Inversions are a key component of most aerial yoga practices, but for many newbies they can be downright intimidating. Thankfully, there are a few mistakes you can learn to avoid, whether you’re trying to deepen your inversion practice for the health benefits or just to nail some gorgeous poses for your Instagram feed.
Inversions require a certain level of trust and familiarity with your fabric. If you’re new to hanging upside down, consider starting with an exercise like cocoon or womb pose which allows you to sit comfortably inside your fabric. Poses like this will help you get accustomed to feeling secure and weightless in your hammock.
Once you’re feeling confident with your fabric, you can take it up a notch by trying a basic inversion such as monkey pose. First, always make sure you’re under your “plum line” or the point where your hammock is connected to your rigging. This keeps you from swinging out of control. Then, you can find your “sweet spot” or the place on your back where fabric sits. In most basic inversions, your fabric should rest on the lower part of your back or just above the hip bones. Placement too high on your back can cause pressure on your spine, while placement too low could lead to slipping out of your pose. When you’ve found your sweet spot, you can invert safely and know your fabric has your back.
Getting into an inversion involves some serious ab engagement, but that doesn’t end once you’re upside down. Even in resting positions, ab engagement is essential for your practice because it helps protect your lower back and will make transitioning between poses more effortless. A great tip is to think about “zipping up” your abs by tilting your pelvis slightly under and engaging through your deep core muscles. This leads to better balance, reduced back pain and helps make your inversions smooth and seamless.
It’s always important to listen to your body, but that goes double when you’re upside down. If you’re new to inversions, it’s perfectly normal to feel dizzy or nauseous. Remember to continue taking deep breaths while in your inversion and to slowly come out if you start feeling uncomfortable. The more you listen to your body’s cues, the more you’ll be able to practice effectively.
Aerial yoga inversions are a practice and they require just that! You may find that some inversions come easily to you while others are more of a challenge. Many people become frustrated and quit before they’ve had a chance to really see improvements. Remember to be patient with yourself and understand that progress takes time. Keep coming back to your fabric and you’ll find that the sky really is the limit.
Now that you know what mistakes to avoid, you can confidently take your inversion game to the next level.
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