Aerial Yoga: A 3-Dimensional Practice

I love Aerial Yoga.  I love the fluidity, grace, strength, and fun that Aerial Yoga brings. It’s such a cool way to practice Yoga, and when done properly, it can be a great practice to uplift, calm, or center (just like a great traditional Yoga practice). It can be as restoring or as physically-challenging as you want it to be (or both).

You can use the hammock as a propAerial Dancer to assist in certain poses (like in Natarajasana, or “King Dancer Pose”on the right) which allows certain poses to become more accessible for those working on increasing their stability and/or flexibility. While in a pose like Natarajasana with a hammock, you can pull the fabric forward and up simultaneously to increase the back bend.

You might be saying to yourself, “I can use a yoga strap to achieve the same pose.” It is true that you can use a yoga strap to achieve an Assisted Natarajasana, but the aerial hammock allows for more versatility in assisting with other poses like Uttitha Hasta Padangusthasana (“Extended Hand to Big Toe Pose”like this one on the left).  This assisted pose allows the body to build up the stability and flexibility gradually while learning proper alignment and gaining confidence that you can achieve the unassisted/unmodified version of the pose(s) in the future.

Another aspect of Aerial Yoga that I love is the inversions. When I teach traditional (Hatha and Hatha Flow) Yoga classes, the only “inversion” that I teach is Viparita Karani (also known as “Jack Knife” or “Legs up the Wall”) because it does not compress the cervical spine. Ever since I was involved in a car accident two years ago (I was rear-ended by a vehicle going about 40 mph), I no longer do my favorite inversion, Sirsasana (“Headstand”) because my I’ve lost a lot of the curvature in my neck (see my blog titled “Inversion Addiction“). Aerial Yoga gives me an alternative and therapeutic way to invert without compressing any part of the spine.

Here’s me doing one of my favorite inversions, Inverted Pigeon:
Inverted Pigeon

This pose, along with other aerial inversions, allows the spine to decompress, creating more space between the discs which becomes more and more important as we get older.  (On a side note, did you know that after about 30 years of age, your spinal discs begin to dry out because the water content in them begins to decrease?  Creating space in the discs allows them to “suck up” moisture like a sponge.)

To be completely honest, I haven’t done an aerial yoga practice in 12 days, and my spine definitely feels the difference! I’ll be planning some time with my hammock this week!

Inversion Addiction

Salamba_Sirsasana_-_Supported_HeadstandBefore I completed my 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training, I had so many ideas on what I wanted to achieve through my training. I dreamed of doing perfect Headstands, Shoulder Stands (which I was already doing pretty well), Hand Stands, and whatever else inverted stands you can think of. I was thinking, “I’m gonna be so hard core with all the cool poses I’ll be able to do… and I bet my body’s gonna be pretty ripped!” Two years (and over 600 hours of teaching) later, I laugh at my thought process back then!

Towards the end of my teacher training, I was involved in a bad car accident where I was rear-ended by a pizza delivery boy who was going about 40 mph and texting (or looking down at his phone) at the same time. My SUV was totaled and I was left with a severe case of whiplash. I went through months of chiropractic care and even received a cortisone shot as well as went to a Orthopedic Doctor, but I still have neck pain to this day. I’m sure I didn’t have a perfect curve in my cervical spine (the spine in the neck area) before the accident, but any curve that it had went out the door and I now have two bulging discs in my C5 and C6/C7.

Documenting life in 2010.

Majority of us have lost some (or all) of the natural curve in the cervical spine from sitting behind a desk and staring at our computer screen (our heads start to protrude towards the screen, chronically straightening the curve in the neck) and from texting (most people look down toward their phones to text).

Okay, getting back to Inversions…

Raja_sarvangasanaInversions like Headstands put too much pressure in the already-straightened cervical spine, causing compression in the discs. Shoulder Stands (see picture on the left) straighten out the neck which eventually contributes to loss of curve in the cervical spine. Handstands are probably the safest pose in regards to spinal health, but the shoulder joints and wrists were not made to bear the weight of our bodies (minus the weight of the hands and arms) for an extended period of time. Being that I already have an injured rotator cuff, I try not to overuse it doing full weight-bearing activities.

