How Does Aerial Yoga Work?
In aerial yoga, your body weight is supported by what most practitioners call a ‘hammock’. This swath of soft fabric, suspended from the ceiling, supports your body in the poses and allows your body to work against gravity, helping you get deeper into stretches.
It also means you can do many supported inversions, which results in health benefits unique to aerial yoga. Being upside down, supported by the hammock, is a little bit like being in traction—it can help lengthen your ligaments, relax your muscles, and decompress your spine.
Benefits of Aerial Yoga
All day long, your vertebrae sit stacked, being pulled down into each other by gravity. This is why flipping yourself upside down and allowing your spine to be free of that pressure can help you feel lengthened and relaxed, at least in the short term.
The positions you can achieve in aerial yoga also temporarily improve circulation, just like regular inversions in yoga asana on a mat can. This can bring you focus and improved energy following a class, and usually brings a huge smile to your face because of the big mood boost it can give you.
Like any form of exercise, aerial yoga will boost your brain’s production of endorphins and dopamine, but some physiologists posit that being suspended above the floor, upside down, in a silk hammock during an aerial yoga class may have the added benefit of helping your brain release even more serotonin, which may make you feel serene and euphoric.