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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.
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.
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!
February is Black History Month—a celebration of the achievements and contributions of African Americans in society. As the beauty and wellness industry becomes a more welcoming and inclusive space for all, we are taking this opportunity to continue to shine a light on the gap of inclusivity and diversity in our industry, and take action to promote, empower, and honor the Black community that shapes and grows wellness.
While the beauty industry is making improvements—it's important to showcase and support Black businesses and the creatives in this space every day. To honor them, we're shouting out some of our favorite Black-owned beauty and wellness businesses to support.
Beauty Bin is a full-service day spa and dry bar located in Asheville, NC. With a focus on inclusivity for people of all backgrounds, genders, and races, their MO is to match the outer beauty of every client to their inner beauty. From eyelash extensions and hydrafacials to waxing and massage, Beauty Bin is a one-stop-shop for all the spa services.
The KIKA Method® is a gentle assisted stretching process that loosens up tight muscles freeing your body from pain and stress. By practicing this method, clients can experience decreased muscle tension, increased energy, enhanced flexibility, a substantial reduction in stress, improved posture and relaxation, and increased mental clarity. While its headquarters is located in Las Vegas, NV, they have multiple locations sprinkled throughout the US, including Atlanta, New York City, and Dallas—just to name a few.
At Kimberly Coleman Salon, their philosophy begins with promoting healthy tresses, elegant sets, unique accouterments, perfect pampering of hands and feet, and precision cuts. Known for working with models and celebrities, they fully appreciate and celebrate the diversity of their clientele which also includes super moms and warrior dads.
Pressed Roots was developed with the simple concept in mind—that everyone deserves access to easy, and quality hair care. What started as a single pop-up shop in Boston, grew to a multi-city pop-up tour, and is now slated to be the largest national hair salon franchise specializing in the care and styling of highly textured hair, they launched their first flagship location in Dallas, TX.
Jersey City resident, Alyza Brevard-Rodriguez started SW3AT. The company began as a fitness apparel line in 2015 but evolved into a sanctuary catered to health and wellness now known as SW3AT Sauna Studio—the first infrared sauna studio in Jersey City. The healing power of infrared heat therapy is a phenomenal option for holistic health proven to strengthen the immune system and provide relief from joint stiffness and muscle pain. It is also supportive of any fitness program as it aids in weight loss (you can torch up to 900 calories in a 45-minute session) while also detoxifying your body from some of the most harmful toxins.
Kelli Coleman and Anika Jackson opened The TEN Nail Bar in Detroit to address a void in their city. They saw a need for a quality, modern nail bar that could also serve as a fun social space for Detroit’s residents and professionals. They designed the TEN to provide their clients with a #Perfect10 experience—where you can relax, enjoy music, a drink, your friends, a clean and precise manicure, and a much-needed break from all your hectic days.
Located in the beautiful downtown Hyde Park Chicago area, Bettye O Day Spa specializes in first-class treatments. They aim to nurture and relax each of their clients with individualized and innovative therapeutic techniques. From body wraps and massages to facials and hydrotherapy, this day spa promises to be a safe place for healing to occur.
Looking for more businesses to support? ClassPass has also created a list of Black-owned business to check out all year-round. While both of these lists are a great start to get you familiar with many of the Black-owned businesses either in your neighborhood or around the globe, we have only scratched the surface. We'd love to keep these lists growing.If you have any businesses you'd like to see on this list, click here to submit a Black-owned business we should be highlighting as well!