Commonly Asked Questions & Facts
What is Aerial Yoga Play & Aerial Yoga Rx (AYRx)?
Aerial Yoga Play takes a completely holistic approach to fitness, helping your mind, body and spirit. It is a combination of yoga, dance, Pilates, TRX, acrobatic, and aerial fitness rolled into one amazing suspended fun and therapeutic experience!
AYRx Yoga Swings support you so you can hang, stretch, push and pull. Sculpt your body in the air as you tone muscles while increasing strength and flexibility. We call it the "accidental workout" because it is fitness and fun.
Aerial Yoga Play combines the benefits of strength and balance found in traditional yoga with the unique conditioning of aerial dance for a new way to fitness. Aerial Yoga Swings can be used in gyms, group fitness, yoga classes, aerial arts studios, sports medicine centers, martial arts studios, as a physical therapy tool, in gymnastics, at home and more...the possibilities are endless!
Can anyone try it?
Absolutely. We have something for everyone with Aerial Yoga Play. This program is specially designed for beginners and advanced beings alike. From ages 5 to 80 years old, there will be something we can offer you to meet your specific health/physical needs as well as enjoy this innovative play practice. It is designed to be therapeutic as much as it is fun and dynamic. Even if you have never done yoga before, we can guide you through suspended poses that help your body to reap the benefits of popular asanas, while you are comfortably supported. It’s like accelerated yoga, as it’s easier for beginners to find balance in new positions, conquer related fears, and really enjoy the practice. For those looking for endurance training, strength, balance, and flexibility, we will create a practice for you that is challenging and creative.
What's the difference between Aerial Yoga with the "silks" material and your "Aerial Yoga Play" program?
Both traditional “Aerial Yoga” and “Aerial Yoga Play™” have combinations of aerial and grounded asana, although the equipment is very different and therefore the movements associated are different. In aerial yoga, there is a hammock-like sheet of fabric used (usually tricot), providing the support for the asana practice. In Aerial Yoga Play™, which is more a form of "suspension training," there is an adjustable (two point system) yoga swing of supportive, comfortable stretchy fabric used, and there are added hand holds and leg loops that further expand practitioner’s experience. In a Aerial Yoga Play ™ class, these handles are used separately or in conjunction with the swing to help to modify and further enhance each posture. The Aerial Yoga Swings are exceptionally comfort and versatile.
Where did all this type of Yoga come from anyway? It’s clearly a new invention, right?
Traditional yoga asana in suspended form has been performed for thousands of years, although “Aerial Yoga Play™” was created by Jen Healy with all original names and sequences that make up the unique, innovation, and fun experience it is, as well as making their own version of the Aerial Yoga Swings. We have developed the framework for teaching and integrating ancient yogic practices into a strategized, user-friendly method.
Is going upside down good for you? How is it actually good for us?
Going upside-down is the most important movement anyone can do and it's included in every class. Our bodies were designed to reverse the force of gravity using regular postural variation. Because most people today generally avoid any movements that deviate from sitting, standing and lying, the force of gravity is not properly opposed. This creates an imbalance of force generated on our entire physical structure. With the force of gravity being strong and constant, its long-term cumulative effects can be extremely damaging, particularly when repetitive movement patterns serve to exacerbate the circumstance. When we reverse this gravitational pull, the associated impact on the body immediately begins to reverse. This is why inversion (hanging upside-down) is referred to as an ancient anti-aging secret, a great mental boost, as well as a powerful tool for reversing back pain and other postural issues.
For example, the endocrine system is the ‘energy manager’ of the body which overlays the chakra system (the psychic centers along the spine). This system controls the hormones that are excreted into the blood stream. Hormones affect our mood and attitude. They have the very important job of regulating energy levels, sleep patterns, and digestion.
It’s also incredibly important to stimulate the lymphatic’s and build more circulation, which means more blood and oxygen will get to parts of the body that may be injured or stagnant. This creates a natural detoxing process that happens when the cells start to exchange properly, allowing them to take in more nutrients and get rid of old waste/build up of toxins.