Although the benefits of inversions are wonderful (improves circulation, energizes, detoxifies, improves immunity), the risks seem to outweigh the benefits, especially when there are other poses that can be done with similar benefits.

Non-Inversion Poses

My ego still misses the head stands and other inversions, but my higher self (and neck) are perfectly happy with skipping those poses in my traditional yoga practice. Now, inversions in aerial yoga is another story!   🙂


Me and Kate Hudson

So I bet you’re wondering what my association to Kate Hudson is.

Kate is the co-founder of Fabletics, an active wear company for all shapes and sizes (they even have a men’s line called FL2)… and I represent her company as a Master Trainer.

The Master Trainers (known as “Fabletics Masters”) lead dance/fitness/yoga events that Fabletics sponsors. I get to give away Fabletics Swag at the events that I teach and answer questions and provide information on their VIP Program.

I have been a Fabletics Master for a little over a year now, and I am so proud to represent a company that celebrates all women! (Like I mentioned earlier, they do have a men’s line called FL2, but I’m going to focus on the women thing for now)

As you can see in my pictures on this website, I’m not exactly a size 0 fitness model. I’m a size 4, medium-build and average height (5’4″), and sometimes after eating a really great Indian Buffet, I get bloated and feel like someone should roll me out of the restaurant (it doesn’t happen often, but I do indulge at Indian Buffets once in a while). What I’m trying to say is, I’m not someone that would stand out in the crowd at the grocery store. But whenever I write blogs for Fabletics and send photos to them to publish on their site (like this one), they never retouch my photos to make me look leaner or more in shape.  I love that about Fabletics.

Kate is also very involved in the design process.  She and the design team listen to feedback from customers and us Masters.  In fact, we (Masters) provide feedback every quarter on the products (how they fit, the designs, etc.) to the design team… and our feedback to them is based on what the public (our students, friends, family, co-workers) expresses to us.


Here are a few of my Fabletics Outfits:
Blog Photo - 081215


I’ve compiled a short list of common questions that I’ve been asked (and my answers to the questions):

  • Q: What is the VIP Program?
    A:  It is like an on-line membership where you get special pricing on the clothing.
  • Q:  Do you have to become a VIP Member to buy from Fabletics?
    A:  No, you can make purchases without being a VIP Member but you will have to pay full-price for the items.
  • Q:  Do you have to buy something every month?
    A:  No, you can skip purchasing for the month by the 5th. You can skip as many months as you like. You will receive more than one e-mail in the beginning of each month to remind you.
  • Q:  I just saw a Fabletics commercial on TV about getting the first outfit for 50%.  How do I take advantage of that?
    A:  Click here to go to the website and sign up as a VIP Member to take advantage of the 50% off on your first outfit!

I recommend getting the Salar Capri or Salar Leggings… They have maximum compression but don’t feel like they’re sucking your insides tight!

Happy Shopping!


What a difference a year makes… Pt. 1

Since my last blog (over a year ago!), I opened an aerial yoga studio, became a Fabletics Master (more on that next time), taught 4-12 classes per week (can we say burn-out?), continued to homeschool my daughter, started my advanced yoga studies with my teacher Shanon, launched my first yoga retreat in St. Croix (there’s still room!), got licensed to teach CIZE LIVE, enrolled in a Fundamental Neuroscience Certificate Course… and closed my aerial yoga studio (that’s another topic I’ll blog about in the future)!

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned (and continue to learn) through Yoga/Meditation/Prayer is that unless you’re walking in the path that you were meant to be on, you can not truly soar and live life to the full.  I spent the past year digging deeper, weeding out deep-rooted seeds of negativity, growing in my security in who God has created me to be… the list goes on and on.  What’s really cool is that when you start walking in the path that you’re supposed to be on, everything begins to fall into place in a way that you never imagined possible.

I’m about to embark on another year of homeschooling my daughter, traveling to teach the aerial yoga instructor certification that I’ve created, teaching yoga classes, and leading Fabletics-sponsored yoga/fitness workshops.

It’s so easy for me to plan far ahead… so let me reel myself back in to this moment and just say… It’s amazing what difference a year can make!