Aerial Hammock Pose Tutorial: Progressive Flow - Heart of an Aerialist

Hello Aerial Yogis and Aerialists! ~ This high swing Aerial Yoga tutorial by Jessica of @heartofanaerialist covers a basic flow from hamstring stretches to wrappy inversions. Each pose builds on the next for a full-body routine.


Jessica is using our very ownSunset Ombre Hammock. Progressive based flow is very helpful for both beginner and advanced level; this is a safe and attainable flow to all aerialist


To start, begin with a good stretch. It is always important to warm up our bodies before practicing to avoid unnecessary injury. Starting at the backside of your hammock, grab onto the fabric like a rope separating your hands to create a small space. Lift and trap your left knee over the material, reaching up high tug and hop forward with your standing foot. Make sure you're centered below where the hammock hangs. Begin to bend your elbows as you draw your hands down toward the crown of your head. Also, begin to lean forward with your left knee and start to gently pulse forward with your knee as you pull the hammock back toward your body, drawing the elbows back and down. Don't forget to breathe as you slowly deepen the stretch.


If your heel begins to raise from the mat gently press the heel back down in order to get a nice lower hamstring stretch along the right side.  You can also pulse the hammock further back drawing the left thigh in toward your abdomen, engaging the hamstring along the back of the left knee. Slowly come back to center, from here lift onto the ball of your right foot and once again begin to lean forward with your bent knee.


Drawing your hands back and down toward the shoulder, begin to pull forward leading with your knee hip and pelvic bone. Once again pulse the fabric back toward you with elbows bent to steady yourself and further deepen the stretch. Coming back again to the center , take the fabric and track the arch of your left foot. Slightly turn your toes out in a diagonal direction on your standing foot in order to avoid overextending the ankle. As you reach up high on the hammock extend the left leg. Begin to lean forward with your left foot as you draw your hands down closer to your head. Once again begin with gentle pulses. Pressing down and forward with your pelvic bone your hips and your left trapped foot.


Remember to keep your heel down on the mat for this part of the stretch.

Slowly come back to center,  reach up high as you lift your right heel off the ground and begin to once again lean forward with your left trap foot. You may start to sway or lose balance here. Use your right hand to simply draw the fabric back and down toward your head and shoulder as you extend the left arm high above your head, manipulate the hammock to help steady your balance. Once again begin pulsing forward using your hips and left leg. Don't forget to take deep breaths here.


Drawing the body back to center, bend your knee, bring your heel toward your body, and find the back edge of the hammock underneath the arch of your foot. Draw the edge all the way up your leg to the top of your thigh and keep your toes out the front edge of the material in order to anchor the fabric in place. As you hold on to the back edges of the hammock, slowly start to open up your hips as you sway you're trapped leg back and forth. After a few large sways stop with your left leg open to the left side of the room and hold the hammock. Grabbing on to the two edges closest to you, hop with your standing foot to center yourself with a hammock.


You can continue holding on to the back edges of the hammock to help you with your balance as you begin to lean toward the left, opening up into a nice supported standing straddle. It helps to keep the toes of your standing foot outwards towards the right side of the room. Once again begin to sink your hips down toward the mat. Slowly bringing yourself back to center, now begin to bend your right knee. Place your right hand on top of the thigh,grabbing on to the front sail of the hammock with your left hand. Begin to slowly deepen your straddle as you extend your right knee. Draw your right hand slowly down toward the shin ankle or even the top of the foot. Here, you can take your gaze all the way up to the ceiling straight ahead or down towards your standing foot. Continue with those deep breath cycles.


Slowly begin to bend your knee once again drawing it over the ankle and bringing both hands down to either side of your standing foot with tented fingertips to the mat. As you rotate your chest and abdomen to the thigh, turn with your left trapped leg rotating the knee down into the hammock. You can stay where you're at, gently pulsing the trapped foot back or you can fully extend that right knee. Slowly dropping your nose down toward your knee for a full side straddle stretch. Gently bending the knee back over the ankle walk your hands to the top of your knee to study your body as you slowly raise up. Grab onto the back edges of the hammock once again with both hands and release your trapped leg.


Let's go ahead and do that again on the right side, this time finding a little more fluidity with our movement as we pair our breath with these stretches. Trapping that right knee over the hammock, take a big breath in. As you exhale, slowly begin to lean forward with the knee. Once again, keep the left heel on the mat from now coming to that point of resistance where you want to lift the heel. Begin to slowly pulse forward from there, breathing into the tightness you feel in your legs, hips and thighs. As you exhale release tension sinking further forward and down. Resetting ourselves back at center, lift your left heel as we inhale then drop your right knee forward as you exhale. Inhale pulse forward a few times, driving your pelvic bone and hips forward and down. Exhale as you press the right knee forward and hold for a breath.


Dropping your heel, as you come back to center once again track the arch of the right foot in the fabric and grab up high as you turn your left toes out. Inhale as you begin to lean forward with your right foot, exhale as you gently press forward and pulse with your hips towards the mat. Take a couple breaths here before coming back to center to readjust. Now, lift your left heel off the mat as you inhale. Exhale, begin to press the right foot forward remember to use the hammock in your hands to manipulate your balance here adding pulses with your breath to deepen the stretch.


