#YogaEveryDamnWay: Aerial Yoga - Take Your Flight

Aerial Yoga - Take Your Flight

Name Meaning: 

Aerial Yoga or Anti-Gravity Yoga refers to a form of yoga involving using aerial silks.

[Related: 5 Reasons to Give Aerial Yoga a Go]

Origin + Founder: 

Aerial Yoga is a relatively young practice founded by a variety of different people and varying based on the style.

For instance, AntiGravity Yoga was invented by aerial performer Christopher Harrison—a former gymnast and Broadway choreographer. It involves performing a series of exercises inspired by yoga, Pilates, calisthenics and aerial acrobatics in a hammock-like apparatus, in order to achieve a total-body workout (Best Health Mag). If you caught pop singer Pink performing using an aerial silk during the  2010 Grammy Awards, it's interesting to note that she was choreographed by Harrison's team. 

On the other hand, Michelle Dortignac, a professional aerial acrobatics performer and yoga teacher, founded Unnata® Aerial Yoga in 2006 (Unnata Yoga).

Various other forms of Aerial/AntiGravity Yoga exist today through the United States and Canada. 

[Related: 10 Things I Learned About Me from Aerial Yoga]

The 411: 

According to its website, Unnata® Aerial Yoga offers authentic yoga, and works with gravity to relax and realign the body, center the mind, uplift the spirit.

With the support of a soft, aerial fabric hammock, the practitioner is able to  refine and advance traditional asana, both in the air and on the ground and gain a "yoga high" through the  physical release, refined strength, energetic flow, and heightened awareness of breath, body and bandhas

It's a new way to redefine the traditional asanas, get deeper in the poses and improve bodily alignment. It's also known to increase both strength and flexibility. 

[Related: How Will Acrobatic Yoga Help Your Floor Practice? ]

What Makes It Unique: 

Besides its use of the silk, Aerial/AntiGravity Yoga makes inversions and spinal decompression more accessible to the average practitioner. 

Photo: iStock