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.