Here at Bella Forza Fitness in Lexington, KY we offer a class called Aerial Yogilates. It is a combination of yoga poses with Pilates-based exercises utilizing the aerial fabric to support the body while moving in and out of each movement. The benefits this type of exercise has on your body are numerous. Here are just a few of the many benefits Aerial Yogilates provides you:
- Increased "body awareness", especially for those who may be disconnected from their bodies. In other words, if you categorize yourself as uncoordinated or unathletic, Aerial Yogilates will vastly improve how "in tune" you are with your body, ultimately improving your body awareness.
- Promotes good posture, which will help relieve back pain and prevent age-related skeletal changes (that could make you inches shorter!).
- Allows for free, deep breathing which helps with stress relief, clear thinking, anxiety reduction, and allows your body to get a good supply of oxygen to help rid the body of toxins.
- It gives you a sense of play: Adults can and SHOULD play. Play makes you happier, healthier and more productive in your day to day life...don't take this class too seriously, you've got to have fun with it!
- Helps you gain flexibility...It allows your muscles to loosen up and lengthen out. You leave with a relaxed and rejuvenated feeling.
- Greatly improves your balance: Traditional yoga poses truly help with balance, but utilizing an apparatus that is suspended from the ceiling and is continually moving takes balancing to a whole new level. This is where seasoned yogis can face a new challenge in their yoga practice.
- Supports core strength and the "powerhouse": In many of the poses and exercises, it is essential for your abdominals to be activated, naturally improving your core strength. Your powerhouse includes the abdominal muscles, low back, pelvic floor, muscles around the hips, and the glutes. The powerhouse muscles work together to give us strength, stability, energy, and control to move into more difficult poses and movements and to ultimately become stronger.
- Decompresses the spine. Check out this wonderful article on how suspension training and inversions in the aerial fabric can save your spine and relieve back pain through spinal decompression.
Gaining strength and flexibility takes time. Aerial Yogilates is one of those classes which promotes mobility and will help you become stronger, more balanced, and much more flexible over time. But don't forget to make it fun! Change up the typical, very serious and tense workout class and find yourself laughing and smiling as you go upside-down for the first time, and experience the joy and relaxation of "floating" in the air. You can't help but smile!
My Journey in combining the Aerial Arts with Yoga and Pilates
I can't stress to you how important it is to keep a balanced body. In order to do that, you must switch up your workouts and target different muscles, as well as use the same muscles in different ways. Limiting yourself to only one type of workout can be hard on the body, and many repetitive movements and exercises can actually lead to injury. I found this out the hard way, training on aerial apparatuses multiple times per week, practicing the same moves over and over again until I mastered them. I discovered that yoga really helped my muscles recover with the deep breathing and stretches that allowed my muscles to really open up. Pilates was a huge life-saver as well because in aerial acrobatics, we are continually pulling ourself up, utilizing the same muscle groups in the same ways over and over. Pilates allowed me to utilize my muscles in new ways, especially the pushing motion with my arms and utilizing my muscles on the ground in different ways than up in the air. I felt it only natural to combine the restorative and strength building movements of Yoga and Pilates with the silk, allowing for even deeper stretches, playful movements, and challenging my muscles to stabilize and balance between the ground and the fabric...it's the greatest compliment I've found to aerial training yet!
Aerial Yogilates is actually a great place to start for those who may want to try aerial acrobatics and dance, but are a bit anxious or nervous about getting into the air. Aerial Yogilates class allows you to stay low to the ground and really get used to how the fabric feels with your body while improving your balance and stability over time to help you feel more comfortable in a leveled silks class.
Stay Fit and In Flight :)