Aerial Yoga, Pregnancy and Birthing

In general, aerialists are told that combining aerial and pregnancy is a risky combo. Pregnancy is always at the top of the list of contraindications for class. But, there is very little information online (at the time of this publication) about exactly what is risky and what is not. The few blog posts by aerial acrobats describing their own experiences of training through their own pregnancies are anecdotal and mostly refer to acrobatics and not aerial yoga.

So, is it ever ok to use a hammock during pregnancy? What about labor? Let’s dive in to the stages of pregnancy, and use some common sense to examine what might help or harm expectant moms…

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What’s Happening Now? The Internal Journey of the Artist

hap·pen·ing
ˈhap(ə)niNG/
noun

1.
an event or occurrence.
“altogether it was an eerie happening”
2.
a partly improvised or spontaneous piece of theatrical or other artistic performance, typically involving audience participation.
“a multimedia happening”

I first started Unnata Aerial Yoga as an artistic experiment, with questions like, “What would aerial yoga look like?” And, “Is it possible to create a combination class of aerial acrobatics and Yoga that could remain authentic Yoga?” I used all the curiosity and persistence I developed as a dance, performance and aerial artist to craft and refine the Unnata Aerial Yoga method.
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Beyond Flips and Tricks

The aerial yoga hammock is a very versatile prop and it can be a lot of fun to explore creative ways to incorporate it into our yoga practice. The aerial yoga hammock that we use in Unnata® Aerial Yoga is often the same apparatus as the aerial sling aerialists use for aerial acrobatics and circus acts. They are both equally awesome and equally challenging, but they are not one in the same.

Even though the aerial yoga hammock and the circus sling share some obvious and important similarities the two approaches of aerial yoga and aerial circus actually have very little in common!

It’s Not Just In The Details
Let me explain, in aerial yoga we are using the hammock to assist in our yoga practice. Yoga is a grounding practice (even when we’re elevated) that requires no special equipment, although props like the hammock can be incredibly useful. So in aerial yoga, we’re often using the ground and sharing weight with the hammock and that informs the choices we make about how to grip, how to engage or relax, how to sequence, and more.

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Master Your Mat Poses Through Unnata® Aerial Yoga

So you want to improve your Warrior 2, your Handstand, your Plank? Try supplementing your yoga flow classes with Unnata® Aerial Yoga. With a little support from the hammock, you’ll find the strength, balance, and stability to rock your traditional mat poses.

But wait, isn’t aerial yoga different from “regular” yoga?

Although some aerial yoga classes diverge greatly from classical yoga, Unnata® Aerial Yoga is rooted in tradition, and developed specifically to improve an understanding and practice of classical yoga. If you already practice yoga, you may be surprised how easy and familiar it is to join an Unnata® Aerial Yoga class, and how quickly you can breeze through the learning curve of a new activity.

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New and Improved “Find a Class” Map

The AerialYoga(.com) website has been making some improvements recently.

Now, studios offering Unnata Aerial Yoga classes (or individual teachers who wish to advertise the location where they teach) can supplement the information they give to those looking for Unnata Aerial Yoga classes.

How to use the “Find a Class Map”

First, zoom in on your area. Hover over your studio’s pin on the map to see the name and address.

Then, click on the pin, and you’ll get a pop-up window with a Studio Profile. Studio owners can personalize studio profiles with photos, videos, studio mission statement, and more. Students can get instant directions to the studio, and access the website directly.

To test out the example used in the above photos, take a look at the Sacred Sounds Yoga studio located in New York, New York.

Try it here:

天井は高い方が良いのか?

ウーナタ®エアリアルヨガに出会ったきっかけは逆立ちベッドを英語で検索したことがきっかけでした。私のそくわんの背骨に絶対良さそうだし、”体が硬い”人(私)でもアーサナを深められそう!と感激&一目惚れして、エアリアルヨガ創始者であるミシェルのトレーニングが始まるのを待って受けました。会員制出張プライベートレッスンが軌道に乗っていたときでしたが、ハンモックはプライベートレッスンじゃなくても、専属で的確にアジャストしてくれるもう1人の先生のようで、本当にウーナタ®を受けたことは人生が変わるような出来事でした。
帰国後、生徒さんの家の梁がある部屋を利用して、出張エアリアルヨガをしつつ、どこかハンモックを吊るせる場所はないか?と、天井ばかり見て暮らしていました。大手企業がやるだろうと思っていたのに、誰もエアリアルヨガをやらないので勤めることもできませんでした。”スポーツジムは首を回すのも禁止してるところがあるよ”、”日本では広がらないんじゃない?” そんな言葉を聞いて、まだ仲間もいないし、貯金もあまりないビジネスに疎いヨガ講師がスタジオを作って大丈夫かな?という不安を抱えながら場所探しをしていました。

