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Swing your way to relaxation – Aerial Yoga

Swing your way to relaxation – Aerial Yoga

I remember the days when being on a swing brought me all the happiness in the world. Recently, a dear friend reminded me of that feeling when I took an aerial yoga class. I can honestly say that hanging upside down was the most fun I’ve had in a while. Richard, the owner of Aerial Yoga London (link here), showed me an amazing way to unwind whilst swinging my way to relaxation.

Now, I want to level with you guys. We all know that London can get just a tad hectic and not always we can find time for ourselves. So, if you are like me and looking for a way to relax I might have found you one. The answer is air yoga. It is easy to get into and fun. Plus, you get to fly like superman. Naturally, after my lesson, I wanted to learn more. So, I sat down with Richard, eager to uncover his story.

Yoga teacher doing yoga pose on hammock in Aerial Yoga London

Can you tell me more about your yoga journey?

I started teaching yoga 12 years ago, traditional styles: Ashtanga and Sivananda. In 2006 I visited India. Mainly, because it was the home of yoga, plus, I wanted to do some volunteering work as well. After moving back to London in 2008  I continued to teach yoga at various clubs and gyms. After some time I discovered Aerial yoga. I had such a good time practicing yoga on the swing, I knew that this is something I want to share with others. That was about five years ago and now we do 16 classes a week.yoga teacher hanging upside down in Aerial Yoga London

yoga teacher chilling in hammock in Aerial Yoga London

That sounds fantastic. What pushed you to try out the swing in the first place?

At first, I just bought the swing, it was more like a gut feeling. However,  I didn’t rig it up for almost two months. One day I saw a picture of a woman, who was completely cocooned in the swing. It looked kind of like a dim sum. When I saw it something inside just told me, it’s time to rig your swing, so I did.

What do you like most about teaching Aerial Yoga?

I teach it because people don’t take it so seriously. Aerial Yoga helps them unwind, as well as, get all the physical and mental benefits that traditional yoga gives. In my eyes, it’s just a more pleasurable experience as a whole. Nowadays we lead very stressful lifestyles, especially in big cities like London. And I get to see that tension melt away every day when I teach a class. It is simply wonderful.

yoga teacher is coaching student in Aerial Yoga Londonyoga students stretching using hammock in Aerial Yoga London

Is it very different from traditional yoga?

Yes, very much so. Aerial yoga is an unfolding style, so part of teaching it means being creative with the swing. It is important to understand which postures are calming and which are stimulating in order to create a well diverse program. Some movements are very similar to Thai yoga massage, there is a lot of rocking and manipulation of the body. It creates a very soothing and loving effect.

What are you looking to achieve in your aerial yoga classes?

When I teach a class I primarily look to relax people. The idea is to remove the stress and encourage bodies natural movement.  Unfortunately, a big part of modern life is that people spend a lot of time sitting still under a lot of pressure. So, when they get into the swing, it makes their bodies life easier. It is easier to move, easier to stretch.  In a way, this is almost like an antidote to stress.

Yoga teacher stretching student while on hammock in Aerial Yoga London

Any advice for first comers?

Definitely have some food before, about ½ hours prior should be best. Motion in the swing can feel quite watery so if you are susceptible to motion sickness I am afraid this is not the type of yoga for you.

There is a hammock that removes compressions from your spine, providing greater comfort and vastly increased freedom of movement. Poses that would otherwise be restricted become more accessible, making this a great class for all levels irrespective of experience or level of stretchiness.

Thank you for your time Richard. The last questions will be what can we expect from you in 2017?

I want to explore the online side of things. Currently, a lot of material out there is circus-like and that is not what aerial yoga is all about. I’m thinking to create a few simple lessons on YouTube for people to follow.  For updates please check my social media. Facebook page here.

Aerial Yoga London

I honestly had a blast. I did not expect it to be so relaxed and I was able to discover something truly important. The guys at Aerial Yoga London helped me uncover my inner child. I loved that feeling of playfulness and adventure, all the physical exercise was just an added bonus. And for that, I want to say thank you to Richard and his team.

As always thank you for reading. Please leave your thoughts and comments down below.

Mucho love,

Polina.

indian drawing in Aerial Yoga London