A hammock is used to reduce the effects of gravity so you can do traditional yoga poses that are more complicated when worked on the floor. You will experience typical yoga movements, Pilates and dance in the hammock, similar to the acrobatics of a trapeze artist, so engage your childhood dreams of experiencing the in air movement. Not only do you get the yoga advantages to health, but there are other pluses:
- Entire body involvement in aerial yoga is necessary to attain the positions, increasing the stretch and strength of nearly every body part. Most notably, joints are stronger due to the exercise without the heavy impact of other workouts. You will find your muscles strengthened and defined in the same workout that doesn’t damage your joints.
- Because you aren’t working against gravity as much as on the ground, you will be able to move more easily, with less stress. As you are suspended in the air, core muscles are engaged, and with less stress on the spine, gives you more flexibility in the spine, and allows the shoulders to relax and not be fixed to support other movements. You will be developing increased balance as your entire body works together in space, freed from the restrictions of the ground. You will notice better awareness of your body as you work in the hammock. As we age, balance can become compromised as does flexibility, so this is an exercise program that can be started at any age and lend very tangible results overall.
- Most people find that they have back pain at some time or another, and for many it is a debilitating health condition. Aerial yoga will help you strengthen gently as well as stretch out your muscles and back. Most notably, when you are in the hammock you will reduce tension in your spinal column and hip joints, which can lend major health and mobility benefits.
- Build strength through your own body weight. Aerial yoga is basically cross training as it increases overall core strength, which will greatly help your overall physical function and athleticism. Gravity will add the weight to help build strength without the wear on joints of on ground impact exercises. You will be using more muscles to hold yourself stable and work on balance, greatly increasing your core workout.
- As this exercise is completely different than other workouts you have done, and utilizes muscles in a completely different way, you are very likely to find yourself more focused and challenged. You will be focused on your body’s reactions to the suspension in the air, and will need to engage your concentration more than you might otherwise, which often fuels interest in working out.
- Yoga is used frequently to combat stress with the poses and stretching. The new endeavor and movements are likely to make you feel accomplished and good about learning something new. When you are doing aerial yoga, you will get added adrenaline release due to the unique work against gravity in the air. With the adrenaline release you will also get a release of serotonin, natural endorphins, oxytocin, dopamine – all the hormones that help to boost your mood and feel better.
- Cardiovascular disease is prevalent in older adults and a significant contributing factor to early disability and death. When you are performing aerial yoga, you will get improved blood circulation, with aids in circulatory and lymphatic symptom detox. This helps to improve circulatory function and reduce risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Hammocks are designed to hold up to 2000 pounds of weight, so can easily accommodate people of varying levels of activity and weight. Certainly the acrobatics you see performed by an acrobat are not likely to be within reach of the beginner but there are many simple ways to start and to build to more complex poses and exercises. You will want an experienced trainer to help you determine where to start and what new poses to try. This is an activity that can be of great help at a variety of levels, from beginner to the most advanced.