Aerial yoga takes your practice to the next level—the sky!
A new year means new resolutions and among the most popular are getting fit, trying something new and managing stress. Aerial yoga is the perfect way to check off all three in one fell swoop.
So, what exactly is aerial yoga and why should you take to the hammock for your next fitness challenge? We turned to Sierra Ramm, Yoga and Movement Supervisor at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess’ Well & Being Spa to answer all your burning questions on this hot new trend.
What is Aerial Yoga?
Expand your yoga practice by performing in an aerial hammock, which is a stretchy, nylon fabric suspended from the ceiling. “Aerial yoga is a really cool way, if you already do yoga, to experience it in a whole new way,” Sierra said. “It allows you to do things you might not be able to accomplish on your mat and gives a new perception because of the inversions.”
But this weightless, floating sensation is not reserved for skilled yogi’s alone, in fact, many of their resort guests who try the class are beginners. This playful type of practice is much less serious than a traditional yoga class would be and often includes more giggling.
Benefits of Aerial Yoga
All of the benefits of traditional yoga apply but, with the hammock there to support some or all of your weight, you are often able to get deeper into the poses and increase balance. In addition, because of the inversions (hanging upside down), you take pressure off your vertebrae and experience elongation of the spine. You can even get taller as a result.
Risks of Aerial Yoga
As I initially approached the suspended hammock I thought, “I am going to fall flat on my face!” but Sierra assured me this is a very rare occurrence. Pay attention, take your time and be mindful of the instructions being given and it won’t be an issue. If there is a position you are not ready to do that particular day, just sit it out. Several resting positions are always available to you, which your instructor can guide you to if needed.
With any new exercise regimen, you should consult a doctor before you begin. Even more so, if you are pregnant, have glaucoma or unmedicated high or low blood pressure. Additionally, if you have recently had surgery or a surgical procedure done, you will want to allow enough time for all incisions to heal fully. It is best practice to inform your instructor of any health condition large or small as many positions and movements can be modified to accommodate.
What to Know
Sierra suggests not eating a heavy meal right before your class. Eat a balanced, light meal about an hour and half prior to give you energy for the class without feeling weighed down by a full stomach.
Wear as tight-fitting clothing as you feel comfortable. Opt for pants or capris paired with a shirt that covers your underarms. Trust us! This will help avoid chaffing (and nobody wants that). And leave the fancy footwear at home as you will be barefoot for the duration of the class.
Ask ahead to see if your class will utilize a yoga mat. Some will while other opt out.
Sierra left us with this final thought: “Don’t worry if you don’t get everything immediately. Certain days will feel more natural, certain days you will feel more flexible and strong. Just keep an open mind.”
Where to Go
- Well & Being Spa, Fairmont Scottsdale Princess – As a spa guest, you will have access to any fitness classes the day of your treatment. To experience the class on its own, you can book private individual or group sessions or become a Spa Member. For class schedules and more information, call the spa at 480.585.2732 or visit scottsdaleprincess.com.
- Tough Lotus, Chandler – Sign up for an introductory class for $12. Packages and courses are also available. For more information, call 480.525.3468 or visit toughlotus.com.
- Yoga Hangout, Glendale – Classes start at $12 with monthly membership and package options also available. For more information, call 480.335.5922 or visit theyogahangout.com.
Photos courtesy of Well & Being Spa at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess.