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Get Your Practice Off the Ground with Aerial Yoga
Fitness
Published Tuesday Jun 06, 2017 by Carmen Curtis

Get Your Practice off the Ground with Aerial Yoga

Yoga

Have you heard of aerial yoga? It’s the technique of using a hammock to deepen your yoga practice. While there are many different types of aerial yoga ranging from circus-like to fitness and dance-based styles, there is one constant in aerial yoga practice: the hammock.

What is the importance of the hammock for aerial yoga?

The hammock is a prop for your practice, like a block or a strap. If you can’t reach an asana in traditional yoga, the hammock will hold you, so you can do it in the air. If you’re already an efficient yogi, the hammock can deepen your practice and make postures more challenging. In AIReal Yoga™ we use the hammock for alignment; not so we can do that pretty yoga pose, but so we can do it properly and safely for our body. When we’re aligned, we are more efficient. We can do more, using less energy. The hammock is also a spotting device for inversions, helping decompress the spine and relieve pain and swelling.

There is also an element of fun to it. You’re lifted in the air, floating, feeling free and light, helping you deepen your connection to the mind, body and spirit. Savasana is also done in the hammock. Being wrapped in silk, and held, feeling safe and supported, is pure bliss.

While many first come to aerial yoga classes just for fun, they leave surprised by how good they feel: pain-free and happy. Because the hammock allows you to decompress the spine and safely do inversions aerial yogis see incredible benefits like increasing circulation, decreasing inflammation and pain, anti-aging, increasing the level of serotonin in the brain, decreasing stress, anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Inversions calm the mind, allowing you to think more clearly, see yourself more clearly and help you focus.

How to prepare for your first class

Before you start your aerial yoga practice, you need understand the differences between the classes that you take, just like in traditional yoga. Get to know the brands and different styles of aerial yoga and what they offer. It’s not just the teachers that are different, the teaching differs as well. Because there are aerial yoga classes for all levels and styles of yoga, it is important to take classes that are right for you, your goals, and your skill level.

When looking for an aerial yoga class, be sure that the teacher is certified in both yoga and aerial yoga. I also recommend checking that they were certified by a reputable brand and have their 200-hour certification from a Yoga Alliance-accredited school.

Be sure to verify that the aerial certification they took involved training in safety and rigging. After all, the hammock is your lifeline and your teacher needs to manage and properly set this prop for you.

Even though there are many types of aerial yoga, your aerial yoga practice is about you. Once you find your studio and first class, prepare to relax and soar!

Carmen Curtis
Written by
Carmen Curtis
Owner, Airealistic
About the author
Carmen is a co-founder/owner of the world-renowned, site-specific aerial theatre company Airealistic and has been traveling the world creating aerial acts, teaching harness and aerial, and performing for clients.
what is wellness
Wellness
Published Wednesday Oct 06, 2021 by Denise Prichard

What is Wellness?

Expert Advice
Wellness

To say the last year and a half was tough would be an understatement. In fact, it will probably go down as one of the most difficult times for our modern generation. In one of the many social polls we conducted during the pandemic, some of you described this time as a sheer “dumpster fire” or “like stepping on a Lego.” And to be honest, I couldn’t agree more.

Luckily, we’ve been able to get back to some form of normalcy in our lives and wellness routines over the last several months. As vaccines became available to the public, wellness businesses welcomed fitness fanatics, haircut seekers, and massage lovers back to in-person wellness experiences. And thank goodness for that—my roots and horrible posture from working from my bed were both getting wildly out of control. This girl needed a good massage and cupping session stat.

If there’s one thing we learned from the pandemic, it’s that our wellness routines are as personal as they are important. During shelter-at-home, those routines looked a bit different. For many, it meant taking a new approach to the “typical” wellness services we count on—I’m looking at you DIY haircuts, at-home waxing sessions (ouch!), and virtual swerking classes.

Now that we can leave our humble abodes to take advantage of in-person experiences again, the word “wellness” has seemingly taken on a new meaning.

Recently, we conducted another one of our famous social polls to see what wellness means to you, our Mindbody community, now that we're slowly but surely getting back to our regularly scheduled programming. We also tapped some of our most influential Mindbody business owners about the ever-evolving wellness landscape.

