WHAT IS AERIAL YOGA??? Aerial Yoga is a yoga practice that utilizes the prop of a yoga swing that hangs from the ceiling. Yes you will invert, or go upside down! Yes, it may seem scary the first time, but just wait...you're second class is a completely different experience! ;)
An inversion is any pose where your head is below your heart and applies the principle of being flipped upside down. They are thought to be the King & Queen of all yoga poses, or Asana; not just for their amazing health benefits but because they are challenging, dramatic, exhilarating, & are defined by "overcoming fears." Traditional inversions include Sirsasana (Headstand), Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand), restorative poses such as Viparita Karani (Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose), and even Downward facing-dog.
These inverted poses are the most important, or King & Queen, not only because they are the most beneficial, but also because they are the hardest to maintain for the optimal time to receive such benefits.
ENTER...AERIAL YOGA! Aerial Yoga allows you to actually maintain these vital poses for the substantial length of time with no discomfort/overuse in the shoulders, neck, arms, & head. In fact, the swing, once worked with a few times, is extremely comfortable! History continues to be re-written & aerial yoga is going down in the books i tell ya!!!
Aerial Yoga Classes at Saratoga Aerial Yoga... Aerial Yoga takes many of your traditional yoga poses and incorporates them using the swings that hang from the ceiling. There are also many aspects of pilates, dance & gymnastics. The swing enables you to get into your stretches deeper and sustain those more challenging poses for a longer period of time. Aerial Yoga, Gravity Yoga, Anti-Gravity Yoga, Yoga Inversion Therapy...what's the difference?? A name. These classes all involve the use of the swing, however, methodology and personal teaching techniques will always vary from studio to studio, but more importantly from teacher to teacher.
There are many aspects to Aerial Yoga, and there are so many ways to incorporate the swing into a practice that is right for you. The swing can provide a Fun & Freeing experience. A strong support through challenging poses involving balance and focus. Decompression of the Spine and a release of built up tension. A test of Patience & Trust. As well as, an increase in strength & flexibility-Mind Body & Spirit!
What class is right for you?? The more you bring yourself to your Aerial Practice the more relaxed and comfortable you become in your swing.
Beginner Class Experience: (Fun & Exciting) a little bit of this and a little bit of that!
As we get to know our swing; this class is light hearted and includes a lot of laughs! Often students’ leave saying, “I felt like a kid on the playground again!” With so many different aspects of Yoga, not every class has to be so serious, it’s ok to have fun with your practice! In this class we incorporate the swing to include traditional yoga poses with deep stretching & balance, and yet tap into that child-like gymnast/the graceful Cirque De Soleil want to be/ or the dreams of high flying Circus Trapeze Artist! I.E…a little superman flying, cannonball swinging, and our inversions (hanging upside down) to lengthen the spine & release the mind! Aaaaaahhh what a freeing experience!
All levels Class Experience: (Even more fun & More Exciting!!!) Very similar to your Beginners Class
You leave your first class having had a good experience (we hope :) ) BUT within any first Aerial class their will always be that uncertainty to the unfamiliar. Your second class is a completely different experience, and your third class…well… you feel graceful and accomplished! As with anything new, there will always be challenges. We all start somewhere! We grow the more we put into our practice. So again, while you get to know your swing, your first class usually involves watching instead of feeling, seeing what comes next instead of being in the pose; because you have no idea what crazy thing your teacher may make you do next J There is usually a sense of over gripping your swing/tensing the body, especially in inversions (fyi…it’s amazing to see a first time student’s inversion in the beginning of class and then when we revisit it at the end!) that one hour alone creates enough freedom and trust within yourself to relax a little deeper. THAT is what your all levels class is about! Taking yourself to the next level of release, of comfort and ease within the swing and within yourself! Allow yourself to be transformed & have fun while you do it!
Side Note: There is no such thing as perfection. Throughout your practice there is always room to improve, go deeper, stretch further, enhance/deepen your pranayama (breath). Many students never leave the Beginner/All levels classes for many different reasons. Maybe they love the freedom and joy they feel, maybe they need to negate a sense of “seriousness” from their lives, and a lot of times they just love to hang upside down! When you “let go”, and you’ll know what I mean when you find it, it truly is an amazing feeling! All of these reasons and any others are PERFECT! There is no right or wrong & we all do things for different reasons, need things for different reasons! Allow your swing to help you build confidence within yourself!
Aerial Yoga Deep Stretch (Beginner +) Gravity Deep Stretch Yoga eliminates the flips and tricks and gets right down to business! Are you a runner? Too much strength training and feeling tight? Do you suffer from low back pain or arthritis? This class is for you! We take the best of the best stretches with the use of the swing to lengthen & relieve all of your sore muscles. With a focus on hamstrings, hips. low back, etc... Holding each stretch longer with the use of the breath to relax the body and get deeper! Start & end your class with a relaxing inversion to decompress the spine, feel longer, taller & allow all of your stresses melt away!
Aerial Yoga Intermediate: So you've gotten comfortable with your swing & basic inversions-WooHoo! Now its time to take it up a notch with more challenging gravity poses and less instruction on our basic flow sequence.
It is highly suggested to have taken 2-3 beginner or all level classes before joining the intermediate. At least 1 beginner or all level class is REQUIRED.
**What to wear** -Short or long sleeves to prevent underarm discomfort -Clothing that is close fitting, especially at the ankles - leggings work best -Mat Needed
**Things to Remember Before Class** * Try not to eat/drink anything 2-3hours before * Not recommended for women menstruating, anyone who has recently had surgery/botox, and it is not safe for anyone who is pregnant. * Always check with a doctor first! Especially if you have any of the following issues: high/low blood pressure, heart disease, glaucoma, detached retina, vertigo