For some time now, celebrities have been impressing us with their aerial yoga moves, best described as a hybrid yoga workout that helps the body get fit by defying gravity. Using a hammock for support, this form of exercise combines the best of yoga, Pilates, and dance.
Actor Hina Khan, too, shared a glimpse of her acing an inversion on the hammock as she challenged her body’s balance to find its center. “Hang in there darling, you’ve got this! Breathe!” wrote Khan.
If you also would like to try ariel yoga, you’re at the right place. Check out all you need to know about it.
Aerial yoga is beneficial in releasing tension, and also getting rid of back pain. “For the slightly more daring, you can use a combination of your arm and core strength to lift up and flip yourself over and enjoy many acrobatic flows. Aerial yoga makes for a fun, high impact workout whilst continually challenging your sense of body rhythm,” Himalayan Siddha Akshar, founder, Akshar Yoga Research and Development Centre told indianexpress.com.
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How is aerial yoga practised?
The practitioner sits on a soft, fabric hammock that is made out of special, high-density nylon material that can support up to 100kgs, said Akshar. “The hammocks are held up by carabineers, support chains and webbing straps. You can adjust the height according to personal preference, or for better maneuvering. Throughout the yoga class, you do various traditional yoga poses or aerial adaptations of traditional poses using the hammock for support. Some of the most basic poses involve simple stretches while seated on the hammock, while other poses progress to hanging upside down and grabbing your thighs, ankles or feet for support and balance,” he elucidated.
Experts point out that performing aerial yoga in upside down position improves blood circulation in the body and also helps build muscles. This form of yoga exercise improves strength, increases flexibility and enhances coordination of the mind and body. If you are a beginner and want to perform this form of yoga exercise, initially take the help of a yoga expert for better results.
How does it help with weight loss and a strengthened core?
Aerial yoga helps you lose weight because it engages your muscles to complete the yoga poses while you are in the air, mentioned Akshar. “This can help you build toned and lean muscles while you burn body fat. The practice with the hammock challenges your whole body to do more. Slowly and gradually it will improve your metabolic rate. Regular practice will keep your metabolism high and will maintain it throughout the day,” he told indianexpress.com.
Tips to get started
*Wear form-fitting, but comfortable, clothes. “Loose or baggy clothing can make it difficult to move and has the potential to get snagged or tangled in the hammock’s mechanisms,” said Akshar.
*Go barefoot. You’ll feel more comfortable moving around in the hammock this way.
*Drink plenty of water, and eat a light meal. This will prepare you for the intensity of the workout ahead.
*Avoid soft drinks and other acidic liquids before class. These might cause unpleasant feelings in your gut when performing the upside-down movements, he suggested.
*Do not use hand lotion. It might stick to the hammock, or make it harder for you to maintain your grip.
*Remove jewellery, watches, and anything else that can rip into or get tangled in the hammock. This also includes untrimmed fingernails and toenails.
Is aerial yoga for everyone?
According to Akshar, aerial yoga should be avoided by people who suffer from vertigo, hypertension, and any heart-related ailments. It must not be done by pregnant women, and in case of injury or recovering from any surgery, should be avoided.