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Menstruación y Yoga

¿Cómo?  Acabo de verlo… ¡Un anuncio de compresas que absorbe incluso estando boca abajo!  ¡No puedo creer que una gran compañía de productos de higiene íntima haya diseñado unas compresas con esa maravillosa cualidad! Y de pronto me pregunto, pero, ¿quién, en su sano juicio, se pone boca abajo en su periodo de menstruación? A parte de las preciosas jóvenes que hacen el anuncio, con sus preciosas melenas extendidas hacia el suelo y colgando de un trapecio por sus preciosas rodillas… Las yoguinis desde luego que no (bueno, yo sí, lo confieso) Este tipo de compresas se habrán diseñado para trapecistas,  gimnastas,  acróbatas, contorsionistas, bailarinas, bomberos, militares, astronautas…. No para yoguinis porque practicar posturas invertidas, durante la menstruación, ¡todas sabemos que es un error de los gordos! Y, otra cuestión es, ¿la sangre no caía hacia la tierra? Me desconcierta y me invita a reflexionar e investigar.

Tengo 52 años y desde hace un par de años mi menstruación aparece y desaparece cuando quiere, a su amor. Creo que quiere decirme que, en unas de éstas, ya no volverá más y mi menopausia abrirá la puerta a otra fase de mi vida. Son muchos años recibiendo con amor su visita y aún recuerdo que en mi juventud  escuché muchas veces cosas como que con la menstruación no debías ni lavarte el pelo, ni ducharte, ni hacer mayonesa y una larga lista de cosas, unas más absurdas que otras, la verdad… Confieso que las hice todas, al principio con miedo de que me pasara algo realmente grave a mí o a mi mayonesa y, con el tiempo y mi propio criterio, las hice con la confianza de que solo eran cuentos de miedo, limitantes, que mantenían a la mujer bajo “control”.

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Menstruación y Yoga – English

What?  I’ve just seen it… An advertisement about a sanitary pad that absorbs even when upside down!  I can’t believe that a large company of intimate hygiene products has designed pads with that wonderful feature! And suddenly I ask myself, who in their right mind turns upside down during menstruation? Apart from the gorgeous young women appearing in the commercial, with their stunning long hair cascading to the ground, swinging in a trapeze with their nice legs…. Yogis certainly don’t –well, I must confess, I do-. This type of sanitary pad has probably been designed for trapeze artists, gymnasts, acrobats, contortionists, dancers, firewomen, soldiers, astronauts… but not for yogis. Practicing inverted postures during menstruation, as we all know, is a huge mistake. And, another question is, doesn’t the blood come out? It puzzles me and invites me to reflect and search.

I am 52 years old and my menstruation has been appearing and disappearing for a couple of years as it pleases. I think it is trying to tell me that one of these days it won’t come back and my menopause will open the door to another stage in my life. I still remember that in my youth I often heard things like, “when you’re menstruating you shouldn’t wash your hair, or take a shower, or make mayonnaise, and a long list of other things even more ridiculous. The truth is I did them all. At first with fear that something really serious could happen to me or to the mayonnaise and over time and my own judgment, I did them thinking that they were only scary stories, limiting factors that kept women under control.

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The Evolution of Unnata® Aerial Yoga

I grew up in Colorado where my family and I spent a large part of our time in the Rocky Mountains hiking, camping, and contemplating the silence of nature. I’m sure it came as no surprise to my family, then, when I became a teacher of Hatha Yoga. Like hiking among majestic mountains, Hatha Yoga uses strength, endurance and flexibility to seek an inner calm and peace. My practice of Hatha Yoga is therefore a natural outgrowth from my own personal history.

Many people ask me where aerial yoga comes from, or who invented it. Just like my own study of Hatha Yoga was the natural evolution of my childhood upbringing, Aerial Yoga evolved naturally over time through contributions from many yoga and movement teachers, each using their ingenuity to contribute a puzzle piece to the whole picture of what aerial yoga is today.

As far as I am aware, BKS Iyengar (1918-2014) was the first yoga teacher to hang students off the ground upside-down. He was looking for a way to help his students achieve the king of poses, headstand. Over time, he and his teachers created a whole system of using ropes attached to a smooth wall to suspend a student in a variety of asanas, including a supported headstand. He developed exercises using the rope wall to relieve stress on the joints, and improve postural alignment within asana practice.

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Aerial Yoga, Benefits & Psychology

There have been numerous studies in the last ten or so years that have researched the effects of individuals who practice yoga. Some studies were focused on mental influences, some on health benefits, some were more interested in physical benefits and some even wanted to prove cognitive improvements which resulted when practicing yoga.

It is beyond a doubt that a regular yoga practice can improve overall physical well-being, including an increase in flexibility, strength, balance and mobility. It is also a powerful tool to tame anxiety and depression by reducing stress and reconnecting our minds and our hearts with our bodies.

Interest in this field is constantly growing and researchers are looking into possible benefits for many issues that affect millions of people worldwide.

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