When the word “wellness” comes up, the word “yoga” is usually what pops up in my brain next. How could it not? Yoga is one of the only activities designed for mind, body and soul to meet in a state of relaxation and well… wellness. Aerial yoga certainly fits into this realm.

We’ve heard about the stress-relieving benefits of traditional yoga, the full-body workout of hot yoga and the many other forms of yoga that create relaxation and spiritual awakening, but the practice of aerial yoga is not as commonly discussed.

pizza, tea, beer, coffee
Savannah Phillips

All I knew about aerial yoga was that a lot of girls in my high school seemed to like to go for the Instagram-worthy photo-op. Coming home from college and being bored out of my mind every day, however, made aerial yoga seem like something I could try out.

I used to go to Breathe Yoga and Wellness Center for hot yoga with my friends, but walking into my first aerial yoga class was a little more intimidating. There were only four other women in attendance, and I didn’t even know where to stand in relation to the hanging fabric thing without looking awkward and out of place.

The instructor immediately made me feel more at ease, welcoming me and explaining that there was no prior experience needed. She told me that the purpose of aerial yoga was to allow for a new yoga experience – one that enhanced and deepened traditional yoga poses. Ok, I could do this. 

cake, coffee
Savannah Phillips

One of the first poses we did was a “basic inversion,” but it felt anything but basic as everyone else effortlessly swung upside down while I stood there like an idiot. The instructor helped me (of course) and once I was hanging by a thread (literally) it felt unlike any other yoga pose I had ever done.

Being suspended in mid-air made me feel somewhere between a yogi, an acrobat and a chiropractor patient – it was fun and gave me a sense of full body release. As we moved from pose to pose, I realized it was a real workout, too. Just moving and keeping my balance took extreme core strength.

By the end of the hour-long class, I felt relaxed, flexible, tired and intrigued. If I'm being honest — traditional yoga bores me, and hot yoga is just too intense sometimes. I’d describe aerial yoga as somewhere in between the two: challenging and fun, but still peaceful and restorative. 

coffee, pizza, cake
Savannah Phillips

If you're not easily amused and want to try a new form of physical activity that won't leave you hanging (see what I did there), then aerial yoga is worth giving a go.