After years of Cirque de Soleil – and a few powerhouse performances from Pink – it seems that the exercise du jour is aerial yoga. And it’s no wonder.
Who wouldn’t want to swing like a monkey and hang upside down on a fabric trapeze instead of doing yet another set of squats or another 30 minutes on the elliptical machine?
Aerial yoga (also referred to as anti-gravity yoga) puts the fun back in exercise – and it’s catching on all over the country.
It’s “BETTER THAN DRUGS” touts Jivamukti’s website.
Jivamukti in New York City is one of the most famous and influential yoga centers in the world and, as of last month, they offer aerial vinyasa classes at their new Jersey City location. Leading their program is longtime yoga practitioner and Jivamukti teacher Sandhi Ferreira, who is also the Continuing Education Director at Jivamukti.
Ferreira, who started doing yoga over 15 years ago, became interested in hula hooping and aerial yoga over the last decade – and began to incorporate those practices into her regular yoga practice.
“There was an aerial sling at Jivamukti in the mid-90s when I first went there,” says Ferreira. “I’ve had one in my apartment ever since! It’s a fun and challenging practice. It’s so much fun that you forget you are exercising.”
Using silk yoga hammocks, students learn how to align their bodies in various yoga postures, and experience inversions without compression on the spine. The benefits, says Ferreira, are the increase of blood flow, decompression of the spine, and trust and surrendering.
But do you need to be a yoga expert to learn this new style? Not necessarily.
“Students with all types of experience come,” Ferreira says. Still, she admits that for most people, trying something new is quite challenging.
“Often times this brings up insecurity and doubt. Beginners are recommended to start with foundation level classes so that they can learn proper technique and alignment.”
To that end, Ferreira recommends that anyone giving this practice a try look for teacher and can clearly teach alignment and core connection.
“Find a teacher that has been practicing for at least ten years. Then you know you are in good hands!”
Photo Credit: Visionsi/Shutterstock.com