Ready to add some aerial yoga poses to your arsenal? Aerial poses allow you to build greater balance than you might get from performing the same poses on the floor. Antigravity yoga has its own set of postures which are ideal for both beginners and folks who are looking to add new positions to their aerial routine.
A lot of these aerial poses, such as Easy Pose, aren’t that different from the traditional mat yoga versions of the pose. Others, such as handstands, may require some extra effort to master the aerial modifications.
These poses are awesome, but that doesn’t mean they’re easy. Core strength and balance are necessary to pull off many of these postures. Read on to learn about 10 of our favorite aerial poses!
Many folks started out performing aerial yoga in a studio but later took the practice to their own homes. You can hang a yoga silk over a tree branch or rafter inside your house. If that’s not an option, consider picking up a trapeze stand, which is a freestanding frame that will support a hammock.
What size yoga hammock do you need? Our guide to the best yoga hammock swings on the market discusses hammock size, materials, price, and other factors that you’ll want to consider when getting started with aerial yoga.
10 Simple Aerial Yoga Poses To Try
1. Easy Pose
It’s called Easy Pose for a reason! The simple cross-legged position often used as a basic posture for meditation or centering yourself can also be done in an aerial position. The pose is done exactly the same way whether you’re performing it on a yoga mat on the floor or while sitting in a hammock.
When performed aerially, Easy Pose may require a bit more balance on your part, depending how wide your hammock is. It’s a good pose to give yourself a break between more challenging inverted poses.
2. Aerial Handstand
Here’s an example of how aerial yoga can make some traditional yoga poses easier. If you’re struggling to hold a handstand, try it in an aerial setting and see how it feels. Having the hammock wrapped around your ankles can add just enough support to allow you to hold the pose longer than usual. Remember to keep your hands flat on the ground to let your arm muscles do most of the work.
Advanced yogis could also modify the position into an Aerial Headstand, bringing your hands up at your sides and allowing your head to hang down.
3. Supported Chair Pose
Get deeper into Chair Pose with this supported version. With the aerial swing, you can lean all the way back to create a 90 degree angle between your torso and legs. The photo above is a good guideline, though we suggest raising your hands in the air and grabbing the silk above you. That way, you can fully relax into the sitting position without having to worry about falling out of the pose.
4. Inverted Star Pose
The Star Inversion is similar to a handstand, but of course your arms and legs extend outward to form a star shape. Feel that stretch in your hips and shoulders as you lengthen your limbs and allow gravity to do its thing. This is one of those poses where you’ll want to be sure you have your hammock set at the correct height so your head isn’t going to hit the floor.
5. High Plank & Four-Limbed Staff Pose
The High Plank or basic push-up position is a great place from which to achieve a variety of aerial yoga poses. From here, you can drop down to the floor for a Low Plank or Four-Limbed Staff Pose. Or, while keeping one foot in the hammock, drop your torso and the other knee to the floor and lean forward into Aerial Child’s Pose. Or, turn sideways onto one hand for an Aerial Side Plank. So many strength-building asanas are accessible from this starting position!
6. Crescent Lunge & Warrior II
Turn the Crescent Lunge into an aerial maneuver by placing the hammock just behind one knee. Keep your hands in the air and you’ll really feel your hips and groin open up. If you’re working towards being able to do the splits, this is an aerial yoga pose you should perform on a regular basis! Easily convert this posture into Warrior II by reaching your arms out to your sides.
7. Inverted Bow Pose
Inverted Bow is one of the most common aerial yoga poses. It certainly makes for some of the coolest pictures!
When Inverted Bow is performed as a standing pose, it’s quite difficult, requiring a very deep backbend and perfect balance. With a hammock, the pose is a bit easier, since your hands don’t have to touch the ground. You only have to stretch back as far as you feel comfortable. You’ll really feel your spine lengthening and you grab your ankles to deepen the stretch further.
8. Flying Mountain
You’ll need excellent coordination to pull off Flying Mountain Pose. Essentially, this pose requires you to stand up with your feet on the corners of the silk. You can either stand vertically in more of an upright position, or spread your legs to achieve more of a stretch. This pose is simple, really challenging!
9. Inverted Pigeon Pose
Take Pigeon Pose, move it to an aerial swing, and flip it upside down. Now you’ve got Inverted Pigeon Pose! There are a few different versions of this pose, but the basic gist is to get yourself into an inverted position. Cross one leg over and grab one foot to really stretch that hamstring and get the most out of the posture.
10. Aerial Superman Pose
Superman is one of the most fun aerial yoga poses. The pose is ideal for folks whose yoga swings have handles on them. With your midsection wrapped in the silk, arch your back, extend your arms, and grab the handles. This pose can be surprisingly calming if you can find a comfortable position and allow your mind to focus on nothing except your breathing.
More Aerial Asanas
Need more aerial yoga poses to challenge you? This graphic has a few more ideas to incorporate into your practice.
And here’s a good video with some beginner suggestions to help get you used to working with the swing.
Looking for more weird and unusual yoga poses? Check out our list of crazy yoga styles! And if aerial yoga thrills you, why not try out SUP yoga on the water? We’ve got a list of places near you to try stand up paddle boarding yoga!