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The benefits of Aerial Yoga

Kristina Morros

The new week is upon us! Time for a new topic! AERIAL YOGA!!!!!!!

I want to talk about aerial yoga. I am an aerial yoga teacher here in Breda, Netherlands. I teach weekly classes on Sunday nights at Yogasite which is a lovely yoga studio with a beautiful energy here in our city.  Boban Krstic teaches classes on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Students have a chance 3 times a week to participate in an aerial yoga class at Yogasite on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Sundays.

Aerial yoga is a wonderful playful form of yoga. It allows you to experience the yoga postures that you would normally practice in a Hatha or Ashtanga yoga class and it maximizes the benefits of the postures in a deeper manner. It is a great form of yoga for people with no yoga experience to people that have an advanced yoga practice. It is also a great addition to your normal yoga practice because it allows you to help strengthen your muscles to achieve the more difficult postures if that is your personal goal. It also improves your grip strength and core muscles.

In addition to the physical benefits of aerial yoga, it is a great form of a meditative practice. Practicing pranayama breathing while sitting or laying in the aerial hammock allows you to focus inwardly on yourself. It cleanses and body and settles the mind. It is relaxing and restful to focus on breathing while swaying in they air.  Breathing is also very important as you are busy with the active aerial yoga practice. The breathing helps you focus on yourself while moving between postures. You may notice at the end of the practice that you feel completely energized or completely relaxed because aerial yoga aids in helping to move energy and improves your circulation and cleanses the body at the same time. We conclude our practice by laying in the fabric as you would lay in a hammock. Every student receives a short massage while laying in the hammock with scented oils.

So what should you expect if you come to a class? I am often asked by people if you have to be flexible to try aerial yoga. Absolutely not!!! Yoga helps people to become for flexible. For people that have flexibility issues- yoga is your best medicine! When we practice yoga, the muscles are actively and passively engaged and lengthened. The fascia is also loosened. Blood circulation is improved. The elasticity of the lungs increases with pranayama breathing. Eventually, your body will become more flexible and stronger with regular practice. Aerial yoga in particular is great for people who are inflexible because it allows them to lengthen the muscles without overstretching them. As in any yoga class, only go as deep as your body allows. Never force your body into a posture. Know that it is okay not to do some things or whatever everyone else is doing. Respect your physical boundaries and focus on yourself. Remember to do what feels good.

Be sure to wear appropriate clothing. It is more comfortable the first few times to wear a top with sleeves (short or long). Wear leggings or sweatpants.The aerial fabric will create certain pressure areas around the underarms, the groin, the hips, and the feet. Aerial Yoga can be more uncomfortable in your first few classes and covering your skin helps minimize the discomfort.

Please remove your socks during active practice. Having bare feet allows you to have a better grip in the fabric. Socks make your feet slippery. If you have normally cold hands and feet- don't worry, they will be warmed up in no time at all! :  )

No jewelry! Jewelry can snag and rip the fabric. It can also be very uncomfortable when you are gripping the fabric in postures.

Trust the fabric. The first time you see an aerial yoga studio it can be a little intimidating. Don't worry. The fabrics are secured with a rigging system similar to what mountain climbers use. Good aerial yoga teachers know exactly how to rig the hammocks to insure that the hammocks are safe to use. The fabric is strong. It will not break. The fabrics are a special blend that can withstand weight and force. You would have to weigh over 2000lbs to break our system at Yogasite!

Try and let go. If you have ever tried acroyoga, imagine that the fabric is your partner.Try not to fight against the fabric. Try and trust that your teacher is there to make class fun and safe for you. Listen carefully to the instructions. Know that if for some reason you do fall, you will not fall far. Your hang literally no more than 6 inches off the ground. Most students do not fall out of the hammock.

HAVE FUN!!!!! Do not take yourself too seriously. Explore the postures. Get back in touch with your inner child. Laugh! If your in my class, you can even laugh AT ME!

Be aware that emotions may come loose. You may sweat a lot the first few times. Let all of those things happen. It's okay. No one is judging you. At any point in the lesson if you need to stop and lay in a child's pose or in sivansana, please do. It is even okay to lay in the hammock the whole entire class if that is what your body is telling you to do. There is a chance if you are prone to motion sickness that you may feel dizzy after class. That feeling will go away. Be sure to drink plenty of water. Try and refrain from drinking too much alcohol after class.

In addition to the weekly classes, private lessons and workshops are available. You can check out the schedule at www.yogasite.nl.  Boban Krstic teaches an aerial yoga teacher training once a year at Yogasite. He is my teacher. Feel free to check his website or you can leave a comment below or email me to find out more information. If you would like more information about Boban, please check his website at www.homyogabreda.nl .

This summer, I will also be teaching in America in Panama City, Florida at Aerial Dance Panama City. Look for me on the schedule in August. Their website is www.aerialdancepanamacity.com. I will also be teaching with an aerial yoga team at the Eindhoven Yoga Festival 13 and 14th of June in EIndhoven, Netherlands. In addition to the possibility of trying aerial yoga out, there will be many other forms of yoga and teachers are coming from all over the world to share their experience and teaching styles of yoga with participants at the festival. Yoga Vixen will also be present with a merchandise booth. The website to find more information over the festival is www.yogafestivaleindhoven.nl.



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