Dancing In The Sky

Anna Sturgeon, Staff writer

Aerial yoga, in a nutshell, is using a long silk to perform yoga poses up off the ground.  In addition, it is done with music, making this sport more like a dance.  

Everyone knows yoga.  You stand on a mat, and do a variety of poses that can create calmness.  Aerial yoga, however, uses the mat as a soft landing in case one should fall.  Instead, there is a silk which can hold up to a couple thousand pounds.  The silk is hung from the ceiling either by the ends to create a swing/hammock, or from the middle to create two long silks.  Either way, there are hundreds of beautiful poses to attempt.  Using the silk to do yoga can take pressure off certain areas of the body, such as the head or shoulders.  And while having fun in the silk, aerial yoga improves strength, flexibility, and ranges of motion.  

Beginning this unique sport, people can feel intimidated by either the silk or poses.  Beginners should keep a few things in mind when they start.  

  1. Trust the silk: the silk is your friend.  Just like all friendships it will take a minute to really get to know each other.  The silk doesn’t want you to fall, it’s there to catch you.  
  2. The right attire: the best clothes for aerial yoga are yoga pants (long and snug), fitted shirts (with sleeves and preferably tucked into pants), and no jewelry (could tear the silk). 
  3. Small snacks: it is preferable not to eat a huge meal before you begin.  Instead, a smaller snack of a banana or granola bar should do to keep your blood sugar up.
  4. Relax and modify: if poses seem too difficult, there are tons of modifications to make aerial yoga available to everyone.  This being said, you can relax knowing that poses don’t have to be as difficult as they make them out to be.
  5. Speak up: if help is needed, or you’re uncomfortable in a pose or in general, simply say so.  The instructor will understand and offer something else you can do.

Doing aerial yoga can greatly benefit the well-being of all involved.  Flexibility and strength throughout the body is increased greatly.  Circulation is promted while neck and back pressure are released.  There is also a significant boost in confidence and mood, which are just as important as physical well-being.  

Poses vary between on ground and in air.  On ground is when the silk assists you while doing normal yoga poses.  These poses are excellent for beginners and warm ups.  Such poses include warriors (1, 2, and 3), crescent lunge, plank, and supported chair.  In air is when you are in the silk, using it to accomplish poses.  These poses can vary from simple to advanced and are great if you’re feeling adventurous.  Such poses include tree, vampire, mermaid, inverted star, wrap-up, coffin, and stingray.