by Quynbi Ada August 16, 2021 9 min read

The yoga hammock is an aerial apparatus that shares qualities of both the trapeze and aerial silks. The hammock gives an otherworldly aesthetic and lends itself well to the practice of aerial yoga. But don’t let its ethereal look fool you. A yoga hammock also gives you a great workout.

Yoga hammocks offer many health benefits. They are also a fun, novel way to build strength and cultivate a sense of freedom that can extend into everyday life. 

This blog post aims to shed light on the apparatus itself. We’ll talk about the yoga hammock’s history, and how it has risen in popularity. We’ll also discuss how to purchase and set one up at home, and provide a workout or pose guide that you can practice. 

Aerial Yoga Hammock History

Aerial yoga swings as we know them have been around since the 1990s. But they didn’t soar to popularity until much later. Now, they are among the most popular of the aerial apparatuses. 

This section will explore how aerial yoga hammocks came to become such a coveted apparatus in the world of aerial arts. 

What is a yoga hammock

A yoga hammock is an aerial apparatus made of fabric that hangs from two points like a swing. It’s generally made of tricot fabric, the same fabric that makes up what we know as aerial silks. 

You can think of the yoga hammock as a bit of a hybrid apparatus, a cross between aerial silks and trapeze. But as it’s attached at two points, the yoga hammock doesn’t spin. 

A Brief History of Yoga Hammocks

The yoga hammock was developed in the 1990s by yogi masters in India. Its initial purpose was to cultivate balance in the body. Antigravity yoga is a powerful practice, and the hammock presented an opportunity for even greater harmony with its more complex movement. On the therapeutic level, the yoga hammock was found to help alleviate back pain and promote blood circulation through inversion therapy.

Christopher Harrison was one of the key players in showing just how the yoga hammock can be used by the masses, and he traveled widely to demonstrate its various poses and sequences. These were innovative movements that could reach all directions in space. The yoga hammock’s performance application on the stages of Cirque du Soleil also helped to give it a publicity boost.

A yoga hammock or aerial sling is made of a soft, pliable, and very durable fabric that attaches to two rigging points overhead via loops. There are various ways to rig an aerial hammock. The apparatus can be used for a number of different workout poses, especially those with an artistic and performative nature. We will explore a few of these airborne yoga poses later on in this article.

Girl doing an Aerial Yoga Pose in our Aerial Hammock

Today, aerial yoga hammocks are widely used in the practice of aerial yoga. Many find great freedom in taking their asanas above the mat. The apparatus is also used for acrobatics, and it’s also a great workout. As such, it’s evolved to become an important part of many people’s fitness equipment collection.

How to pick the right yoga hammock

The first thing to consider is the fabric. You will want a heavy-duty and high-quality nylon tricot to ensure support. This is the type carried by Uplift Active. It’s a two-way stretch that lends itself well to the poses and even drops that can be done on the yoga hammock.

Another thing to consider is your load capacity, which is super important in general when it comes to aerial equipment. The safe load of all Uplift Active’s 40 Denier Tricot fabrics is 200KG, giving you ample working load to maneuver.

It’s important to consider your hammock’s length and where it is to be used. Are you hanging it on an aerial rig? At home? Do you want it higher off the floor or closer to it? Use the general guide below to assist in determining the perfect length:

  • 7-8 foot ceiling height = purchase 4 Meters/4.4 Yard Hammock

  • 8-10 foot ceiling height = purchase 5 Meters/5.5 Yard Hammock

  • 10+ foot ceiling height = you’ll need longer rigging equipment, or you can purchase an extended length hammock

To make things even easier, Uplift Active has assembled a hammock kit that contains just about everything you need to rig a yoga hammock at home. The kit contains ceiling hooks, daisy chains, carabiners, and your new tricot fabric.

