DREAMS FLY IN AERIAL YOGA!
I walked into the studio, beautiful colors of fabric hanging from above, smiling faces emitting from all body shapes, an excitement in the air and brightness in the energy. I knew, immediately, my yoga journey was changing course.
Practicing Aerial Yoga is a deeply profound and pure way to discover "self". Exploring trust, trust of body, trust of mind and trust of...fabric, is the initial step on this journey of self- discovery. Finding that trust, activating my courage and lifting that last toe off the floor for the first time is utterly terrifying and completely liberating. Finally, learning what it meant to truly "Let Go", my life was forever changed.
As my Aerial practice continued, I came to understand my body more and more. Discovering areas that, even after years of steady yoga practice, I hadn't acknowledged or given attention to. I found nooks in my mind that hadn't been explored or even remembered for; well...they had never been explored or remembered. And breath? I thought my breath work was good but now, I finally understand what it means to..."Breathe into" a specific part of the body. Finally, after all this time, my body, my mind and my breath were connecting, honestly & absolutely connecting. What a difference this makes in the swing, on the mat AND in my life.
Taking this Aerial journey has led me to uncover numerous benefits. Too many to discuss in one post, but, some important, impacting and I would even say...life changing benefits that I genuinely want to share with all of you.
First, I must say, Aerial Yoga is sincerely for everyone. It allows experienced yoga practitioners to deepen their practice and continue to refine proper alignment in the body. It also creates an entry point for individuals who have never even thought about yoga, to gain awareness of the body and find movement and activity that suits them exactly as they are.
My top, personal, benefits:
1. Using the Aerial swing to fully or partially support the body, gravity works to help us explore and create space in our body. This also allows us to find posture and proper alignment, but instead of finding it through effort, it grants us this alignment through relaxation.
2. Spinal decompression is the main feature of Aerial yoga. Better than an inversion table, inverting in an Aerial swing allows the body to hang freely and the spine to lengthen and decompress without restriction.
3. Being in the swing, all of our body parts are compelled to move and stretch. This regenerates, tones and re-defines our body for an amazing, total body practice.
4. The physiological benefits are amazing. Because the entire body is in movement while in the swing, our internal systems ignite and balance their functions. Our circulatory system increases, due to effort and inversions. This helps deliver fresh blood, containing nutrients, to our cells, tissues and organs as well as aids in the removal of toxins and waste throughout our body. Also nourishing our skin and helping to reduce signs of aging. Our respiratory system is initiated as we concentrate on our breath, to reduce stress and activate our relaxation response system. The nervous system engages, our digestive system engages and everything working together, in an enhanced state, creates increased focus and awareness. Quieting the mind, enhancing the connection of body and mind, and allowing...almost "forcing" us to absolutely BE IN THE MOMENT!
5. The psychological benefits are equally impressive. Working through "trust", facing discomfort and even "fear", finding small and large successes in the swing, paired with the increased release of endorphins due to effort, inversions, as well as the fun quotient, helps to rebuild emotional systems, due, in large part, to the massive relief from stress. An Aerial practice increases creativity, joy and even optimism! The psychological benefits continue to last long after class and, for me, seem to be cumulative.
6. The biggest benefit I receive from my Aerial yoga practice is Strength of Mind. This practice has been liberating in more ways than I ever imagined. It allows me to listen to my heart and my mind, learning to decipher between caution and fear. It has boosted my confidence. It has not only given me TRUST in my body, but it has given me TRUST in my own personal strength, both physical strength and most importantly...Mental Strength.
Having an Aerial Yoga practice has shown me great benefits and I continue to discover more and more each day. But the most amazing thing? Every day, I walk into the studio; beautiful, purple material hanging from above, smiling faces looking at me from all body shapes, excitement in the air and a brightness in the energy...my Dream to share the benefits of this liberating practice with everyone, in my own studio, in my own community...Aerial yoga has given me the confidence and strength to...Let my DREAMS FLY!