Not everyone understands how aerial and yoga work in combination, both as two separate disciplines and as practices of their own, so we're here to explain and shed light on the sometimes perplexing combination of aerial and yoga that really are not all that different in execution.
First off, we'd like to remind you that yoga in and of itself is actually a complete practice of mind, body, and spiritual connection, alignment, and syncing. As a brief overview, it utilizes social and personal observances, posture and breath control, focus and meditative connection, and the end result is unification or bliss. Theses social and personal observances are to create a culture of trust, integrity, self-study and improvement, contentment and ease in transitions, and a connection to and understanding of something bigger. The physical practice and breath practice is to help bring this sense of focus and connection, to help keep the mind from wandering, to nurture our bodies and help us channel our energy into purposeful and mindful living both on and off of the mat. When we take the time to practice yoga, we can find our flow physically, bring ease and joy and understanding into our lives emotionally, we enjoy focused and productive minds, and we serve a bigger purpose and see the bigger picture.
Aerial isn't that different. The aerial world is a social and personal place where trust of yourself, your classmates and teacher are of utmost importance in combination with a true understanding of yourself and your physical, mental, and spiritual state for that day and each day. If you're living in the past or grasping too hard for the future, injuries occur and enjoyment is lost. Aerial arts helps some people get beyond their mental chatter and learn how to actually be in their bodies, embrace the moment and truly feel.
Aerialists collaborate and connect with one another and the greater community, and external world itself, to be inspired and grow as artists and practitioners. They have discipline and practice regularly to learn how to control movements, techniques and choreography with control of breath, focus of mind, and connection to the "flow" of events, an audience's hearts and awe, the feeling or characters portrayed in their pieces for the benefit of themselves, but also our communities as a whole.
Thirdly, when put these disciplines together in aerial yoga or a well rounded training program, we get balance and the ability to be supported not only by ourselves, but by something else. It’s a lesson on co-creation and not that much different than utilizing the blocks, blankets, straps, and bolsters we use in yin and adaptive teaching styles of traditional yoga practices. The fabric of aerial yoga becomes that assistant to help access balance, deeper aspects and emotions of ourselves we couldn’t tap into on the ground, to develop strength and adaptability and to provide the support to ourselves needed to access healing and restoration. The space created by aerial in combination with yoga is remarkable, not only for our joints via the inversions and hanging movements, but space to build trust and communication with something that becomes an extension of ourselves and our expression.
As teachers, instructors, coaches, gurus, muses, or whatever you want to us as, we see the impact these disciplines have on our students and admirers. Inspiration. Creative vision. Truthful living. Conscious creation. Integrity. Compassion. Honoring the process. Growth. Strength. Community. The amazing feats of practitioners overcoming challenges, connecting with their limitless minds and potentials, sparking and encouraging the best in one another. Aerial disciplines at their core simply an extension of a yoga practice, offering up a dance and a sense of expression.