Letting go with aerial yoga

The things you learn while hanging from a soft, silk hammock in the air.

Loosen up, centre your mind, and relax and realign your body with yoga – all while suspended from the ground in a soft, silk sling.

Aerial yoga, one of the latest trends in the wellness world, fuses traditional yoga poses with movements from dance, gymnastics, pilates and calisthenics, in a playful and challenging workout.

The silk hammock provides support for deeper stretching and strengthening, without putting stress on your joints. The idea is to work against gravity. As you perform inversions, hang suspended in the air, and relax into stretches, the movements help to improve circulation throughout the whole body, giving you a feeling of surreal lightness.

“What was amazing was the way I felt – the sense of achievement, the lightness of being, the joy, the release.”

What can I expect from an aerial yoga class?

Curious about these mystical silk hammocks, Medibank member Stephanie tried an introductory aerial yoga class at Melbourne studio Body Flow Yoga. Here’s what she told us about her experience…

“I was a bit nervous as I haven’t done much yoga recently, but otherwise I would classify myself as of an intermediate standard.

“My friend who practises this kind of yoga swears by it, but I was sceptical. I remember going to an intro pilates class once where I spent the entire hour squeezing my pelvic floor muscle – the instructor wouldn’t let me do anything else. Needless to say, I never went back.

“I didn’t think we would do much in an intro class, so I couldn’t believe it when I found myself swinging upside down, legs intertwined with the silk and arms by my side. I was a bird, I was a butterfly! The silk could hold up to 300 kg, so I felt confident I wouldn’t bring the roof down.

“In that moment I let go – I didn’t feel like I needed to control the situation, but through trusting myself and the strength of my body, I was completely in control. I felt like a kid swinging around on the silk, and after a week of much stress and furrowed brows, I caught myself laughing out loud and experiencing a moment of complete joy.

“Using the silk for downward dog and warrior poses gave me a deeper and more lengthening stretch and a different perspective, as I had to work a little harder to engage in poses where I had one foot on the ground and one in the silk.

“My favourite part of the class was the peace I found when extending the silk to completely encase myself in it like a cocoon. There I got to rest and reflect – it was so much lovelier than just lying on the floor.

“It wasn’t a hard class, but I wouldn’t say it was easy either. It was still physically challenging. What was amazing was the way I felt – the sense of achievement, the lightness of being, the joy, the release. I will definitely go back.”

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