What happens with most people’s health is the cells get clogged and congested. When this happens, it’s then not possible to uptake new nutrients, or get rid of unwanted toxins, so the cells/organs/systems become dis-eased.
These AYRx practices also calm and balance the nervous system (overlaying the meridians), strengthen the muscles and bones, stretch the connective tissue, and allow for greater flexibility and agility.
There’s something about “awakening the courageous inner child” through this kind of interactive play that builds confidence, allows us to overcome our fears, and creates a willingness to explore and experience the body in new ways. All of this is incredibly significant and symbolic, not only for our personal lives and self-esteem, but how we move in the world and the choices we make in our professional lives.
We are meant to be healthy radiant beings, guided by infinite intelligence, here to express ourselves in joyful, playful ways.
Is it normal to feel a little dizzy or "woozey" after being upside down?
Yes. This reaction is quite normal when the body is recalibrating itself. The affect of hanging upside detoxifies the lymphatic and endocrine systems, and those toxins enter into the blood stream to be removed from the body. This is a very good thing. We want to get those toxins out! The best thing to do is get grounded, have a bite to eat, and drink lots of water. Ginger is also really helpful. Although it can be unsettling at first, it does get easier/better after the first couple tries so stick with it! Eventually the inversions will be your absolute favorite, I promise;)
Are there some people that should not go upside down?
Of course, like with any physical activity, it is up to the discretion of the individual if they are ready for Aerial Yoga Play training. It is recommended that if you have any serious health issues, check with your doctor first. Anyone with heart, eye, or blood pressure issues should practice with extra care.
Are there other movements that are important in Aerial Yoga Play™?
Definitely. Performing backbends, forward-bends, twists, side-bends, and hip-openers with combined traction are all extremely delightful and beneficial. Like traditional yoga, the practice of Aerial Yoga Play™ includes a balanced mix of asana. The suspended yoga postures, however, focus on using gravity to the body’s advantage, counteracting its compound effects and encouraging the practitioner to open more deeply into each of poses. In practice, this is generally a source of great pleasure for the practitioner.
I’m advanced. Is it going to be boring?
NO WAY! Like regular yoga classes, there all many levels and variations to accommodate everyone. Traditional asana poses are supported and built upon, often with a large shift in spatial orientation. Asanas suddenly become multi-dimentional with varied elevation and added dynamic motion. The practitioner’s center of gravity is repositioned, challenging repetitive movement patterns, igniting new neural connections, and recreating the experience within each asana. This multi-sensory immersion into suspended asana is both stimulating and soothing, creative and strategic, playful and developmental. The practice can often feel a bit surreal, as suspended asanas are innovative and explored with seemingly weightless motion. So no way, it will not be boring!
Is it safe? Like really, really? I’m asking for a friend. I—I mean SHE is scared of falling out.
Everyone is a little nervous at first, that's normal! We make sure to guide classes step-by-step, moving through related grounded poses before elevating practitioners off of the ground. We help students to perform important wraps and handling techniques when they are fully supported and encourage further challenge only when each student is ready. Additional assistance in class is also available whenever needed.
This style of AYRx is close to the ground, and we move in horizontal space instead of straight up-and-down. There are no drops or dangerous moves. It's more considered "suspension training" and is used for therapeutics, as well as being super fun and playful. It's suitable for all levels and all ages. Work a lot with older folks that have lower back and neck injuries and it's incredibly helpful.
What is a class/workshop like? Are there warm-ups and cool-downs? Is it fast?
