The aerial yoga hammock is a versatile prop and can be a lot of fun to explore creative ways to incorporate it into our yoga practice. The aerial yoga hammock that we use in Unnata® Aerial Yoga is often the same apparatus as the aerial sling aerialists use for aerial acrobatics and circus acts. They are both equally awesome and equally challenging, but they are not one in the same. Even though the aerial yoga hammock and the circus sling share some obvious and important similarities the two approaches of aerial yoga and aerial circus actually have very little in common!
It’s Not Just In The Details
In aerial yoga we use the hammock to assist our yoga practice. Yoga is a grounding practice (even when we’re elevated) that requires no special equipment, although props like the hammock can be incredibly useful. So in aerial yoga, we’re often using the ground and sharing weight with the hammock and that informs the choices we make about how to grip, how to engage or relax, how to sequence, and more.
In aerial acrobatics it’s the complete opposite. We are training to be up in the air, flipping and rolling with nothing but the apparatus to keep us there. This means we support ourselves very differently for aerial acrobatics. We also have very different motivations for the decisions we make as we move from skill to skill.
Everyone in the air needs to make safety the first priority, but acrobats are motivated to entertain and thrill, while yogis are motivated to an inner practice. These differences are where things can get murky for someone wanting to explore further on possibilities with the apparatus.
Haven't tried an aerial yoga class yet? Here are some of the opportunities found in elevating your yoga practice:
Challenge your strength, stability and control
We challenge students to practice all movements in yoga as slowly and completely as possible. The breath should be slow, the movement should be slow, and should use full range of motion. Any fast or uncontrolled movement, or any movement that uses momentum, is not useful for finding the union of breath and movement.
Challenge your sense of spatial awareness and bring your attention to an unexpected place
In aerial yoga we turn and move in all directions, not just left right up and down but all of the places in between. Spend some time exploring poses and sequences that challenge your sense of space and attention.
Explore new possibilities
Challenge yourself to study a particular yoga posture and how you might use the hammock to help assist that posture. Each class typically has some free time to work on a pose or challenge your practice.
We offer six Aerial Yoga classes each week, available for a variety of experience levels. See our
for full scheduling details.