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The Dos & Don'ts of Aerial Yoga

The Do’s & Don’ts of Aerial Yoga Hammocks, Swings & Silks

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Aerial Yoga is the art, sport, or practice of performing poses and inversions using a hammock or swing that’s suspended from the ceiling, frame, tree, whatever. It’s becoming so popular lately that many people are at risk of picking up bad habits or form, so we’ve written this list of Do’s & Don’ts of Aerial Yoga to help you all out!

Aerial Yoga is known by many different names, depending on where you live. So, you may also find aerial yoga is referred to as:

  • Anti-gravity yoga
  • Zero-gravity yoga
  • Upside-down yoga
  • Circus yoga
  • Air yoga
  • Flying yoga
  • Inversion therapy
  • Spinal decompression technique
Anti gravity warrior pose
This is a yoga trapeze swing with foam padded handles – very easily available these days
Pink Yoga Swing Outdoors
This is an aerial yoga hammock without handles, available in a range of fabric widths to suit your needs. Also commonly known as a yoga hammock.

These names refer to the same thing, for the most part, which we call Aerial Yoga. Aerial Yoga is rising in popularity over the last few years, with more and more people taking part in the sport.

So, here is a vital list of Do’s and Don’ts for when you’re practising aerial yoga. Whether you’re using an aerial hammock, a yoga swing, yoga trapeze or regular aerial silks, these tips are for you!

The Do’s & Don’ts of Aerial Yoga

If you don’t have an aerial yoga swing at home, you’ll be pleased to know that you can get one for under $80 and easily hang it from a secured door frame bar (similar to a pull-up bar) or from a beam/joist.

If you’d like more information about getting aerial yoga equipment at home, check these out:

DO Warm-Up First

It’s very important for aerial yoga and all forms of aerial exercise to warm up properly before beginning your aerial workout. Sometimes, you can incorporate your aerial equipment into your warm-ups.

However, it’s a good idea to do 5-10 minutes of light cardio and some dynamic stretching before you even touch your aerial yoga swing

You should always warm up because your muscles are more elastic when they’re warm, reducing the chance of injuries from over-stretching and warm muscles can stretch further too!

DON’T Wear Lotions or Moisturizers

Moisturizers, perfumes, make-up and lotions are a nightmare for your aerial silks. Your silks quickly become dirty and will absorb any lotions you’ve applied to your skin that day.

If you rely on lotions or grip aids, then you’ll need to wash your aerial silks a lot more regularly!

Related post: How to Prevent Friction Burns during Aerial Workouts

DO Keep Your Silks Clean

Even if you don’t wear lotions or perfume, your aerial yoga swing, hammock or silks will get dirty. This even applies to clean people who shower twice a day or more! Everyone sweats and sheds tiny bits of skin. These tiny bits of skin, mixed with sweat and existing dust in the room is what makes your silks dirty,.

If you share your aerial equipment with other people then it’s even more important to wash them frequently.

You can keep metal equipment clean with some rubbing alcohol or glass cleaning spray.

Related post: How to wash your aerial silks

DON’T Leave Your Silks Up

If you’re going to leave your silks unused for more than a couple of weeks, it’s a good idea to take them down for the time that they won’t be used.

Think of your aerial silks like curtains, and what happens to curtains that are left hanging in the same position for month?

They get dusty and grimy and dull in appearance!

You don’t want that for your aerial swing or silks, do you?!

DO Use a Spotter

If you’re attempting new tricks or trying to advance your skill level, have a spotter with you. Ideally, you’ll want a spotter who understand aerial tricks and can give you advice and guidance.

If you don’t have a suitable spotter, then a trustworthy friend will do. Make sure you explain to them the exact steps you’re going to take and when you might need their help so they can be prepared. Show them a picture of the intended poses to help them understand further.

Make sure the spotter is someone you trust who is willing to potentially grab your groin to prevent you from hard falling on the ground!

Related post: Best Folding Gymnastics Mats for Aerial Yoga

DON’T Attempt Too Much Too Soon

Aerial sports are addictive and highly motivating. This is a good thing, but you must pace yourself.

You need to work through your progress in stages and not rush ahead to the more advanced stuff right away. Your muscles need to become conditioned. If you try too much too soon, you risk pulling a muscle or injuring yourself in such a way that you’ll have to take a break from all exercise for a while!

Be patient, and remember that it’s better to perform a basic trick perfectly than a wobbly advanced trick!

DO Install Everything Correctly

Aerial rigging and hardware is no joke. You need to be careful and check everything is safe before you use it. Even if your equipment has been installed for a long time, it’s still a good idea to periodically check that everything is still in good working order.

You’re trusting your body weight to this equipment, you will be suspended off the ground and hanging in different angles, falling is not an option.

DON’T Take Unnecessary Risks

When it comes to any aerial sport, risks are stupid and dangerous. Even if you’re installing your own aerial equipment at home, during the installation process take everything slow and read the instructions carefully.

We’ve heard of people injuring themselves climbing on furniture in order to drill hooks into the ceiling! It’s just not worth it!

DO Attend Classes

Classes are just invaluable. An experienced instructor can teach you techniques and give you tips that you just can’t get if you’re self-taught or learning from home by yourself.

YouTube and DVDs are great, but they don’t replace the sense of community that you get at aerial classes all around the world. Having the input of an instructor and other students will help your progress.

If you don’t have classes near you, ask if local gyms would consider holding some, as it’s such a popular sport there will surely be demand for it. If you become good enough, perhaps you could teach them!

Related post: 5 Things to do Before your First Aerial Yoga Class!

DON’T Drink Alcohol!

This especially applies to those of you who have your own aerial yoga swing or other equipment at home. It can be very tempting to swing around after a few glasses of wine, but no. Just no.

Alcohol and aerial equipment do not mix.

Your confidence is massively increased after alcohol, so you might be willing to try things you wouldn’t do if you were sober and the odds probably won’t be in your favor!

So, those are the Do’s & Don’ts of aerial yoga, as well as some general tips for using your aerial yoga hammock and silks!

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