Yoga is western culture is more prevalent than ever. Everyone and their mum are taking their rolled-up maps to some ‘guru’ with chakras tattooed down their backs and stretching their desk-ridden bodies for catharsis. Yoga is pretty great but if you’re late to the party, it can be daunting to know where to start.
Between the weirder subsets like ‘eye yoga’ (yup, it’s a thing!) and ‘hot yoga’, sits ‘aerial yoga’. Otherwise known as gravity yoga, it’s supposedly so relaxing it makes you feel weightless; like you’re flying.
This is because you are flying, in a manner of speaking.
Aerial yoga is a combination of yoga exercises and acrobatics that you practice while enveloped in a fabric hammock. It won’t break under the weight of a fully grown human because of its stretchable cotton-silk design. It can support the weight of up to 1,000 kilograms in case you were worried about all those indulgent BBQ sessions.
Starting with basic stretches, you’ll eventually ramp up the difficulty as your instructor expects you to lock your body into position while hanging upside down. As well as having to focus on your breathing and stretching, the extra dimension of not falling three feet onto the floor is thrown into the mix.
However, the benefits of aerial yoga hugely outweigh the initial danger. The therapeutic effects like spinal decompression, pain relief and core muscle strengthening are huge compared to basic mat-work.
The added intensity of being suspended in mid-air is said to discount all the problems with normal yoga. You’re not worried about perfecting the pose and therefore find yourself more relaxed and having a lot more fun!
If you’re in any major city in the UK, there will be a few yoga studios with the facilities for aerial yoga. However, for all the Londoners out there – we’d recommend Aerial Yoga London in Whitechapel. Have fun and try not to fall…