“If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you could be”
~ Maya Angelou
These famous words from Maya Angelou always have me thinking. Do you ever catch yourself doing things not because you want to but because you have to? Have you ever stopped to consider why and who took that power of your decision and handed a decision to you? Is there an image that you are trying to portray instead of letting your true colors shine?
I ask these questions of you as I ask these questions from me quite often. It is so easy to be lost and be caught in a hamster wheel of living up to expectations and personas but whose exactly?
I have this thought provoking moment because we have a lap dance class coming up at the studio. We offer these workshops only twice a year. When I was a student much like you all I did not take lap dance classes because “I did not do that” . On my drive to the studio I had a conversation with myself as to “why I did not do that”? The answers were very surprising needless to say I took the workshop and rest is history. What are your reasons for holding yourself back? Take a moment to consider
BE STRONG has always been my mantra for as long as I can remember. I am sure I am not alone. What does being strong actually mean?? When I was younger I did not have much understanding of “being strong” and I would mostly shut down emotionally and take care of “business” without realizing the toll it would take later. Just like a coin with two sides being strong has a duality to it, the words above are very motivational, however when you are strong you can feel very left out and alone.
I have since grown to understand that being strong is not the lack of feeling of great despair, or falling to pieces. Being strong is being able to act/function in spite of such feelings. Great strength lies in being able to share our challenges. You do not need to be invulnerable or invincible to Be Strong, all you need is the capacity to move through the pain and heal.
I am honored to provide a space that fosters a great community of strong women or should I say “goddesses”. It is ok to lean on your sisterhood at the studio.
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.
Aerial Yoga class to improve flexibility
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.
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.
Aerial Yoga for athletes
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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