Aerial yoga combines acrobatic arts and yoga poses for an exhilarating and unique variation of your traditional yoga class.
Versions of aerial yoga have been practiced in India for hundreds of years, but it only became popular in the U.S. within the past 10. Kaley Gay and Jessica Watson, founding members of the Aerial Dragons and owners of The Keep Yoga and Circus Arts, started teaching aerial yoga and circus arts classes in Tampa three years ago when friends began requesting them, and things took off from there.
“When I was younger there was nowhere to train in circus arts [outside the circus],” said Gay, who is a third generation circus performer. “Within the past 10 years interest has skyrocketed.”
“It is a very addictive hobby,” says Watson. “Everyone that comes starts rearranging their schedules so they can come to more classes. The classes make you feel strong, beautiful and empowered.”
An aerial yoga class will strengthen and stretch your entire body, but you’ll also gain extra strength in your core and arms. Silks or hammocks support your weight, ease pressure on your joints and help you find more mobility and get deeper into your poses and stretches. The support is also beneficial when you do an inversion in the class because it prevents any pressure to your head or spine.
“It is a very innovative way to get into an inversion,” explains Watson. “It opens up your back and helps align and decompress your spine. Anybody can do an inversion with the hammock.”
Best of all, aerial yoga includes shavasana, some people’s favorite part of any yoga class, in the hammocks.
“It is very comfortable,” says Watson. “It takes all the pressure off your body. People feel weightless and cuddled. You can really relax, mentally reset your mind and cleanse your body.”
The Keep Yoga and Circus Arts
1703 North 24th Street, Tampa, FL