San Diego Fitness Trend: Aerial Yoga
Explore the health benefits of aerial yoga and learn why so many San Diego yoga studios have jumped on to this latest trend.
Take your yoga practice to the next level and new heights with aerial yoga! Aerial yoga is a great way to challenge your mind and body because you can move and stretch your muscles in many different ways.
Read on to learn more about how aerial yoga varies from traditional mat yoga and how its beneficial to your mind, body and spirit. Plus, watch videos from local San Diego yoga studios and explore if an aerial yoga class is right for you!
What is Aerial yoga?
Aerial Yoga, also known as anti-gravity yoga, is a style of yoga in which you use a silk hammock that is suspended from the ceiling to perform your yoga poses. No yoga mat is needed.
In an aerial yoga class, your movements will take place in mid-air! The weight of your body is fully supported by the silk hammock. It may be difficult to imagine at first, but you can practice the same poses in Aerial Yoga as you would in other classes on a yoga mat.
You may find that you can perform more postures using the silk; ones that you may have found challenging without the added support.
The Benefits of Aerial Yoga
Practicing Aerial Yoga comes with many benefits. Here are just a few things you can expect from participating in an anti-gravity yoga class:
Improve Your Flexibility
When you practice yoga on the floor, you are limited in the range of motion when it comes to improving your flexibility. In Aerial Yoga, though, you have more space to safely stretch your tight muscles and tendons.
A sample yoga pose that demonstrates effective flexibility training is the Aerial Lunge. In a traditional yoga class, poses like Warrior 2 or High Lunge can begin to release tension in your hamstrings. However, the range at which you create these lunges doesn’t allow for a full stretch.
In Aerial Yoga, you can drape one through the silk leaving it suspended in mid-air while the other foot is firmly planted on the ground. In this High Lunge variation, you can deepen the hamstring stretch by extended your suspended leg further with the support of the hanging silk. This goes for many of the Aerial Yoga poses you practice.
Relieve Back Pain
One of the main reasons people attend yoga classes is to relieve tension or pain in their backs. There are poses like heart-opening backbends or deep forward folds that may target these areas. However, some of these postures may put too much strain on your joints or require strength and flexibility that you may not have.
Performing a backbend in an aerial yoga hammock is much more accessible. It places less strain on your joints, allows for muscle lengthening, and because you are suspended in mid-air, there is a sense of weightlessness that makes the experience more comfortable and enjoyable.
In addition to gaining more flexibility and relieving back pain, you will also build strength in an Aerial Yoga class. Although you are suspended in the hammock, the practice involves some gripping, holding, and pulling as you move from pose to pose. You are engaging more muscles throughout your body as you maneuver through the yoga sequences.
These actions help to develop more strength in your upper body and legs. As you become more advanced in Aerial Yoga, you can perform some fun acrobatic tricks. Sometimes the practice can be called “yoga trapeze” as you swing through the air as you transition through the various poses.
Due to the nature of the practice, Aerial Yoga helps with some weight loss and body toning. In a study done by the American Council on Exercise. (ACE), women that practiced Aerial Yoga for 50-minutes at least three times a week for six weeks, lost an average of 2.5 pounds.
Although not considered an aerobic activity, it can be categorized as a moderately intense exercise that raises your heart rate and improves your breathing. These can contribute to losing body fat and re-shaping your body.
Practicing Aerial Yoga can be quite relaxing, too. Have you ever napped in a hammock tied between two trees? Imagine that same feeling in your aerial yoga silk.
Nestle yourself in this comfortable cocoon during Savasana. You will completely relax your body without any stress or strain in your body allowing you to effectively meditate.
What to Expect in Your First Class
All ages and experience levels are highly welcomed to participate in this fun and beneficial practice.
If you have attended traditional yoga classes, you can expect very similar poses in your first Aerial Yoga class. This will allow you to apply what you already know from the yoga mat to the suspended yoga silk.
You will quickly learn how other body parts and muscle groups are triggered in these familiar poses performed in a new way. As you continue to practice, you will be guided to new and exciting supported yoga poses like backbends and handstands!
Wear comfortable clothing when you attend aerial yoga. Something that’s relatively loose, but not too baggy is best. You want to be able to move easily without feeling bound by your clothing. Also, a good idea not to wear any jewelry when you practice aerial yoga.
San Diego Aerial Yoga Studios
Each yoga studio has their own version of aerial yoga, acroyoga and yoga trapeze workouts. Here’s a list of several studios offering aerial yoga classes and workshops:
Explore cirque arts and aerial yoga at this Mission Valley studio. Get strong and flexible while having a great time.
AerialRevolution.com, 5370 Napa St, San Diego, CA 92110
Offers aerial fitness classes for adults and kids. Aerial apparatuses include silks, hammock and lyra.
Aerial Theory, 330 Rancheros Drive Suite 118, San Marcos, CA 92069
Mission Beach Yoga
This studio focuses on yoga for all elements, with aerial yoga being the air element. Their Soar + Restore class includes gentle movements using the aerial silk hammock to increase flexibility and deepen your practice.
Mission Beach Yoga, 3788 Mission Blvd., San Diego, CA 92109
Pier To Point Wellness
Take your practice to a new level with Pier To Point Wellness. Their aerial yoga classes are inspired by yoga, pilates, calisthenics and acrobatics and all take place on their outdoor shaded deck. Classes available for all abilities and levels from beginner to advanced. Kids classes also available for ages 4 and up.
Pier to Point Wellness, 4166 Voltaire St., San Diego, CA 92107
Tranquil Earth Yoga
Exercise your entire body and enhance your flexibility with Tranquil Earth Yoga’s hammock and silk classes. Offered for both adults and kids, ages 4 and up.
Tranquil Earth Yoga, 8691 La Mesa Blvd, La Mesa, CA 91942
Offering both indoor and rooftop deck classes, Trilogy Sanctuary offers a wide range of aerial yoga classes. Classes range from gentle stretching to strength building and full aerial yoga training. Classes are available for all age ranges (even kids!) and abilities, from beginners to advanced levels.
Trilogy Sanctuary, 7650 Girard Avenue, Suite 400, La Jolla, CA, 92037
Give it a Try!
So if you’re looking for something new to spice up your yoga experience, try an Aerial Yoga class. You will find it quite appealing as you see changes in your body: improved flexibility, greater strength, improved breathing, deeper relaxation, and more. The main thing is to have a lot of fun as you soar through the air!