We are a Certified AIReal YogaTM Studio
Classes taught by Diane Barbeau, Certified AIRealTM Yoga Teacher, YT200
What is aerial yoga?
Aerial yoga is a yoga practice which utilizes a hammock as a prop. It’s not the kind of hammock you buy at a sporting goods store. Instead, it’s more akin to the same kind of hammock you see in aerial circus work.
So it’s circus, then?
No. The AIReal YogaTM system is yoga, not circus. In circus we practice doing tricks in order to impress an audience. In aerial yoga, we are doing yoga. It’s not meant for show, and is meant only to benefit the practitioners themselves.
You mean we won’t do any cool tricks?
Some of the postures do resemble circus tricks in their appearance, and going upside down can be extremely fun! But if it’s tricks and lots of Instagram-worthy moments you’re looking for, try our aerial silks classes instead.
I’m confused. What’s the difference between AIReal YogaTM and aerial yoga?
Aerial yoga is a style of yoga, like hot yoga or Bikram yoga or yoga with cats. This style of yoga uses a hammock as its primary prop. AIReal YogaTM is the name of a company, founded by Carmen Curtis, that promotes their own Yoga Alliance recognized system of aerial yoga. AIReal Yoga is taught only by certified teachers who have been through their exclusive training program.
What makes AIReal Yoga unique?
Like a mat-based practice, AIReal Yoga focuses on finding good alignment in the body and creating flows from one posture to another. Their other major focus is safety. Because aerial yogis frequently have a limb or two– or even their whole body– off the ground, being able to safely navigate in and out of postures is paramount. Certified AIReal Yoga teachers are trained to take students of all levels safely in and out of the hammock, and can offer spotting and assistance to students who could use the extra help.
I don’t have any upper body strength, this must not be for me.
Quite the contrary! AIReal Yoga is excellent for developing strength in hands, wrists, forearms, and everything down the line all the way to your toes. Postures are selected and sequenced according to the ability of the class, with modifications and alternatives available just as in mat-based yoga.
Will I be in the hammock the entire time?
No. Sometimes you will do flows on the ground, not even touching the hammock. Sometimes you may be laying on your side with one leg held aloft, or standing with both hands gripping the fabric. And yes, sometimes you will be sitting in the hammock. Savasana (corpse pose) is done lying down in the hammock! But you won’t be there the entire time.
I don’t know about being in the air with my eyes closed during savasana…
Not a problem. If ever a pose performed in the air causes you to feel uncomfortable for any reason, you are always welcome to come down to the earth to ground yourself, including during savasana.
What are the benefits of doing AIReal Yoga?
- AIReal Yoga is the only form of aerial yoga with a teacher training program recognized by the Yoga Alliance and the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM).
- The hammock allows for deeper stretches, improved alignment, and access to inversions that might not be possible in a ground-based practice.
- Increase strength and body awareness.
- Suitable for beginning yogis and advanced practitioners alike.
- Multiple postures, including upside-down inversions, encourage decompression of the spine. Unlike doing a headstand or similar in a ground-based practice, which causes spinal compression, hanging upside down from the hammock removes all pressure from the head, neck, and shoulders, and allows the spine to elongate.