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How Aerial Yoga Can Help Professional Athletes

Helps immensely with building flexibility

Aerial Yoga

How Aerial Yoga Can Help Professional Athletes

Whether for increased stamina or flexibility, yoga is one of the best workouts to complement your fitness regime. It also incorporates the tenets of mindfulness meditation, and its benefits were previously discussed here on Aradia Fitness.

What’s also good about yoga is that it comes in many different forms. There’s Hatha, which requires holding poses longer; Bikram, which is practiced in a 40 °C heated room; and Vinyasa, the traditional pace of yoga which features a series of asana movements.

There’s also another type that’s unlike the rest though – aerial yoga, and it requires you to be suspended via a hammock. It combines some principles of Pilates in its movements too, which makes it more challenging. Also known as anti-gravity yoga, this type of exercise can be invaluable to professional athletes.

 

Traditional yoga poses with silk hammocks

Aerial Yoga

 

 

Proper core engagement for a stronger back

Shape chatted with aerial yoga studio owner Lindsey Duggan, who explained that the workout seems to be one of the best abdominal workouts around. “A benefit of taking your routine off the ground is that you lose your point of stability; you’ll start to engage your core immediately without even realizing it,” Duggan explains.

Aerial yoga also incorporates different inversions, which aid in maintaining spine health. Not only that, as two to five minutes of doing inverted poses like hand stands regularly can also improve heart and lung function. They’re also effective in strengthening the immune system and inducing good mood.

Watch a video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgTWkvqwiZk

Needless to say, having a strong core is especially important for athletes. It’s the central group of muscles found in your abdomen, which allows you to be physically strong. However, not everyone knows how to activate this muscle group. Sometimes in lifting weights for instance, you might be using your back muscles instead. This compromises the back because it absorbs most of the impact of the activity.

NBA player LeBron James has been very open about how yoga has helped him on his athletic journey. He even went so far as to say it helped solve his back problems. Aerial yoga can help in relieving this tension further through gravity. Cure Joy points out that gravity strengthens your bones, which is great for preventing osteoporosis.

Simply put, properly engaging and exercising the core can help protect your back. This could mean less back pain and similar problems, which may be due to mistakes in form or execution during workouts. Aerial yoga may be low-impact on joints, but it certainly packs a punch to your core.

 

Shavasna

Aerial Yoga

Inversions in silk hammocks

Aerial Yoga

Improved mental agility for focus and better mood

Aerial yoga automatically triggers alertness, because it’s not natural for anyone to be suspended in the air. This makes you focus on your surroundings more. The adrenaline rush does wonders to your brain’s mental agility, heightening your awareness and attention during class. In some ways, you could call aerial yoga a fun moving meditation.

Health Fitness Revolution explains that aerial yoga can help rebuild your emotional system by clearing the mind and relieving stress. This is all thanks to the meditative state the exercises puts you in, not to mention the fun it can bring. It can help lower stress levels and boost your mood, perfect for moments when you’re preparing for a big sports match.

British tennis player Johanna Konta reportedly uses yoga to help her meditate. Konta was identified by Coral as one of the top female athletes in the world, and she’s frequently facing the pressure of large scale tournaments. It’s a serious challenge that athletes undergo, so it’s important to engage in activities that can help lower stress. This is where aerial yoga can contribute substantially. A sound mind equates to continuity in terms of performance, especially in pursuits like tennis which require intensive focus.

Of course, that doesn’t just spell good news for yourself, as it’s better for team sports as well. You’ll be able to concentrate on strategies and give your best performance in every game.

 

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By FlyPieridae

MINDFULNESS: TAKE TIME TO DO NOTHING

TAKE THE TIME TO DO NOTHING CONNECT WITH YOURSELF

MINDFULNESS

Have you taken time to do nothing absolutely nothing at all. It is much harder than you would imagine. My recent experience in restorative and meditation class at the studio had me “woke” . As a child growing up in a village I spent a lot of time doing nothing because of various reasons (which I shall not bore you all with) however over the years I have had my mind taken over by so many things that I have forgotten the art of spending time doing nothing.

During the session Kristen explained the process so beautifully, not verbatim however this is how I understood it. Imagine yourself surrounded by dark thunderstorms, thunderstorms being your thoughts, close your eyes, you rise above the dark clouds and witness the dark clouds observe them and let them pass. That was so beautifully explained, because you are so much more than your worries, your struggles, for that matter even your happiness, these are things that happen to you but how you receive them is where mindfulness lies.

I can honestly say that the hardest was to settle down for 3 minutes, while we were being led through our meditation. I was astounded by how hard it is to NOT run away with your thoughts. I came out feeling happy from that class. If you “think” about it, our beautiful mind is the most significant part of our body. We depend on it to make us our best, to be creative. We experience moments, be kind and thoughtful, it makes us focused and spontaneous. We spend so much time and wealth on our clothes, make up, hair, cars but when it comes to our mind we do not give it a “thought”.

In our society we have grown to be so distracted, we are no longer present in the moment and we miss out on life. We are continuously lost in thought and living our lives on autopilot. According to a study conducted by Harvard university we are lost in thought 47% of the time, which means that for half of our life we are not in the present moment, we are either lost in the past or future. Have you noticed that a simple thought of being fearful brings on the feelings of fear and then we conjure up scenarios of that fearful interaction, we get anxious about being anxious and it becomes an endless cycle.

How do we become mindful and practice mediation, it is about stepping back giving yourself 5 to 10 minutes a day, see your thoughts with a clear relaxed focused mind. Start with a minute or two by just focusing on your breath, no fancy seats required, you can do it in your car, while you are waiting or drinking your coffee. Try it, remember you can’t change everything that happens to you but you can change the way you experience it AND that is the potential of meditation and mindfulness.

 

It takes courage to be vulnerable

You Don’t Have to Hide

 

Women are special creations. Many of us are gifted with a strength and resolve most men will never comprehend. We’re caregivers and nurturers. We bind our families together. So many people depend on us every day and we don’t want to disappoint.

We pretend to be super women, holding down jobs, family, household duties, and friends. Of course, we can do it all. Or at least we’ll never let you to see that we can’t. Everyone dips from our well. Rarely, do we take the opportunity to refresh and become whole again. Then, comes those rare occasions where the well runs dry.

Even then, we’re too ashamed to admit we need help. We don’t want to show any signs of weakness. We hide behind our superhero capes and our fake smiles, while inside we’re slowly suffocating. We try to break through the surface, all we need is to catch our breath. Yet, we’re too afraid to ask someone to throw out a lifeline.

It takes courage to be vulnerable. Asking for help can be scary. We’ve been conditioned to think it means we’re less of a woman if we do. If we can’t do it all, then we might be flawed. Truth is no one can do it all. We all need a little help sometimes. Don’t allow fear of failure to prevent you from reaching out when life becomes too much. We’ve all been there, many suffering through our struggles alone.

Know that you have support around you, even if it’s just a person to lend an ear to the situation. Reach out to family, friends, church family, or even the sisterhood in the studio. We’re here to hold each other up and be the strength you need when yours run out. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There is no shame in being vulnerable.

Feel safe in your circle of studio sisterhood

It takes courage to be vulnerable

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