How would doing Yoga in mid-air appeal to you?
Fun but only for the masters, you might say. Fantastical as it may sound, one can actually practice the various poses and movements while suspended a few inches off the ground through Aerial Yoga. This practice uses a soft trapeze to lift one off the ground and at the same time allow for Yoga movements. Imagine a long piece of cloth, like a hammock, holding you by the waist and lifting you a little off the ground. And from there you start performing Asanas
Aerial Yoga revolves around counteracting gravity. By relieving compression due to the pull of gravity while on the ground, the spine is elongated and the shoulders straightened. The few inches of suspension in the air releases tension on the bones and muscles, increasing flexibility.
The practice is only a relatively new addition to the many ways of doing Yoga. Its creator Michelle Dortignac
started holding classes of this particular practice in New York City only January of 2006. She combined traditional Yoga with her background on dance and the circus art of tissu. She says that once in the air, the body has to learn to align itself properly, thanks to the effects of gravity.
Michelle started her life-long explorations in this ancient practice in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, USA. Up there in the mountains, she had the time and the proper atmosphere to meditate and contemplate nature while doing Vinyasa Yoga. In 1991, she moved to New York to pursue Yoga and study dance as well. When she took her dance moves to the air in 2002 when she learned Tissu, there began the formation of her hybrid kind of Yoga.
Due to the novelty of Aerial Yoga, many may think that this is not Yoga for Beginner
and may get a little nervous on seeing the trapeze. But Dortignac says that once they realize they're only a few inches off the ground and that there are soft mats underneath them, they become more trusting of the equipment and more confident in doing the exercises.
Despite its being new, this activity remains true to the principle of Yoga of finding inner peace. Gravity, in fact, makes letting go easier.
Among many benefits, this activity strengthens core muscles and the shoulders, increases spinal and shoulder flexibility, and prevents back strain.
Also, many claim that Aerial Yoga makes for so much fun! Many beginners in say that they get giggly when they try it out. Unnata (Sanskrit for “elevated”) Aerial Yoga, specially designed for beginners, starts the exercises on the floor then gradually move on to the part where they use the trapeze and get lifted slightly off the floor. This is where the giggling and the laughing begin, they say.
So get ready for a relaxed flight towards inner peace. Aerial Yoga elevates the mind, the body, and the spirit.
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