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Do you have an inner acrobat yearning for freedom? I do! While taking my daughter to gymnastics, I often find myself itching to try the slackline (balance beam) or trampoline. I have yet to find a studio willing to teach gymnastics to adults but I am happy to have stumbled across aerial yoga! Now, yoga is something I can do and, if it’s done in the air, my inner acrobat is rejoicing! I took a class at Passion of Movement Studio on Maui. It was so delightful that I am ready to quit my job and join Cirque du Soleil!
What is aerial yoga? Aerial yoga is a mix of traditional yoga poses and newer inventions performed with a suspended hammock or silks.
>> Read more: Aerial Yoga Explained
Who can do it? Anyone who is in decent shape and not overweight can practice aerial yoga. Prior experience of yoga is helpful.
What are the benefits of aerial yoga vs. traditional yoga? The extra support from the silks or hammock can be used to refine and enhance traditional poses in a similar way as a yoga block. Some poses, such as the wheel, require a lot of strength to achieve the proper and desired stretch. The hammock allows you to execute the pose properly, even if you are lacking the muscular strength to do so.
Is it really challenging or is it just a simplified version of traditional yoga? Aerial yoga is not easy. The class I took started out nice and easy but, once we had worked our way past the warmup, things started getting interesting! The more acrobatic poses cannot be performed without silks and are a lot more physically challenging. Aerial yoga can simplify traditional yoga but it is also in a league of its own.
After the class, several students — myself included — wanted to get their own hammock in their homes (They are available on Amazon but require industrial strength carabiners to hang safely.). The acrobatic poses had us five feet in the air, upside down, sideways and this way and that. I was able to stretch out my inner thighs in a way I never have felt before. But one of the best twists of aerial yoga in comparison to traditional was Savasana, the corpse pose, at the very end. Instead of lying flat on your mat, you close up the hammock around you and gently rock from side to side, as in your own private cocoon. It’s so comfortable that it almost lulls you to sleep. I left the class so utterly happy. I satisfied my inner acrobat and had a really strong workout. Namaste indeed!