Here’s what you all had to say.

Wellness is more important to you than ever

According to our annual Mindbody Wellness Index, 60% of Americans say they’re more focused on their health and wellness since COVID. Consumers are now realizing they need to take greater care of themselves to optimize and preserve their health. When we asked you on Instagram how important wellness is, a whopping 98% said it was more important than ever. When it comes to how you’re practicing wellness, though, the answers were all over the board. Many of you pointed to journaling, practicing breathwork, and daily workout routines (cycling and yoga topped the list) as being the activities that help you keep your chill throughout the week.

I’m also happy to report that over 50% said you tend to feel more blessed than stressed on a daily basis—which is more than likely a big improvement. Let’s be honest, a year ago I would’ve bet a billion dollars that 99.9% of us knew no other feeling than anxiety—am I right? But even with the stress in our lives dwindling, many of you are still experiencing burnout at the end of a long work week (guilty!). But instead of succumbing to a bottle of wine for relief (please, that was so 2020), you’re unwinding by going to your favorite workout classes—with hot yoga, barre, and Pilates as your faves.

What wellness means to the pros

Let’s be honest, we should credit the business owners in this space for helping us reignite our spark when it comes to our wellness routines, right? Thanks to them, we’ve been inspired to prioritize the activities that help us feel our best. In turn, we thought it’d be interesting to learn what wellness means to them—and how that definition has changed over the past eighteen months.

Here’s what they had to say.

“Wellness is living in balance—mind, body, spirit. Highs and lows. It all ebbs and flows and we can navigate it a bit better when we take time to move, breath and remember who we are, and how we are connected to this big, beautiful world.” - Jess Pierno, Founder, Owner, and Chief Inspiration Officer of Yoga Heights

“Wellness is a true balancing of the mental, physical, and spiritual. It has definitely evolved over the years for me—from something that I just thought was about exercising and eating a healthy diet—to also incorporating balancing and healing internally and spiritually.” - Stefanie Patterson, Owner, Indianapolis Salt Cave and Halotherapy Center

“My sense of wellness has evolved from staying healthy and motivated, mind/body/spirit... to being more gentle with myself, less demanding. Accepting my limitations, taking time for resting, and gaining real clarity about what's important. I care less about what people think of me—difficult as a performer and as a business owner with so many demands on me—and more about getting quiet and tapping into the divine source inside of me that helps me discern my next move. In this way, I know my motives are as pure as possible and I'm not getting distracted—not that I don't make mistakes! Those are necessary, that's how we learn!” - Johanna Krynytzky, Owner, Hip Expressions Belly Dance Studio

“My studio name reminds us that we are constantly evolving. The past 18 months have certainly shown us that! Wellness to me means doing your best on any given day to make sure that you are taking care of yourself as best you can. It leads to resilience. Diet, exercise, sleep, a sense of community, and some form of faith. It all matters. Setbacks happen all the time, and every day is a chance to start again. We strive to be 'cheerleaders' for our clients when we sense that things are coming out of balance in their lives. So many have been with us for 18 years and are friends—they are our community and we all watch out for each other.” - Mo Wolfe, Owner and Founder, Evolution Pilates

Putting wellness into action

I think we can all agree that there isn’t one true definition of wellness anymore. To some of us, it means getting that hot yoga sesh in daily, and to others, it means carving out time to treat ourselves to a massage or manicure. As long as you’re actively pursuing wellness—whatever that means to you—you're on the right track.

Our MO has always been about connecting the world to wellness—a term that's seen a lot of change lately. Whether you’re fully embracing the in-person experience or still delighted by the convenience of practicing at-home wellness, the Mindbody app makes it easy for you to book experiences that help you feel like YOU again.

denise prichard
Written by
Denise Prichard
Senior Marketing Content Specialist
About the author
Denise Prichard is a certified yoga instructor (RYT-200) and an experienced content marketing professional with a penchant for writing compelling copy within the health, wellness and beauty industries. When she isn't writing or editing, you can find her teaching yoga classes, at a spin class or hanging out with her rescue pups.