Upside down isn’t a place where most of us live, or even visit on a daily basis. For many, the idea of swirling suspended and out of control is daunting and unattainable, but for an adventurous few, the art of Aerial Yoga and Aerial silks is taking fitness to new heights.
Aerial Yoga & Aerial Silk were born from the same family, but are very different. The former allows you to suspend from the ceiling from silk fabrics tied together to create a “hammock.” Aerial Silks are two separate pieces of silk in which you wrap the body to create dynamic poses and shapes in the air.
More and more people are pursing this anti-gravity endeavor as a less conventional form of fitness, and for good reason. There’s no denying the sense of freedom achieved with suspension, but the aerial arts offer so much more.
The hammocks allow a greater range of motion and a deeper stretch than doing yoga on the floor. Aerial yoga helps you to move more freely, with less effort, by counteracting gravity. It also releases tension on the bones and muscles, increases flexibility, strengthens core muscles, and prevents back strain while getting more synovial fluids to the joints and releasing happy hormones to the brain. All this, while providing a killer workout for the whole body!
Another added benefit for yoga enthusiasts is the hammock’s assistance in holding and sustaining difficult inversions. A shoulder stand rooted on the ground versus one floating in the air is an entirely different experience. The joy of weightlessness and release is liberating, and something that can only be experienced to be fully understood.
The silks seem to be more deeply rooted in the circus and performing arts—creating exciting routines of strength, grace, and seemingly effortless motion in the air. But this art is surprisingly challenging, both mentally and physically–it takes a lot of concentration and focus to teach your body to do what it’s told, all while upside down and spinning.
Often the biggest question for students in this class is whether or not they will have the required arm strength or flexibility to achieve the moves. The answer is always, “Yes.” You build strength. You gain flexibility. The more you come to class, the more you will see your body change and evolve into the powerful machine that lives inside the over-worked, under appreciated, crazy-busy you.
If you’ve ever wondered, dreamed, or questioned joining the aerial world, I encourage you to live in the space of freedom and let go. You’d be surprised how different the world is upside down. Go to http://bodybalancemaui.com to find more about aerial yoga and aerial silk classes on Maui.
Image Credit: Body in Balance