Each class/workshop is a great adventure. Classes start with a short intro to acquaint the new students with the equipment and style. Once students are oriented, a warm-up begins, which generally includes mental visualization, vestibular/sensory orientation, breathwork, and a flowing rhythmic sequence of heat-building motion to prepare the body for the deeper work. Practitioners then progress through the class with a mix of grounded and aerial asana that stretches, strengthens, and balances the entire body, especially the core and stabilizing muscles of the body. Classes wind-down with deeper movement, like deep backbends forward bends, inversion and relaxing motion before moving into a floating savasana. This is a truly uplifting (literally!) experience that feels empowering, challenging and relaxing all at the same time.
Is this something that should be done indoors or outdoors? Is there a benefit to one or the other?
This can be done anywhere! It is designed for use inside a yoga studio, inside a house, or outside. Because our mission is to inspire joy within movement and to create full-body happiness, we recommend doing any movement routine outdoors whenever possible, however. It is proven that moving in natural environments is associated with greater feelings of revitalization and positive engagement, while leading to a decrease in tension and depression. Having a controlled environment in a home or class studio definitely has its advantages, although nothing beats the great outdoors!
Can I learn to teach Aerial Yoga Play?
Yes! We have a certifies teacher training program for yoga instructors and fitness experts alike. We have 6, 12, or 20 hour training options with Jen Healy, Founder of Aerial Yoga Play. You will learn 12 yoga translations- stretches & variations you can teach effectively to your clients/students, 55 restorative and therapeutic exercises/variations using all the equipment, Safe in’s & out’s of the yoga swing and other equipment, Various secure holds, anchors, and locks in the yoga swing, Proper postures for safe lift-off and maximum fun, and 8 Dynamic and Acrobatic Movements for more advanced students, strength, and agility in the air. The program includes a certificate of completion with up to .20 hours of CEC’s through Yoga Alliance, a training manual, and online review videos.
What are the AYRx Yoga swings made of?
It is made of a wonderful stretchy sweatshirt material with padding for strength and comfort. You can use the Aerial Yoga Swing set all together or individually for a versatile suspended fitness experience!
The Aerial Yoga Swing set is made in the USA and is 100% recyclable. It is machine washable for easy cleaning. The Yoga Swings are made of a wonderful stretchy material (cotton/spandex blend) tested to withstand weights exceeding 400 lbs. or 180 kg. All pieces are reinforced with webbing to enable strength and comfort. You can use the Aerial Yoga Swing set all together or individually for a versatile suspended fitness experience!
The swings are developed and manufactured locally in San Francisco by a respected designing firm. We are proud of our local connection, and we take pride in the attention to detail in our product. We hope you'll feel the care and love in it, too, when you fly!
They are high quality materials and also need to be handle with care.
So no sharp objects or belts, or shoes or high heels, etc. That may puncture the material.
The best part is they are washable, and can be redyed when necessary.
What is the weight limit?
The swing itself is tested to withstand weights exceeding 400 lbs. or 180 kg. yet we recommend only one person per swing, and since the leg loops, daisy chains and eye bolts are weighted to hold only 250 lbs. max each, we highly recommend using the double point system and always keep the weight distributed evenly in the equipment (ie. don't hang all your weight on one side if you are heavier than 150 lbs.)
How to hang the yoga swings
We work with 3 feet spacing. Therefore, 3 feet from walls, 3 ft. Between swings, 3 ft per swing.
Almost any ceiling height is doable. 10ft is ideal.
2 Eye hooks (weighted at 250 lbs. each minimum) are screwed into ceiling joists (supportive beams) about 2.5-3 feet apart for each swing.
A daisy chain hangs from each Eye hook which I make the Daisy chains. They are 4 feet long and have adjustable Heights placement every 4 inches. You can also order 6 foot long daisychains for extra high ceilings. The daisychains can be wrapped around any beam or tree truck and suspended indoor or outdoors.
The swings are taken up and down easily with climbing grade carabiners.
Here's a video to help you with setup:
Are there videos I can watch?
Yes! There are over 200 free videos on YouTube available online:
Jen Healy & Aerial Yoga Play
Aerial Yoga Play w/ Jen Healy | Founder
Let your yoga take flight and swing your way into feeling fit while having fun!