Pros and Cons of Aerial Yoga

February 20th, 2014

how to become a yoga instructorBy Kimaya Singh

What is aerial yoga? Are there any risks for students? What can teachers and students expect to gain by this modern practice?

Wendy: “But, Peter, how do we get to Never Land?” Peter Pan: “Fly, of course. It’s easy”.

The very name anti-gravity aerial yoga will inspire curiosity in most people. Certainly many questions will arise.

Does aerial yoga feel like flying? Is it equivalent to a circus class? Can anyone do it? Moreover, is it safe?

As yoga studios begin to overpopulate, many jump onto whatever the latest trend is that will set them apart from the masses. The flavor “du jour” just may be aerial yoga. Sporting names like “Fly” or “Defy Gravity,” these unique specialty studios are offering something new and exciting for yoga practitioners.

Christopher Harrison, who trademarked the term Antigravity Aerial Yoga, developed the technique in 2007. Aerial yoga utilizes silky hammock style contraptions suspended from the ceiling in combination with traditional yoga poses. According to advocates of this style of yoga, it is appropriate for all levels of yoga students.

Pros:

1. Suspension in the hammock allows engaging in postures without compressing the spine or putting pressure on joints.

2. According to Harrison, you will leave the class stretched to your fullest height, which could be up to a 1½ inch non-cumulative increase. This could be a positive for those who wish they were taller.

3. Many have expressed remarkable results with healing chronic back pain.

4. It is very effective in building core strength.

5. It makes inversions easier for some. Inversions create a rush of blood to the head, which is good for the thyroid and pituitary gland.

6. You will feel a sensation of lightness, flying and fun.

Cons:

1. The list of contraindications is long. It is recommended to avoid aerial yoga if you suffer from heart disease, extremely high or low blood pressure, glaucoma or severe arthritis, to name a few.

2. Some with a propensity towards dizziness may not feel comfortable hanging upside down.

3. Those with poor balance may feel unstable and be frightened of falling.

4. It is definitely not safe while pregnant or if recovering from surgery.

If you always dreamed of feeling the weightless sensation of flying, then you may have fun with aerial yoga. Most people report a feeling of excitement and bliss at the end of class. Hammocks in beginner classes are only three inches above the floor, so risk of injury from falling is minimal. As always, start slow and go at your own pace.

© Copyright 2014 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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