Find inner peace and a new way to keep fit in 2017 with Aerial Yoga, taking the practise to new heights.
Is the New Year making you think about ways you can improve your health and well-being? This January, begin your first steps towards enlightenment and a better you with Radiant Star Yoga’s adventurous spin on the ancient Indian exercise with a two-hour Aerial Yoga workshop, using hammocks instead of mats.
While you’ll still be performing many of the typical yoga poses, this unique beginner’s workshop will see your body supported above the floor in a hammock. Afraid of heights? No need to worry as you won’t be expected to do any death defying trapeze stunts or climb up a ladder to get in – these are low hanging, so your feet can touch the ground if you wish.
After their friend, Devi Kapur brought Aerial Yoga to the UK, instructors David Fleming and Amanda Franklin were eager to learn so they could offer it to their students. They found that not only did it increase balance, strength and flexibility, but it also helped decompress major joints and put less stress on the body, unlike normal yoga that can cause injuries due to overstretching muscles and compressing the spine.
“The use of the hammock allows one to be fully immersed inside of a length of material which has the effects of producing a softening and relaxing in the musculature as the body sinks into the support,” Fleming and Franklin told us. “The deeper muscle release achieved with the aid of the hammock allows students to explore much deeper stretches than in a traditional floor-based Yoga class.”
You’ll begin the two-hour Aerial Yoga workshop with a brief introduction to the hammock, sitting fully in it and engaging in restful focusing and meditation. This will get you acquainted with the feeling of weightlessness and used to the idea of ‘trusting’ the hammock. In case you have any tension in left your body, you’ll move on to simple stretches to loosen your muscles.
Next, you’ll graduate to a series of flips and modified poses such as the classic Sun Salutation and Downward Facing Dog with the fabric as an aid, followed by inversions and an aerial flip back into the hammock for the final pose, Savasana, which Fleming and Franklin explained is “a lovely whole body relax as you lie fully inside, surrendering any remaining tension into the hammock that is moulding itself around you.”
The beauty of Aerial Yoga is that you need no experience of any kind of yoga to give it a go – David and Amanda are on hand to guide you through every part of the process, and you could find that this is the exercise you’ve been waiting for.
Aerial Yoga is at Studio 3, Workhouse Fitness. Booking is necessary as places are limited.Images courtesy of Sarah Ayache.