How to Master Aerial Yoga for Beginners with the Top 9 Poses

Written by:

Logan Hailey

Edited & fact checked by:

Jagpreet Kaur

Published date:

Estimated reading time:

Key Takeaway

Aerial yoga offers a unique full-body workout that enhances flexibility, balance, and mental health while providing the added benefits of spinal decompression and back pain relief.

Your yoga practice doesn’t have to be glued to the mat. Aerial yoga is an artistic flying yoga practice that decompresses your spine and provides a full-body workout. As you flow through yoga poses while wrapped in silks suspended from the ceiling, you may discover a newfound sense of freedom, calmness, and creativity. This gravity-defying practice has an abundance of scientifically backed physical and mental benefits, plus it makes for some beautiful photos.

Here is everything you need to know about aerial yoga, including the best yoga swings and beginner-friendly aerial yoga poses.

What is Aerial Yoga?

Aerial yoga combines silk or aerial arts with traditional yoga poses to stretch, meditate, and decompress the spine while defying gravity. This levitating practice uses a silk hammock or yoga swing to partially or fully suspend body parts off the floor. Some aerial yoga poses are fully supported by the silks, while others only wrap around particular limbs as other body parts stay on the ground.

Aerial fitness has a wide range of health benefits, including improved flexibility, more balance, spinal and joint decompression, weight loss, improved mental health, and even a reduced risk for heart disease. Hanging upside down in some aerial yoga poses is a form inversion therapy that is scientifically proven to stretch the spine and relieve chronic back pain.

Top 4 Best Aerial Yoga Swings and Stands

If you’ve dreamed of floating upside down in a back-relieving yoga pose, aerial yoga could be calling your name. This popular form of antigravity yoga uses a yoga hammock or yoga swing to perform asanas from the sky.

But you don’t have to go to aerial yoga classes to enjoy the benefits of inversions and silk flows.

After careful review, we discovered the top 4 best aerial yoga swings and stands for an at-home practice.

  1. Best Yoga Trapeze for Beginners: YOGABODY Yoga Trapeze Pro Inversion Swing
  2. Best Yoga Hammock: aum active Aerial Yoga Hammock
  3. Best Freestanding Stand and Yoga Sling: Happybuy Yoga Sling Inversion Stand Bundle
  4. Best Budget Pick: Yoga4U Aerial Yoga Swing Set
Yoga Trapeze for Beginners 1

Best Yoga Trapeze for Beginners:

Daily Self Care & Manifestation Journal - A 5 Minute Journal, A 90 Days Planner, Creating Your Dream...

See latest price

This beginner-friendly yoga swing is super easy to set up on a tree, beam, or mounted bar. These are commonly used in aerial classes because they have gym-grade handles and easy stability to help you feel secure as you experiment. There is even a 10-year warranty for all parts!

Aerial Yoga Hammock 1

Best Yoga Hammock:

Aum Active Aerial Yoga Hammock - Durable Aerial Silk with Extension Straps, Carabiners, and Pose...

See latest price

The cocoon shape of this aerial yoga hammock allows you to sit inside and use it as silk. It includes six different loops, carabiners, and hardware (minus the mounting rig), plus an extension strap to easily adjust the height. This type of hammock is ideal for holding poses for long periods of time or swinging and lounging around.

Happybuy Yoga Sling Inversion

Best Freestanding Stand and Yoga Sling:

Happybuy Yoga Sling Inversion, 9.6 FT Inversion Yoga Swing Stand 68lbs, 551lbs/250kg Aerial Yoga...

See latest price

If you are worried about hanging an aerial yoga suspension from your ceiling or an outdoor tree, this solo stand allows you to practice stress-free. The anti-skid base and 70lb frame are super solid and include an all-in-one kit of silks, suspension material, and steel pipe connections. You don’t even need screws!

Aerial Yoga Swing Set 1

Best Budget Pick:

Aerial Yoga Swing Set - Yoga Hammock Aerial Swing - Aerial Sling Inversion Fly Kit - Flying Yoga...

See latest price

This option is under $75 and holds over 600 pounds. It has three handles on each side for easy maneuvering and finding stability in new poses. People who like to practice aerial yoga indoors will appreciate how easy this kit is to mount in a doorway or hang from the ceiling.

For more on aerial yoga props, check out our complete guides to the Top 6 Best Yoga Trapeze Stands for Freestanding Aerial Yoga (No Ceiling Drilling Needed!) and the Top 6 Best Aerial Yoga Trapeze, Swings, and Hammocks + How to Install Them.

