Flying Fantastic

Why become an aerial yoga teacher? By Gillian Watt

Aerial Yoga is growing in popularity and has a worldwide community of teachers and students. The yoga hammock might just be the most creative prop you will ever use in your class. Whatever style of yoga you teach or practice, the aerial hammock can be a great tool to use.

BKS Iyengar introduced props into the modern practice of yoga to allow all practitioners access to the benefits of the postures regardless of physical condition, age, or length of study. For everyone from the most flexible and strong practitioner to the least, a strategically placed yoga prop can elevate the physical and spiritual trajectory of the yoga practice.

Using the aerial yoga hammock as the prop can help practitioners at all levels gain the sensitivity of a pose while receiving the benefits  over time without overextending themselves. They allow students to practice asanas and pranayama with greater effectiveness, ease, and stability.

Not only will the hammock help you find more space, freedom and stability in your poses, they’re also great teaching tools with endless uses if you get creative!


Many asanas bring us face to face with our fears. The prospect of inversions or backbends may be terrifying to a student. In this case, the hammock is an amazing friend in your practice to face, alleviate, and overcome the fear. For example, learning to do advanced  asanas such as headstand, arm balances, handstands and many more. The aerial hammock can support the student to overcome the fear of falling.

One of the simplest advantages of the aerial hammock is offering a comfortable seat to your students. For so many students sitting comfortably on the floor is not an option! Inside an aerial hammock a comfortable and steady seat awaits! As defined in the Yoga Sutras of Patañjali. It defines asana as follows: “Sthiram sukham aasanam” which means, “asana is a steady and comfortable seat.” The sutras  refer to asana in relation to being a posture to be assumed for meditation, and says little more about it — no instructions, and certainly no descriptions of particular asanas.

So whatever your yoga teaching focus is, keep an open mind to the benefits of aerial yoga. The hammock as a prop can offer so many people adventure, advantages and experiences. As an aerial yoga teacher, it’ll be your job to deliver this wonderful experience!

Gillian Watt, Aerial Yoga Edinburgh (

Om Magazine

First published in November 2009, OM Yoga magazine has become the most popular yoga title in the UK. Available from all major supermarkets, independents and newsstands across the UK. Also available on all digital platforms.