Where to buy Yoga Hammocks / Best Aerial Yoga Hammock

The best yoga hammocks can be found from Uplift Active, the leading aerial equipment supplier. Investing in our yoga hammock means that you get to enjoy studio-quality equipment in the comfort of your own home. You can also save a lot of money as you improve accessibility for yourself and your training mates.

Uplift Active stocks a range of gorgeous colors and ombres to compliment your personal style and your home’s decor. The hammock swings are super soft, yet durable, and will be with you for years to come on your aerial adventures. 

The yoga hammocks carried by Uplift Active are very similar to those used in the world-famous Cirque du Soleil. When it comes to quality, we mean business.

Of course, alternative options do exist when it comes to purchasing aerial equipment. The availability of aerial gear has grown exponentially on retail sites like Amazon and Walmart. But you certainly won’t find the same level of customer support, guidance and checkout experience from a place like that. Uplift Active has specialization in all things aerial arts. We have a 100% no risk warranty and easy return policy so that you can have peace of mind.

The benefit of doing Flying Yoga at home

The benefits of practicing yoga hammock at home are numerous. The first has to do with accessibility. At home, you can jump on your hammock practically any time the mood strikes and practice whatever you want. Classes and yoga studios are much more restrictive, and in a class, you’ll likely have to follow the instructor’s curriculum for the lesson.

Girl practicing aerial yoga at home

In a class, you may be able to do a few repetitions of a favorite move, but then the class is over. At home, you can put in the hours to truly achieve mastery of the craft. Aerial work takes consistency!

Setting up a home studio affords you the knowledge and understanding of how to approach aerial yoga from start to finish. When you are fully aware of what’s required to safely rig, workout, and take equipment down safely, you can ultimately have complete control over your practice.

Aerial Yoga Hammock Installation 

If you have the space and the right kind of structure, you can rig an aerial hammock at home. First, though, it’s a great idea to hire a structural engineer to evaluate your space and make sure your building conditions are ideal.

When you’re considering rigging any kind of aerial equipment in your home, safety should always be your primary concern. You will be inverting on the gear and literally putting your life and others on the line.

You can set up your height-adjustable aerial rig indoors, or you can rig directly in your house itself. No matter what, always make sure you have the knowledge and skillset to rig, or hire someone who does.

How to install aerial yoga hammock

To install your Uplift Active Aerial Yoga Hammock Set, make sure you have the assistance of a professional to help determine your exact needs and where to place the mounts.

  1. Use the ceiling mounts, a ruler, and a pencil to mark the spots where you’ll place the mounts. It’s best to have your pro take care of the drilling and installation. Clean any debris from the holes.

  2. Install anchor bolts using a hammer to make sure they’re placed tightly.

  3. Tighten the bolts completely.

  4. Loosen the washer and nut from the bolt.

  5. Place the mounts over the bolts and then return the washer and nut, tightening them all the way.

  6. Clip your carabiners to the loops of your fabric and attach to the ceiling mounts.

Note: These instructions are for a double point yoga hammock. If you were installing a single point sling, use a swivel to help you spin. Never rig from a tree branch. For a more detailed explanation, check out this Yoga Hammock tutorial

Rigging Safety and Education 

There are several key elements in rigging safety. Below are a few to keep in mind.

Inspect your gear. Before each session on your equipment, be sure to do a visual check on every component in your system. This will help you notice when certain pieces should be retired.

Check your load ratings. Know the safe working loads for all of your gear. This is the basic information you need to ensure safe training: will the gear support what I’m about to do? A rigging system is only as strong as its weakest element.

Know your attachment methods. Are you choking a roundsling around a beam or using the set up described above? Are you using an aerial rig? Know your attachment methods and the best approach for your scenario.

When in doubt, always consult an expert. There are tricky situations that require expert attention. As they say, it’s better to be safe than sorry!

Yoga Hammock Poses

Benefits of doing Aerial yoga swing workouts 

Aerial yoga offers a multitude of positive benefits to the practitioner. 

