You may have noticed that we've had a lot of guest writers on the blog lately. I decided that every two weeks, we will feature a woman in Okinawa who is inspiring and encouraging to our little community here. Get ready, because we'll have a LOT of talented women sharing their gifts and expertise with you in the future!
This week, Mary Breshike, owner of SeaRabbit Art and Aerial Studio has written a piece for us on one of my favorite ways to be active, aerial yoga!
Written by Mary Breshike, @marybreshike
What is aerial yoga you might be wondering.. Aerial yoga is a yoga practice using an aerial apparatus as a prop. The aerial apparatus is commonly called an aerial hammock or aerial silks. The aerial hammock comes in a variety of styles depending on which style of aerial yoga you are doing. Aerial yoga first began with circus performers that saw the potential to tie the silks at the base and create a sling that could be utilized for stretching and lengthening. It also was seen in the traditional lyengar practices that used a rope wall in order to help students invert.
Asanas and flow sequences can be similar to those practiced on the mat with the difference infocus, awareness and alignment. Aerial yoga allows for deeper activation of muscle groups. The hammock serves to support the body in various poses. With the help of gravity, poses that help decompress the spine and joints are some of the benefits of aerial yoga.
Most of the benefits of aerial yoga or fitness has to do with the poses that allow for inversion. Some benefits of aerial yoga are: relieves insomnia- it does this by way of inversions which decrease muscle tension by 35%. Improves circulatory system again by the use of inverted poses. Turning yourself upside down encourages venous return. Inversions also ensure healthier and more effective lung tissue. Improves endocrine system with inversions because the venous blood flows to the heart by force of gravity, without any strain. Healthy blood is allowed to circulate around the neck and cheat. This helps people suffering from breathlessness, palpitation, asthma, and throat ailments.
A few other benefits from inversions are improved digestive systems and it helps reverse the ageing process. Reversing the ageing process was one reason that I became attracted to aerial yoga/fitness. Doing aerial routinely has given me more upper body strength, has improved my core awareness, posture, balance and coordination. It has toned and strengthened my whole body. It’s a great workout that does not stress joints like running or other aerobic activities.
Aerial yoga can be done at various heights. It is a fun addition to any fitness plan but it is not for people that get motion sickness as you are on a “swing” and there is movement. It keeps me young in body, mind and spirit.