What is Aerial Yoga, and Is It Even Safe?!

Yoga has seen a lot of different trends and styles over the years, with hot yoga, dog yoga, beer yoga and more. Aerial yoga is the latest, and arguably the most impressive looking, new yoga trend. If you think it looks scary and dangerous, let us set the facts straight for you!

What is Aerial Yoga, Anyway?

Aerial yoga is exactly what it sounds like – doing the traditional yoga or Pilates poses, but in the air instead of on a yoga mat on the ground.

Aerial yoga utilizes what is essentially a long, soft hammock to balance yourself above a padded floor (Just in case!) while you move from pose to pose. Some poses are simple and require at least one foot on the ground, while others involve spinning or twisting above the ground to execute properly.

Advocates of aerial yoga often say that it gives you better flexibility, better focus, and leads to a more lasting, intense calm then a session of regular, garden variety yoga. What part of that is placebo from doing something exciting and new, and what part is actually better for you, is hard to judge, however.

Is Aerial Yoga Actually Safe?

The hammocks that you hang from are soft and nylon, but the standard aerial yoga hammocks are safe for upwards of 2,000lbs. A good aerial yoga studio should have hammocks anchored to the ceiling properly with support chains and straps.

While some photographs make aerial yoga look six feet above the ground, a standard class is only about 3 feet off the ground. Even if you fall out of your hammock, you won’t be falling very far. Most good studios will have padding similar to what you find in a rock climbing gym, so if you do hit the ground you will have some cushion.

As with all yoga classes, if you decide to try aerial yoga you need to choose one at a reputable studio with a licensed, trained instructor. Your neighbors’ friend’s sister in law’s cat sitter might be offering a great deal on a beginner’s aerial yoga class out of her basement, but there is no way to know if the hammock you are using is clean or properly anchored, or if she even knows how to safely do it herself.

If you’re never tried aerial yoga and you’re looking for a challenge, or something new, it can be a great way to relax yourself and learn a new skill. As long as you are smart about where you go, and knowing your limits, aerial yoga is completely safe – and will look very impressive on your Facebook or Instagram.