Aerial yoga is a type of yoga which uses a hammock or yoga swing to allow students to perform postures that they may not ordinarily be able to attempt on the yoga mat. It is often also referred to as AntiGravity® yoga. It combines traditional yoga with moves inspired by pilates, dance and acrobatics.
Aerial yoga originated in New York and is now popular all over the world. It was created by Christopher Harrison, a dancer with a performance background in acrobatics.
Aerial yoga is thought to be particularly beneficial for students who spend a long time sitting, or who have back pain, because it has a decompressing effect on the body.
In Aerial yoga, the hammock is kept close to the ground, generally less than a meter from the floor. It becomes a swing which can support the hips in both forward and back bends. For many people, yoga postures that are difficult on the ground can be performed more easily and with less strain on the body in mid-air.
Is is suggested that in addition to the emotional, physical and spiritual benefits of all yoga practice, Aerial yoga has particular benefits for strengthening and stretching the whole body, decompressing the spine, improving circulation, boosting digestion and lifting one’s mood. In particular, Aerial yoga strengthens the core as well as the arms and legs, to support the body in mid-air.
Although Aerial yoga can be performed by people with all levels of fitness, it is not recommended for pregnant women or those who suffer from vertigo, due to the flips and inversions practiced during the class.