Aerial Yoga vs Traditional Yoga

I always find the aerial yoga to be more fun and graceful, and sometimes more relaxing than traditional yoga. After almost going through the YTT course, I thought it would be good to understand aerial yoga better, in comparison to traditional yoga.

What is Aerial Yoga?

  • Combines traditional yoga postures and Pilates exercise with the use a hammock (vs. a mat used in traditional yoga)
  • It is a relatively new type of yoga that originated out of New York in 2007. (vs. traditional yoga of over 5000 years of history)
  • Also called anti-gravity or suspension yoga, whereby practitioners are able to feel supported in back bends and in inversions, like downward facing dog, hence achieving improved flexibility and range of motion (vs. traditional yoga working on gravity)

Benefits of Aerial Yoga over Traditional Yoga?

  1. Releasing spine pressure

As you stand up or sit on a chair almost all day long, your vertebrae are being pulled down into each other by gravity. Flipping yourself upside down allows your spine to be free of pressure and easily feel relaxed and lengthened, providing instant relief from spinal cord tension and pain.

  1. Building core and upper body stretch

Pulling movements are not found in traditional yoga practice (for instance performing pull-ups), and most postures involve repetitive pressing, which may cause muscular imbalances and stress injuries. When practicing aerial yoga, on the other hand, the act of pulling yourself up in the hammock enables you to engage your core as your lift yourself up, slowly lower down and work on balancing poses. It helps prevent muscular imbalances in the shoulder and pelvis caused by poor alignment.

  1. Improve flexibility and Perform difficult traditional yoga poses

With the help of the hammock, practioners are able to refine and improve their alignments, and with less gravity impact, to experience challenging inverse poses like Sirsasana (headstand) and Halasana (plough pose).

  1. Improving balance and mental focus

Working against gravity requires you to make use of your balance and stability, and you start to see an improvement when it comes to balance while performing your daily activities as well. The practice simply challenge mental capacity and improves one’s proprioception.

  1. Lift your mood and relieve stress

Being suspended above the floor upside down may encourage your brain to release even more serotonin, which will make you feel serene and even euphoric, boosting your mood and energy.