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International Day of Yoga: 5 Aerial yoga poses for weight loss


Aerial yoga not only looks beautiful, but offers several health benefits. Here are some of the best aerial yoga poses for weight loss.

In a quest to lose weight, you must have tried a gazillion ways but did you try aerial yoga for weight loss? This fun and beautiful yoga technique uses a silky hammock from which you suspend yourself in mid-air, taking traditional yoga poses to a new level. It is one of the most effective ways to build strength and improve flexibility, and it is also considered a useful way to help you lose weight. So, let’s explore some of the most effective aerial yoga poses this International Day of Yoga to help you burn calories, sculpt muscle, and achieve your overall fitness goals.

What is aerial yoga?

“Aerial yoga, also known as anti-gravity yoga, is a form of yoga that incorporates the use of a hammock or silk fabric suspended from the ceiling or a sturdy overhead structure. It combines traditional yoga poses with elements of Pilates, dance, and acrobatics, allowing practitioners to explore new movements and postures not achievable on the ground, explains yoga expert Himalayan Sidhhaa Aksar.

Also Read: All about Aerial Yoga: 5 tips to help you fly your way to fitness

Aerial yoga for weight loss: How does it help?

Not one, but there are multiple reasons why aerial yoga should be a part of your weight loss journey. These include:

1. Burns calories

Many aerial yoga poses require holding your body weight in unusual positions, which works for multiple muscle groups at once. This extra effort translates to burning more calories during your workout. A small study by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) found that participants who did aerial yoga three times a week for six weeks lost an average of 2.5 pounds as compared to those who didn’t.

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Woman flaunting her waistline.
Aerial yoga can help you lose weight. Image courtesy: Freepik

2. Muscle building

“Aerial yoga engages your core and other muscles while also building lean muscle mass. Muscle tissue burns more calories at rest compared to fat tissue, so increasing your muscle mass can boost your metabolism and help you burn more calories throughout the day,” says the expert.

3. Boosts cardio

While not as intense as running, some aerial yoga sequences can elevate your heart rate and get your blood pumping. This cardio element contributes to overall calorie burn during your workout, explains the expert.

Other benefits of aerial yoga include:

1. Enhances flexibility

Aerial yoga helps to increase flexibility while also improving cardiorespiratory fitness and strength, according to a study published in the Journal of Functional Morphology and Kinesiology.

2. Improves cognitive function

Aerial yoga not only benefits the body physically but also improves cognitive function due to the movement involved. According to a study published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, practising synchronised movement improves both attention span and memory.

3. Keeps stress at bay

If you want to get rid of daily stress and anxiety, incorporating aerial yoga poses can be helpful. It is an excellent way to prevent depression and reduce stress, according to a study published in Research in Dance Education.

6 best aerial yoga poses for weight loss

Here are some of the most effective aerial yoga poses to help you in your weight loss journey, as explained by the expert.

1. Anti-gravity warrior pose

  • Step 1: Stand with your back to the hammock and grab the fabric with both hands.
  • Step 2: Lean back, allowing the hammock to support some of your weight.
  • Step 3: Extend one leg back and straighten the other leg forward, getting into a lunge position.
  • Step 4: Hold the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute on one side, and repeat.

2. Aerial bridge pose

  • Step 1: Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor and the hammock positioned across your mid-thighs.
  • Step 2: Push through your heels and lift your hips, pressing the hammock into your body for support.
  • Step 3: Keep your shoulders down and core engaged. Hold the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

3. Aerial downward-facing pose

  • Step 1: Stand with your back to the hammock and grab the fabric with both hands over your head.
  • Step 2: Lean back, allowing the hammock to support some of your weight.
  • Step 3: Extend your legs back and up, aiming to form an inverted V with your body.
  • Step 4: Keep your core engaged and gaze between your legs. Hold the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

4. Aerial inverted V

  • Step 1: Lie on your back with your head closest to the anchor point.
  • Step 2: Wrap the hammock fabric around your shin or calves.
  • Step 3: Lift your hips and torso off the ground, forming an inverted V shape.
  • Step 4: Keep your core engaged and gaze towards your toes. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Aerial inverted yoga can help you lose weight. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

5. Suspended plank pose

  • Step 1: Sit in the hammock with your knees bent and feet on the fabric.
  • Step 2: Lean back and walk your hands forward on the floor until your body forms a straight line, like a plank.
  • Step 3: Keep your core engaged and gaze slightly forward. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

6. Aerial knee folds

  • Step 1: Sit in the hammock with your knees bent and feet on the fabric.
  • Step 2: Lean back slightly and hold onto the sides of the hammock near your knees.
  • Step 3: Gently pull your knees towards your chest, rounding your spine. Hold for 15-30 seconds.

Are there any side effects of aerial yoga poses?

While aerial yoga is generally safe when practised under the guidance of a trained instructor, some potential side effects include, as explained by the expert.

1. Muscle soreness or strain, especially for beginners or those with pre-existing conditions.
2. Dizziness or vertigo, particularly for those with a fear of heights or balance issues.
3. Skin irritation or chafing from the fabric, especially in areas of prolonged contact.
4. Nausea or discomfort for those prone to motion sickness or inversion.

Make sure you are doing aerial yoga with the help of an expert, especially if you are a beginner.



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