strong immune system.
Inversion of the body is when the heart is above the head. When the body is inverted, many different things happen to the body. A person’s blood pressure goes down, the spine elongates relieving any compression issues in the spinal column (and in some cases growing taller), and the lymphatic fluid is flushed into the blood system creating a strong immune system. Additionally, being inverted can offer another perspective on life. Inversions are best for people that aren’t structurally aligned, experience back pain or have high blood pressure. Holding an inversion for more than 5 minutes can be harmful. Instead, to feel the benefits it’s best to hold the position for about 2 minutes.
Best for: Sensory Issues and high stress levels.
Benefits: Comfort, reduced stress and relaxation.
Cocooning is when you lay in the hammock or sit in a saddle pose so that the hammock hugs the body from all sides. Some people have compared this sensation to being in the mother’s womb and even experience re-births (memories of one’s birth) in a cocooning position. This cocooning is best for people that have sensory issues and high stress levels. It creates comfort in a nostalgic way which makes the hammock a nice option for meditation. People sometimes see colors during a hammock meditation creating a color therapy effect.
Best for: Tight muscles, post-workout rejuvenation.
Benefits: Increased core and grip strength and flexibility.
Stretching in the hammock can be more relaxing than floor stretches since the hammock supports and stretches with the body. The hammock contours to the body, allowing the body to sink into deeper stretches using the stretch of the fabric against gravity. By standing outside of the hammock and using the fabric to lift the legs high in the air, this provides a stretch without activating all of the body’s muscles. This passive stretching can increase flexibility which in turn can help with a yoga practice or workout routine. It can even improve grip strength. Aerial yoga classes can be designed to target core strength followed by passive stretches.
Eden Shaw, owner of Blissful.Energy, teaches Aerial Yoga for all levels including kids and mentally handicapped adults. She is presenting a Summer Fun Pack program for kids. Kids Aerial Yoga on Monday evenings and a Kid’s Mindfulness Retreat and Aerial for Autism on Friday mornings for ages 6-12. Blissful.Energy, 240 S. Wickham Road, West Melbourne. For more information call 321-327-8741 or visit Blissful.Energy.