One of the first you will notice is an improvement in your mental health. We all know how great it feels to do something you love. But aerial arts have an added element of endorphins that will reap positive benefits even after you’re done with practice.

Girl resting in our Aerial Hammock

Inversion therapy is a wonderful excuse to get into aerial yoga. Being upside down taps in to our youthful sense of playfulness. It can also help create more space between the joints and it feels amazing! 

All that movement and inversion can also help with the realignment of the body. In our modern daily lives, we often find ourselves sitting in front of a computer screen, hunched over. Aerial yoga can help reactivate your passion for movement and assist with posture.

Another benefit of aerial yoga is the strength that it builds through conditioning exercises that tone the muscles, imparting a strong physique. But you don’t need to have a certain body type to do aerial yoga -- it’s for all shapes and sizes.

Yoga Hammock Workout Pose Guide from Beginners to Advanced

Aerial yoga and all acrobatics come in a range of difficulty levels to suit people of all abilities. Here, we will describe five workouts at various levels.

Workout 1 - Jump squat: Beginner 

  • Reach high on the hammock from the floor and step back.

  • Squat down evenly with hips close to the floor.

  • Using the hammock as an anchor, jump up as you pull up. 

  • Pull back on the hammock to avoid swinging forward.

  • Repeat 10-15 times

This move strengthens the whole body and can help with hip flexibility.

Workout 2 - Inverted Pull up: Advanced

  • Sit near the fabric and reach up high.

  • Bring the hips up to a bridge position.

  • Pull up with your arms.

  • Repeat 10 times.

This is a great pose for your back, glutes, and upper body!

Workout 3 - Supported Lunge: Intermediate

  • Place one foot in the hammock from the floor, and then turn around to face away from it.

  • With your arms in front of you, slowly bend the knee of the front leg and lower down.

  • It’s okay if your back leg stays bent.

This move is great for strengthening the quads and working on balance.

Workout 4 - Plank Steps: Advanced

  • Start in your plank pose in the hammock.

  • Step with your hands out to one side as far as they will take you, then return.

  • Repeat on the other side.

This move is great for core strength and stability along with upper body strength.

 Workout 5 - Superman balance: Beginner

  • Bring arms through the hammock, position them on the hips, and bring hands to floor.

  • Reach up behind you to the poles, and balance on your hips, bringing your legs off the floor as well.

  • Point your toes!

This pose is a wonderful back strengthener and can also be great for developing keener spatial awareness.

FAQs

How can I find yoga hammock classes near me?

The recent boom in aerial yoga popularity has meant that aerial studios have proliferated. Yoga classes are easy to find listed on the internet!

What size yoga hammock should I purchase? 

It depends on your ceiling height. General guidelines are:

  • 7-8 foot ceiling height = purchase 4 Meters/4.4 Yard Hammock
  • 8-10 foot ceiling height = purchase 5 Meters/5.5 Yard Hammock
  • 10+ foot ceiling height = you’ll need longer rigging equipment, or you can purchase an extended length hammock

Do yoga hammocks make for a good workout?

Aerial yoga offers a wonderfully gentle and low-impact workout! And when you have a setup at home, you can do it any time.

What muscle targeting is yoga hammocks best for?

Aerial yoga gives the entire body a gentle workout. It can be as vigorous or as mellow as you like.

How do I store yoga hammock equipment?

You can keep it hanging or bring it down, daisy chain it, and store it in a bag or suitcase.

Are yoga hammocks safe? 

When installed correctly, a yoga hammock is reasonably safe to use. Think of it this way: it’s not quite as dangerous as driving in a car on the freeway.

So what are you waiting for? 

In this article, we have covered a lot of material about the aerial yoga hammock -- including its history, safety, rigging, workouts you can do on it, and more. With such a versatile piece of exercise equipment, the sky’s literally the limit on what you can achieve with it.

Are you ready to fly? Check out Uplift Active’s online aerial boutique to curate your very own aerial yoga hammock set up today! 

Quynbi Ada
Quynbi Ada


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