With summer upon us, many are spending more time with family. This can be fun and exciting,but it also leads sometimes to boredom and frustration with finding activities to keep everyone happy, entertained, and interested. Without school to keep the kids occupied, you may find that you are working hard to find something to engage them, or struggling with the adjustment to their being home for more of the day. If you are looking for something new to try, aerial yoga provides a nice alternative to what you do every day. It works as a fun, healthy activity for the whole family, or as an opportunity to escape and indulge your own inner child.
What Is Aerial Yoga?
Aerial Yoga uses soft hammocks made of high-density nylon fabric, suspended from the ceiling by chains and straps that you can adjust to your preferred height. The hammock material is designed to hold up to 2,000 pounds, so you never have to worry about it tearing or breaking.You use it in part to augment some of your basic yoga poses, but also to move into the air and do additional poses suspended above the ground. You use the hammocks to help you stretch further and more comfortably, as well as to move upside down or into the air. They provide support and structure to aid you in both traditional yoga poses and others that take specific advantage of the hammocks and your suspension.
Working in this way may seem daunting. Fortunately, your certified yoga instructor serves as a guide throughout the session, prepared to work with all experience levels and ages. The hammocks will only suspend you about three feet above the ground, so any risk of falling and injuring yourself is minimal. The experience is designed to be fun and safe for all ages, whether you want to bring your family or explore your own playful side.
What Does It Do for You?
The benefits of yoga have been well documented, and aerial yoga provides all of these—and more. The hammocks provide support that allows you to do even more to improve your flexibility. The instructor will guide you into positions that take advantage of the apparatus to give support and lift you into deeper, longer stretches than you might ordinarily achieve. The experience also enhances yoga’s natural muscle-strengthening benefit. Because it requires additional balance that comes from tightening your core, it helps you develop and improve those muscles: the ones from which most of your strength comes.
As you move from the floor into the air, you will soon find that you need additional focus to hold and perform moves, beyond what you need when you stay grounded. In traditional yoga,inner focus and concentration form part of the meditative benefit that lies at the center of the practice. It will feel strange at first to lift up and perform moves, some of which will even be inverted. As you move through the session, though, you will overcome that initial discomfort and build an ever-greater level of concentration to help lift you through the session.Finally, one danger in regular exercise routines is that they allow you to move into a rut. Over time, doing the same kind and intensity of exercise starts to diminish its impact on your body.You move into a mode where you are just maintaining your fitness level. This isn’t necessarily bad; exercise for weight loss should not mean you lose weight indefinitely, and muscle tone reaches a point where you have the level you need and do not want more. Still, at times, a jolt to your system can be very beneficial to you, from both a physical and mental perspective.Breaking free from the constraints of routine refreshes and invigorates. Aerial yoga can provide that kind of jolt for you and provide a tremendous break from the usual. You will have fun doing it, and give your body a different intensity level from which it can develop and push past plateaus you have hit.
Preparing for Your Session
Before you try out aerial yoga, you need to be feeling healthy. The intense breathing aspects of the practice, further intensified by the inversion work you will do, mean you need to be ready to breathe properly. If you have a cold or the flu, you should schedule your session for another day. Similarly, if you suffer from vertigo or bone disorders, if you are pregnant, or if you have high or low blood pressure, you should ask your doctor before you attempt aerial yoga.
When you do go, wear form-fitting clothing that covers your armpits and generally feels comfortable. This helps you avoid any chafing or rubbing that can irritate your skin during the session, and also keeps clothing from getting tangled in the hammocks. Eat something light, and drink plenty of water before your session. You will also want to avoid hand lotions, loose jewelry, or anything else that can create problems in using the apparatus. Finally, go in with an open mind to the new experience. Some people struggle with change, especially in their exercise program; be ready, and you should have fun doing it!
Fun for Everyone
Aerial Yoga creates a workout that works well for the entire family. Your kids are just as likely to enjoy the experience as you are. In fact, to them, it likely feels as much like play as it does exercise, similar to playing on monkey bars or a jungle gym. It creates a great way to break them out of their own routines to do something fun and healthy.
On the other hand, sometimes adults need to play too. We deal every day with stress and pressure from various sources; sometimes it can feel good to let that inner kid out for a little while. Aerial yoga creates opportunities for you to let loose, have fun, and feel better for it.Give it a try; you will be glad you did.