Our posture is the attitude our body assumes whether we are stationary or moving. So, this means that over time, your body will hold itself in a particular way. Good posture is when the Musculoskeletal system is in alignment and poor posture results when the skeletal system is misaligned and muscular imbalances occur in order to compensate.
Many practitioners find improvement in their posture when starting aerial yoga. Aerial yoga is an excellent method for better posture for anyone looking to get a lift in their life. People come to aerial yoga from all walks of life, which influences posture. This means someone who sits all day at a desk will have different postural imbalances than someone who waits tables on their feet.
The first thing to note is that starting any yoga practice always includes an emphasis on proper alignment and breathing. This means before you even get on your aerial hammock, you can bring awareness to just how you stand on the floor and breathe. The basic alignment you should be looking for is feet parallel, knees over ankles, hips over knees, shoulders over hips, and head stacked on top with the chin slightly back so the spine appears in a straight line.
Photo from @safari_design_yoga in ourPink Champagne Aerial Hammock
The spine is S-curved, so it is not actually straight- it is only when the curves are properly stacked that it appears elongated.
And elongation is something that aerial yoga does!
This can occur in a variety of ways, but the most popular method is the use of inversions to decompress the spine. Slowly over time-space can be created in the joints so they open up to reverse things like rounded shoulders or lower back compression.
However, it must be combined with stretching and strengthening exercises in order to really see results. Let’s take the example of slumped shoulders. If the upper back is rounded and the head forward, as is common with cell phone culture, this means the chest is tight and the upper back is weak. Exercises such as melting heart with the hammock will open the chest while pull-ups and retraction exercises (like rowing with the hammock) will strengthen the upper back to alleviate this condition.
Photo from @amyholt6 in our Height Adjustable Aerial Rig
Aerial yoga is a unique method to improve posture due to the use of your own body weight combined with gravity, the hammock, stretching, and strengthening. What also makes aerial yoga help posture, especially for women, is the unique aspect of including pulling strength, such as pulling yourself up in the air. This is the opposite of most ground-based yoga which only includes pushing strength.
People also often come to aerial yoga with a weak core, which often stems from an anterior pelvic tilt. In order to correct this, abdominal series with posterior tilts can correct this to stop lower back pain.
Photo by @kristineeread in ourRed Aerial Hammock
The most important thing to remember is to always maintain good alignment
throughout your aerial yoga practice, even when you are in the air and also inverting. Whether advanced or beginner, proper alignment is key to prevent injury and also to correct posture with continual practice.
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