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How to prepare an aerial yoga class

Justynakozulska, 9 march 2021
How to prepare an aerial yoga class

Are you an aerial / air / gravity yoga instructor and you need scenarios for your classes?
Are you an aerial yoga passionate, but not sure how to reach your goals?

In this article I want to share my knowledge of aerial/air/gravity yoga training:
- how to build aerial yoga sequences
- how to teach a class
- how to set and reach goals in your personal training


1. Goal: reaching the final asana

We build the movement flow from the end, writing down all the asanas / positions from the final, to the first one, before the training / lesson.
For example, if your final pose is Camel:

a pose that requires bending back and engaging hamstrings and hip flexors, it is good to first warm those muscle groups, making warm up and strengthening exercises for the spine (e.g. Fish in the net, bending down with the hammock), hip flexors and hamstrings (Downward dog, strengthening exercises with low hanging hammock, leg stretches in the hammock, etc.) and back bends in reversed positions (Pigeon, Inverted straddle pose, Bow).

In this example you can start from a general body warmup (including Cow and Cat poses). You can start with releasing hip flexors and then choose a move / pose that engages hamstrings.
Next, focus on relaxing in Camel pose.


2. Dance / sequence building approach.



For us, it's building a sequence from the easiest to the most difficult poses, or building a choreography from moves, poses taught during the lesson.

We make one pose and add up next one and others. This way, by the end of the training, we have a sequence (flow) of moves / poses with increasing difficulty.

For example: a back and forth swing, Sacrum pose, or Inverted straddle pose. Next you repeat the poses and add the Pigeon. Then you repeat all the above and perform the Star pose.

In the next round you add dropping through the hammock (our Star drop sequence - watch the tutorial).

Furthermore, you can add arm and shoulder stretching to the Pigeon (or Inverted Eagle pose, or transition from the inverted position to Warrior Pose). You can repeat the sequence twice, once finishing in Warrior Pose with one leg in front, next time with the other.

In each step you can add new moves or poses that you will repeat (yourself or with your students) to make the sequence more interesting. 
The aim is to perform the sequence fluently, without stopping and with correct breathing. 


3. Final approach - focusing on a chosen body part.



In my classes, I was often asked to focus on a given body part (e.g. back release, leg stretches, etc.). With this experience, I started preparing whole sequences (flows), focusing on a chosen body part or muscle group.

You cannot focus on everything during a 1h practice, so if you train regularly, you can plan trainings that focus on each part of the body.
A bit like in stretching practice: you will not equally stretch back, chest and do splits within one-hour training. We need to choose if we focus on e.g. hamstrings, pec muscles or lower back. This kind of training is like a massage and strengthening a specific muscle group. 
Similarly, during one session with a physiotherapist you will not release the whole body. You need to choose what to focus your work on.

If you, or your students, want to strengthen the back, make one whole training focused around back muscles and the spine. 
If you need to stretch your legs, spend the hour on strengthening and stretching leg muscles etc. 

Look at and analyse poses, moves, exercises that you already know and make a sequence to reach a specified goal. 
Regular trainings of specific body parts will be more efficient than short exercises for the whole body.


Thank you for reading the article.
We hope it was useful for you.
Soon, we will post more texts filled with aerial knowledge.

Aerialsilks.eu team




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