Aerial Mukti Yoga blends ancient Yoga practices with the athletic principles of aerial acrobatic dance and fun. This Yoga practice incorporates using the aerial Yoga hammock as a prop. This Yoga hammock is made up of a long piece of woven nylon fabric called tricot that is about 108 inches wide. A Yoga hammock is similar to an aerial silk as it is made from the same woven nylon fabric. An aerial silk is rigged so that the center point of the fabric is tied to one point on the ceiling and the ends of the fabric touch the floor. A Yoga hammock is rigged with either the ends of the fabric tied about 2ft apart to 2 points on the ceiling (or together to 1 point on the ceiling) and the center of the hammock hangs off of the floor as a loop.
The practice of “grounded” Yoga postures (asanas) deepens our connection to the earth with a pushing energy. When we practice asanas with a Yoga hammock, we start to experience how we can connect to the sky with a pulling energy. However, there are many aerial Yoga poses involving both the earth and the sky, or just the sky.
- Stress Relief: Changing the focus of ones attention from external stimuli to its internal processes such as breath and movement calms the body and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system.
- Blood Flow Increases: The heart, which works 24 hours a day, is the most important muscle in the human body. Its function is to pump blood to every part of the body. The heart will pump out the same amount of blood it receives in. If the heart doesn’t receive any blood, it pumps no blood. Without movement or exercise, blood stagnates in the body and disease results. So when we practice aerial yoga, we are improving the blood flow in the body. Specifically when the body is inverted blood will rush to the heart (with the help of gravity). The heart then purifies the blood by pumping carbon dioxide rich blood to the lungs. The lungs oxygenate the blood which the heart then pumps to the rest of the body, primarily to the brain, which uses more oxygen rich blood then any other organ. This is how inversions invigorate the body and focus the mind.
- Energy Increases: The body is also made up of energy channels called nadisin Sanskrit. The word nadi literally means “flow of energy “. When these channels are clogged, disease can result. Inverted asanas have a profound effect on the direction of energy flow in the body. Prana (energy/life force) dramatically shifts to an upward direction, resulting in a euphoric and uplifted feeling after practicing aerial Yoga.
- Brain Capacity Increases: Proprioception means “sense of the receptivity of the self”. The proprioceptors are sensors that provide information to the nervous system about the position of the body in space. Scientists believe that we do not use our full brain capacity. Yoga agrees with this and believes that through the practice of Yoga, especially the practice of inverted poses, we can unleash the powers of all our senses, improving the proprioceptive capacity of the body, and increasing overall coordination.
- Decompression of the Spine Yum!
- Trust and Surrender: For most people, trying something new is quite challenging. Often times this brings up insecurity and doubt. Having a safe space full of support and encouragement builds trust and surrender. Simultaneously, as the student advances in their practice they gain a deeper sense of trust and surrender with themselves, which in turn affects all aspects of their life.