What Does Aerial Yoga Do? (Benefits of Aerial Yoga)

Aerial yoga is more than just stretching and breathing; it provides some incredible scientifically-backed benefits for yogis of all levels:

  • Full body workout: Aerial yoga is a form of moderate-intensity exercise that can burn up to 300 calories in a 50-minute session. Intermediate and challenging poses can engage nearly all of the muscles in the body for greater tone and strength.
  • Improved flexibility and balance: A 2019 study found that aerial athletes have exceptional flexibility, balance, and core strength.
  • Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease: A study from the American Council on Exercise (ACE) found that people who practice aerial arts and silk yoga have a significant reduction in risk factors linked to heart disease.
  • Joint and spinal decompression: Many aerial yoga poses are a form of inversion therapy that turns your body upside down and allows your spine to extend. This can relieve joint pressure and help soothe problems related to spinal discs.
  • Back pain relief: One of the most popular benefits of a yoga flow in the air is the profound back pain relief it can provide. Whether lower back, upper back, or neck pain, these elevated poses can stretch and soothe a sore spine.
  • Improved mental health: Like all forms of yoga, even a single hour-long aerial yoga class can trigger neurotransmitter production (specifically, GABA levels) that make you happier. This practice reduces stress, increases creativity, and improves overall mood.

Top 9 Beginner Aerial Yoga Poses

If you want to try aerial yoga, it’s best to start with an aerial class guided by a trained yoga instructor. Once you get the hang of it, you can easily purchase your swing and start to experiment at home. Many of these are the same poses you will recognize from regular yoga sequences like Vinyasa flows and Sun Salutations.

Aerial Downward Dog

Aerial Downward Dog 1

This familiar pose will probably be the opening of your first class. It allows you to get accustomed to the silks and increase flexibility in your back without moving into full-on levitation. Simply place the silks on your hips and fold down, then walk your hands forward until you reach a downward dog. Optionally, you can lift your heels and just your upper body to play around with the angle and depth of the stretch.

Layback Heart Opening

Layback Heart Opening

This supported back bend places your shoulder blades on the silks and keeps your feet planted on the floor. You can use your hands to find your stability, then slowly release backward to allow your neck and arms to fully relax. This pose is crazy relieving and perfect for counteracting the slouching posture of people who sit at a desk all day.

Aerial Butterfly Pose

Butterfly pose or Baddha Konasana is one of the most popular beginner poses that gets your whole body off the ground. You bring your feet together beneath your groin and feel a deep stretch in your hip flexors as the silks support your groin. With the aid of a trained instructor, this pose can even be inverted for an amazing spine stretch.

Butterfly pose
Adult female hanging on aerial silks in Inverted Butterfly pose and meditating with closed eyes against brick wall

Aerial Lunges

Aerial Lunges 1

For a nice lower body workout, this pose uses the silk hammock to pulse back and forth and challenge your balance. Simply start in a standard lunge position with your hands on the ground. Lift one leg into the hammock and keep the standing leg firmly planted. Allow the top of your calf to be cradled in the silk and move forward and back to challenge your lunge stamina.

Aerial Planks

Aerial Planks 1

If you want to work on your core strength, this aerial yoga movement challenges your ab muscles while levitating your legs off the ground. Begin with your arms in a standard plank or down on your elbows. Extend one foot at a time into the aerial swing and let the top of your feet rest on the silks. Then, use your lower body to crunch your abs forward and backward in a dynamic plank movement.

aerial yoga movement

Inverted Bow Pose

Inverted Bow Pose

Even if you can’t do a standing Bow Pose, this chest-opening levitated bow is more accessible than it looks. Begin standing facing away from the sling and placing the silks right under your tailbone. Slowly hold onto the sling as you lift your feet off the floor and let your knees splay wide. Once you find your balance, slowly lower your torso back and downward until you can grasp the outside of your ankles.

Key Takeaways: Try an Aerial Yoga Class to Compliment Your Traditional Yoga Practice

As you see, aerial yoga is a beautiful and unique way to spice up your yoga routine and enjoy some much-needed back pain relief. You can easily suspend the silks in your own home or backyard and start experimenting with acrobatic fun. However, we highly recommend that you search for an aerial yoga class near you before attempting more challenging poses. May you defy your expectations and reach new heights you never knew were possible!


Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!
About Logan Hailey

Logan Hailey is a writer, nomad, and 200RYT yoga teacher on a mission to help people live more vivacious, joyful lives aligned with nature. As she travels in her van conversion with her two dogs, she teaches about holistic health, herbalism, and personal development. Keep up with her adventures @naturallylogan on Instagram and TikTok. Follow me: Instagram | LinkedIn

Leave a Comment