Inversion addict? Or are you just here for Savasana? In either case, Aerial Yoga might be just what you’re looking for. By Yasmin Strong
In a world where the yoga industry continues to boom, the importance of finding your niche is increasingly important. There is space for us all in this wonderful wellbeing world. The best way to work in harmony is to really understand who you are, what you are passionate about, and what kind of teacher you want to be. Having a clear understanding of your own identity as a person and as a teacher is what makes you unique.
My two real passions in life, the hobbies that have shaped who I am today, are circus and yoga. I absolutely love to fly! I am happiest when my feet are off the ground or even better over my head! I love to move my body through Sun Salutations and yoga flows. I also love the surrender of Savasana. The perfect niche for me is a beautifully freeing practice known as Aerial Yoga.
When yoga takes flight
Using the support of a fabric hammock, Aerial Yoga combines both yoga and circus. The fabric acts as the wings you need for some aerial circus-based flips and tricks. But the fabric is also a prop to support the body in traditional yoga moves. When it comes to the asana, you’ll meet lots of your favourites, from aerial Sun Salutations to Downward Dog. Aerial Yoga gives the body a great stretch, as you can use the fabric to get into areas that are difficult to access on the floor or standing up. One of the most incredible things is that the support of the sling makes inversions accessible to almost everyone.
Turn your world on its head and let gravity work its magic with some spinal decompression!
A typical Aerial Yoga class starts and ends with relaxation inside the fabric. This is your time to chill out and check in whilst floating inside a hammock. Cocooned, safe and weightless. It’s the perfect place to let your tensions melt away.
Sharing the love with your students
From a teaching perspective, Aerial Yoga is an exciting addition to your class repertoire. If you’re a qualified yoga teacher or fitness professional, maybe a CPD in aerial yoga could be the challenge you’re after. It’s the perfect way to empower students through a new-found strength and confidence, and most importantly it’s fun and we get to play, something which we seem to lose a little as adults.
Aerial Yoga is an incredibly diverse form of yoga, which can cater for a range of populations. It can help build strength at an accessible level for every ability, from the elderly to athletes. The fabric offers so many options to intensify or soften and can also help anyone to become more flexible. Tempted? I invite you to try spending some more time upside down! In my opinion, it’s the new right way up!
By Yasmin Strong and Edel Wigan, Aerial Yoga teacher training providers. A Flying Fantastic/ Grace and Gravity Studio collaboration, with trainings running every three months. Certified through REPS. (tinyurl.com/trainingaerialyoga)
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.