We spoke to Michelle Taylor, yoga enthusiast and owner of Live Happy Live Healthy (livehappylivehealthy.co.uk), about why we should try anti-gravity yoga as our health-happy activity of 2019
Even regular yoga practitioners will notice they can do more with a yoga swing there to support them. Instead of compression, you can feel your spine lengthen as it bends – something that’s tricky to achieve when you’re also fighting gravity. There’s nothing as immediate and obvious as hanging upside down to help create space in the spine through traction, so if a tight back is something you struggle with, this is the workout for you.
Inversions are known to be great mood-boosters, helping to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. Even the most simple things, such as the contact with the parachute material when fully covered (like a big hug) and the rocking sensation created by the yoga swing, calms the fight or flight response, stimulating the parasympathetic (relaxing) nervous system. In short, many of the happy hormones that your body releases during yoga can be increased at a height. It really is the antithesis of sitting hunched at a desk.
A regular yogi’s arms may be used to round after round of sun salutations, but when it comes to aerial yoga even those who do the practice regularly will feel the burn. In matbased yoga you don’t really lift anything heavy, and therefore wrist injuries and shoulder pain can still be common. Aerial yoga refines upper body and grip strength, and being strong here can in turn aid your alignment in your mat practice.
Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to change and adapt itself to new uses and experiences. Aerial yoga is an unexpected physical activity, which naturally stimulates your brain to adjust and deal with new, unusual moves. This helps to improve memory and brain function. Who knew?
You can definitely feel your abs working to stabilise you in the aerial yoga poses. Similar to how wobble boards (which you might have seen at the gym) work, in aerial yoga the core is constantly being activated and utilised to create stability. This helps to develop the abdominal region and a strong posterior chain.
The best part is you can get all of these benefits from the comfort of your own home! With practice, students begin to experiment because there are so many positions to try. This curiosity means lots of people like to be able to get creative outside of paid classes, so it’s great that there are affordable yoga swings on the market. We recommend the Jump Up Online hammocks (jumpuponline.com) because they’re budget-friendly.