Suspended from the ceiling, aerial yoga gives the opportunity to explore body flexibility while relaxing and destressing.
Minutes from campus, Yoga on High at 1081 N. High St. offers four different kinds of aerial yoga classes throughout the week.
Aerial yoga, which uses fabric hammocks suspended from the ceiling, has been a trendy form of exercise the past couple of years in big cities, but is just making its way into smaller areas, said Rachel Weiler, an instructor at Yoga on High.
An Ohio State graduate and former RPAC yoga teacher, Weiler has been teaching aerial yoga for the past three years. In comparison with the traditional mat classes she taught at the RPAC, Weiler sees key differences between the two types of practices.
“Aerial yoga has more of a playful vibe and the movements involving inversions and hanging upside down is something completely different and exclusive to aerial yoga,” Weiler said.
She also said aerial yoga can be done by any age group. For instance, her teaching assistant is 60 years old, but many college students attend the class as well. Weiler said many people are intimidated by the movements and idea of upside-down suspension, so they avoid trying it out.
Aisha Bradshaw, an OSU graduate student in political science and aerial yoga first-timer, took Weiler’s beginner class and said she would definitely recommend the class to college students looking for a stress reliever through exercise.
“It felt like a workout, but it was still very relaxing and I didn’t feel like I was working overly hard to do the poses,” Bradshaw said.
Although aerial yoga is not considered a high-intensity workout, a study done by the American Council on Exercise found that individuals who regularly attended classes over a six-week period had measurable reductions in common risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
Apart from the physical benefits, aerial yoga, like other yoga practices, uses meditation and breathing to emphasize self-awareness and help students cope with stress. To reinforce this meditative state, Weiler ends each class by dimming the lights and having students cocoon themselves into the hammock for a period of silence and relaxation known as savasana.
While Weiler does have some OSU students that regularly attend her classes, she encourages more students to give aerial yoga a chance. She said the combination of playfulness and traditional yoga poses is typically something that college-aged students especially enjoy.