What Is Aerial Yoga?

Aerial yoga can seem daunting. And if you’re considering aerial yoga, this short guide includes everything you need to know!

What is Aerial Yoga?

You might be surprised to know that you don’t have to do “regular” yoga to be able to do aerial yoga.

Aerial yoga can be easier since aerial yoga hammocks offer support!

Aerial yoga is simply a special type of yoga that combines traditional yoga poses with aerial pilates. It’s, therefore, a new “hybrid” type of yoga.

Aerial yoga has been around since 2006 and has continuously grown in popularity.

There’s your basic answer. But for more information on aerial yoga—including how to do aerial yoga, the benefits of aerial yoga, and the safety of aerial yoga—make sure to keep reading!

How To Do Aerial Yoga

Aerial yoga is done using a yoga hammock. These are a kind of yoga prop that comprises a silk hammock and carabiners hung from the ceiling using a beam or some kind of fixed bar.

Much like a regular hammock, you would climb into the yoga hammock and perform different yoga poses (asanas), such as the flying pigeon pose.

The benefit here is that the flying pigeon pose is a challenging yoga pose to perform on the ground, becoming easier using a yoga hammock (since the element of gravity is removed).

As a result, aerial yoga provides a means to perform various yoga poses with lower resistance, little to no impact, and more support, which can be safer for the joints.

It’s also super fun!

Aerial Yoga Hammock Vs Yoga Swing

It’s important to make this distinction since yoga hammocks and yoga swings are not the same!

Aerial yoga hammocks are simply hammocks with carabiners.

They are pretty simple, in other words, used for performing different yoga poses without little to no impact on the joints and lower resistance.

On the other hand, yoga swings—also called yoga trapezes—typically have thinner material and handles.

The handles offer additional assistance and, as a result, can make yoga swings more ideal for acrobatic yoga poses and transitions.

What is Aerial Yoga

The Benefits Of Aerial Yoga

So, what are the benefits of aerial yoga?

Aside from being fun, aerial yoga offers a host of physical benefits that might be the reason(s) you decide to try aerial yoga! These include:

  • Building strength – especially core strength
  • Muscle toning
  • Improving yoga form and posture
  • Muscle stretching and reducing muscle tension
  • Low impact exercise – much easier on the joints (tendons and ligaments)
  • It can offer a good cardiovascular workout
  • It can help you to achieve advanced yoga poses (done on the ground)

Another benefit is that aerial yoga is not just for experienced yogis; the support provided by the yoga hammock makes aerial yoga perfect for beginners to jump right in!

Aerial Yoga Vs Aerial Pilates

What’s the difference between aerial yoga and aerial pilates?

As mentioned above, aerial yoga combines yoga poses with aerial pilates.

Aerial pilates also involves a silk hammock, used to get into different positions that build strength, stability, and balance.

The key difference, however, is that aerial yoga involves traditional yoga poses while aerial pilates involves traditional exercises and stretches.

Aerial pilates can sometimes involve yoga-like poses, but it’s generally more open-ended.

It should go without saying that aerial yoga was inspired by aerial pilates (which has been around since the 1920s), but aerial yoga simply centers on involving more yoga poses than anything else.

Is Aerial Yoga Safe?

Something you might be worried about is whether aerial yoga is considered safe. It’s a valid question as, of course, you’re spending each session hanging in the air!

As a form of exercise, aerial yoga has been approved by health professionals. Regarding props, aerial yoga is safe – as long as the yoga hammock is correctly installed.

Aerial yoga hammocks should always be suspended from a sturdy, fixed bar or beam.

Needless to say, the yoga hammock itself should also be of good quality to ensure peace of mind when using it.

For increased safety before performing aerial yoga, always check your yoga hammock is in good condition and double-check that the bar or beam you are hanging it from is not showing any signs of deterioration.

What is Aerial Yoga

Do I Need To Do Yoga Before Aerial Yoga?

The simple answer here is no – you do not need to do traditional yoga before doing aerial yoga.

This is because aerial yoga offers support and assistance for a variety of yoga poses with little to no impact, making it ideal for beginners and people with joint problems or injuries.

Having experience with regular yoga will help you when starting aerial yoga (for example, your yoga pose form and balance), but it’s not a requirement.

So, if you’re considering jumping straight into aerial yoga, you’ll be glad to know that you don’t need to do any other type of yoga beforehand!

Should I Do Aerial Yoga?

Last but not least, is aerial yoga right for you?

If you’re on the fence about doing aerial yoga, it’s worth considering whether you think “mat yoga” or aerial yoga will be more beneficial for you.

Depending on the yoga poses, both mat yoga and aerial can be easy or difficult.

The main difference is that aerial yoga offers more support and can be much more fun and exciting than regular yoga on a mat.

Another thing to consider is your current fitness.

Past injuries or weak joints will make aerial yoga much more accessible since it removes most of the impact and provides assistance in various poses.

Mat yoga and aerial yoga can both be done at home. For aerial yoga, just make sure that your yoga hammock is properly set up!


Aerial yoga is a relatively new type of yoga that uses a yoga hammock to perform yoga poses while suspended.

It combines traditional yoga with aerial pilates, offering assistance with various yoga poses and, for some people, more excitement than traditional yoga!

There are many benefits to aerial yoga that can even transfer over to regular yoga performed on a yoga mat.

It’s also ideal for people with injuries or joint pains, providing little to no impact on the ground.

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Angela Frederik
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