5 Aerial Yoga Postures that can benefit mental health.
By Carmen Curtis
Aerial Yoga: And Mental Health
AIReal Yoga™ provides many benefits to mental health.There is tons of research showing the benefits yoga and aerial yoga can have on our mental health. Doing yoga for over 25 years I an attest to that. Yoga has helped me with my mental health greatly. It has been especially helpful for me in dealing with my anxiety. It feels so good to hear that scientists are now validating what I have been feeling all along. And seeing the research to back what I have been sharing in my teachings.
“Just as certain psychiatric medications have shown some efficacy for reducing anxiety and depression, it is important to understand that other therapies like yoga have been shown to improve mental health. Yoga is no longer considered a solely “holistic” approach to improving mental health and well-being—in recent years, it’s gained a scientific following, and has extensive research behind it to support its benefits.” (Psychology Today)
A great step towards being mentally healthy is just simply bringing awareness to it. First by communicating about our health in an honest way. And then working to find tools to support ourselves and each other in our own mental health. Different people need different things for their mental and physical wellbeing. The more we open up and share new ways and methods to help, the better. We all need to find what works best for us. Bringing awareness and understanding to how we are feeling is the first step in our healing journey.
It takes time, lots of compassion, empathy and dedication to finding what works best for you.
This means trying new things and seeing how they affect you. This also means being honest with yourself and willing to do something else if something you try does not work. Mental health is not one size fits all.
“For many patients dealing with depression, anxiety, or stress, yoga may be a very appealing way to better manage symptoms. Indeed, the scientific study of yoga demonstrates that mental and physical health are not just closely allied, but are essentially equivalent. The evidence is growing that yoga practice is a relatively low-risk, high-yield approach to improving overall health. – author ” (Harvard Health Publishing, Yoga For Anxiety and Depression)
Yoga is a window inward.
I suffered from anxiety and depression in my 20s and 30s. I am not a doctor, I speak only from my personal experiences. From my years of teaching, sharing, witnessing student transformations and creating community. Yoga and aerial yoga have been a window into my own self exploration and self awareness. This provided, the first step towards self healing both mentally and physically.
Yoga can help bring awareness to how and what you feel and ultimately how that affects your mind and body. As you become more aware, you begin hearing and recognizing your body’s cues. For example, raised heart rate or exhaustion, fear, or feelings of irritation. This awareness gives you the opportunity to tune in. This awareness can also allow you to find coping mechanisms to deal with the stress or blocks. Additionally, it can allow you to find space for acceptance and surrender.
Yoga asks you to be in the moment.
Yoga asks you to be in the moment, not to worry about the future or what was. Be here now, with acceptance and understanding, not comparing yourself to anyone, yoga is about YOU and what YOU need. Each of the yoga postures become clues to you as to where you are at, and what you need. You become more aware and awakened, so you can respond with self-soothing, self- love and self-healing.
Yoga has shown benefits to help reduce anxiety, anger, PTSD, and improve sleep and mood.
AIReal Yoga™ provides many benefits to mental health.
“In one study (2014) focusing on adult women diagnosed with PTSD, yoga significantly reduced PTSD symptoms in women who received a 10-week yoga treatment compared to the control group. At the end of the study, 52 percent of the women who practiced yoga no longer met criteria for PTSD, compared to 21 percent in the control group.” (Psychology Today, van der Kolk, B. A. (2014). The body keeps the score: Brain, mind, and body in the healing of trauma. New York, NY, US: Viking) .
Finding the right yoga or aerial yoga program and style is important and will take some trials, as there is not one size fits all. A great option of course is our brand; AIReal Yoga™, which is a highly rated and Yoga Alliance recognized brand of aerial yoga. It is Real yoga, (not flips and circus tricks) simply using a aerial hammock as a prop to support your yoga practice.
The hammock makes yoga accessible to everybody and all levels. The hammock can make your yoga practice easier or more challenging; it just depends on what you need and how you use the hammock. AIReal Yoga™ classes range in style and levels of aerial yoga, from beginner to advanced in styles like restorative, slow flow, and power.
Here are some aerial yoga postures that are known to calm the nervous system, increase circulation, reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
Five reasons using a hammock as a prop in yoga can benefit mental health.
1. Accessible to Everybody.
The hammock makes yoga accessible so everybody at every level can practice yoga. The hammock makes postures attainable and safe so you can gain confidence in yourself and your practice.
2. Safely Supported.
You feel supported and safe as the hammock holds you and assists you like a spotting device. This allows you to do postures with the correct and safe alignment. As well as gain the physical and emotional benefits each pose offers. It also supports you so you can try poses you might have never thought possible.
3. Float Therapy.
Floating in the hammock is very soothing and calming. Furhermore it helps to induce deep relaxation that can help to reduce stress and improve sleep. The hammock holds you and hugs you. You feel wrapped, hugged, supported, light, and free as you float into the best Savasana ever. It creates the sensation of melting away into bliss and peace! Feeling hugged and loved has a great impact on all of our mental health. Taking the time to rest, reset the body, and restore helps to reduce stress, calm the mind and reduce insomnia.
4. Inversion Therapy.
Turn your worries upside down and just let go. Let go of fear, let go of what is not serving you! You can use a hammock as a spotting device for safe yoga inversions. Yoga inversions are known for calming the nervous system, increasing the blood flow, decreasing inflammation, decreasing stress and anxiety, calming the mind, and helping with focus.
5. Fun. Fly. Free.
Feel like a kid again. Have fun, try something new, swing, spin, and play. As you connect to your body and breath, the mind will enjoy. The hammock helps to make yoga fun, new and safe. There is this special quality the hammock offers. When you use it as a yoga prop, it feels fun and empowering at the same time. It is your tool to connect with and to be there for you when you need it.
Elevate your practice. Alleviate pain and fear. Exhilarate your mind, body and soul.
Sign up for our online aerial yoga classes and check out our AIReal Yoga Restorative Training Workshop that talks more deeply about many of our therapeutic postures, and is a great tool for mental health.
About The Founder + Author
Carmen Curtis is the founder of AIReal Yoga™, yoga in the air, but really yoga. Carmen has been practicing and teaching yoga for over 25 years and teaching aerial yoga for over 15 years. She is a thought leader for aerial and aerial yoga, creating cirriculums and teacher trainings with the highest of standards and recognized by the Yoga Alliance. She is a teachers teacher, teaching with empathy and compassion as she shares her love of aerial and the healing benefits it offers both physically and mentally. She created the leading brand AIReal Yoga to help bring aerial yoga into the mainstream in a safe and accessible way, staying true to yoga philosophy and maintaining safety as the number one priority.