Drop your heel down as you draw your right foot back into centre. Finding the back edge of the hammock and extending your leg forward as you draw the material to the top of the thigh, now hold on to the back two edges closest to you as you rotate the right leg out to the side. Make sure you're centered with the hammock. Begin to gently sway the wrapped leg back and forth from right to left, taking nice big inhales and exhales as you gently open your hips. After a few full sways hold with your right leg open to the right, finding the back edges of the hammock once again with your hands as you begin to lean into the right side and turn your left toes out. Melt your hips down as you breathe deeply into the supported straddle stretch.


Now begin to bend your left knee drawing it over the ankle and bringing your right hand to the front sail. As you drop your left palm onto the top of your knee begin to slowly extend the left knee, sending your hand own the shin toward your foot. Take a few deep breaths here. Slowly bend the knee back over the ankle as you drop both hands down to either side of your foot dropping your chest and belly on to the top of your thigh. Remember to also rotate the right knee to face down in the hammock. Breathing here as you slowly pulse your right leg back begin to further extend your left knee, dropping your nose down toward the knee here and breathing into this side straddle stretch. Slowly, bend the knee drawing it back to the ankle. Bring your hands to the top of your thighs as you slowly come back up to standing.


From here we're going to go right into part one of our sequence. Make sure the hammock is pulled all the way up to the top of the thigh, and now draw your heel toward you as you bring your toes into the front edge of the material. Holding onto the back edges of the fabric, take a hop to the left side of your hammock. Bend your knees out wide, as you draw your heel in close to the body similar to a half crisscross seated position. Now turn your body to face the hammock as you reach up with both hands grabbing the material closest to you. Give a tug as you lift and kick the standing leg off the ground bringing it through the center of the hammock. Continue to rotate your body in a full 180 degrees. Making sure your spine lines up with the fabric behind you, lean your head towards the right shoulder as you press the fabric in front of you away from the body with both hands.


Here you can choose a series of poses to try in your single full legged wrap. Have fun with it! Bend your knee, extend your leg, pop your fist on to your hip lean back and give a little attitude. As you find your balance you can even play around with releasing both arms extending them high above the head and a beautiful gazelle pose. Nice slow movements here. When you are through with this series of poses reach forward with both hands grabbing on to the fabric in front of your face, take your right shoulder and fall toward the front side of the room as you kick your free leg back through the center onto the ground.

Now let's go ahead and go through part two of the sequence, also keeping in mind a lot of the poses in part two would be considered intermediate and advanced level. Be sure to watch this video all the way through and make sure  you understand your movements before attempting these poses.


Starting with part one of the sequences come in to your single full leg breath. Once there, flex your right foot. Grab onto the fabric in front of you and reach up high with both hands. As you start to drop your left shoulder down press out through your right heel fully extending your leg. Now kick your free leg through the center coming into a full 360 turn as you bend the wrapped knee and settle into your pose. Note the first few times you attempt these wraps they are quite tight on the thigh, this will lessen with practice.

Begin to pose once again by extending and bending your free leg, changing different arm positions, leaning forward, finding balance as you extend your arms and legs. Next grab onto the fabric in front of you with both hands as you press away the material to create space. Slowly lift the left leg and track the arch of your foot. Start to press the hammock away as you extend your leg here drawing the same side shoulder back and trapping it against the hammock behind you. Once again take some time to pose here; extend your arms high above your head, gently arch your back, continue pressing the arch of your foot into the hammock to maintain tension.


Grabbing back on to the hammock now above the head slowly bend the left knee and drop the foot forward. Bring both shoulders on the back side of the hammock as you press your right wrapped leg out and rotate the body to face forward. Now drop the left hip down in front of the strip of material and begin to slowly lean back resting your sacrum on the fabric behind you. Maintain holding your left hand up high on the hammock, further arch the back as you reach your right hand out for the top of your left foot. Take a moment to pose here. You can further invert here by holding onto the hammock as you drop the crown of your head further back and wrap the free leg in a wide circle around the material. Take a moment to hang here in your inversion.


To take this to our final progression, you will reach up grabbing onto the fabric with both hands above your left bent knee and begin to pull yourself back up to center as you drop the right knee back down. Drawing your spine up against the fabric behind you once again, rest the material in the crook of your neck, draw your gaze up towards the ceiling and now fully extend the left leg up by straightening the knee and extending through your pointed toes. Don't forget to fully extend your arms high above your head here to finish off this beautiful pose.


Now to come out, bend your knee and start to rotate your chest forward. As you bring both shoulders to the back side of the hammock. Remember the way you came in is opposite the way you're going to come out. So first lean back to unwrap your left leg and bring it forward. Now bring your right shoulder through the center of the hammock and draw the spine back against the material. As you begin to rotate, drop the left leg through to the back wall grabbing on with both hands in front of your face drop your shoulder to the front side of the room as you rotate your body all the way through and back to center. Don't forget to do this twice. Make sure your right leg is fully unwrapped before dropping the left foot to the mat.


Thank you for joining us today. We hope you enjoyed this quick tutorial and remember to fly safe and fly high! 


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