Aerial Yoga

It’s trending on Instagram, being practiced by celebrities and increasing in popularity across the world. What is it you ask? Aerial yoga. This form of yoga takes circus acrobatics and turns them into a fun and surprisingly beneficial yoga workout.

The Basics

Aerial yoga started gaining popularity over ten years ago. Basically, an aerial yoga class contains many of the same asanas that a standard yoga class contains, but most or all of them have been modified in some way to utilize the soft, fabric hammock that looks something like a really long scarf, only this scarf can support over 2,000 pounds.

This yoga workout is available for all skill levels. It’s also zero impact. Those suffering from knee problems you know how fantastic those words are.  If you’re like me and can’t stick with the same workout routine for long, this is also a great option to combat boredom.


The Benefits

It’s not surprising that Aerial Yoga comes with all of the benefits of a typical yoga workout. However, here’s what Aerial Yoga is known for.


You know how astronauts come back from the space station a little bit taller than when they left? That’s because the lack of gravity allows their spines to decompress, making them taller. Aerial yoga also allows for a similar decompression. Being suspended in the air allows you to release more tension in your muscles to deepen your stretch and increase flexibility.


By taking yourself off of the ground, you’re losing your normal point of stability and so you can utilize your core muscles to balance and stabilize yourself during the poses.

Another change is in the muscles in your arms that you’ll use. In a normal yoga workout, the arm muscles are used for pushing rather than pulling. In Aerial yoga you have to pull yourself up to maneuver within the hammock. This changes what part of your arm you’re working and increases your overall strength.

Overall Improvement

Let’s say you’ve been struggling to get that headstand just right, this type of yoga is a great teaching tool for finding better alignment and learning what those difficult poses should feel like. With the help of an aerial yoga hammock, we can more easily practice things like the head stand so that our overall abilities in general yoga classes will improve.


The Risks

The risk of injuring yourself during an aerial workout is actually pretty minimal. The hammock is only about three feet off the ground so a fall isn’t a devastating blow. However, there are some things that might make you want to save that aerial yoga class for another day. If you’re pregnant, have an eye disease, vertigo, heart disease, bone disorders, blood pressure issues (high or low), prosthetic hips or any condition that blocks the nasal passage such as a cold or the flu, you might want to hold off on practicing aerial yoga until you talk to your doctor.


With Aerial yoga’s growing popularity it’s pretty likely you’ll find a gym where it’s offered near you. Check out these awesome studios

  1. Studio Vibe, Raleigh, NC
  2. Define, Atlanta, GA
  3. Spark Yoga, Washington DC

If you’re looking for a way to perfect your form, switch up your workout routine or just join the Instagram trend Aerial yoga might just be perfect for you.