Have you heard about Aerial Yoga or Acro-Yoga? These catchy names may have caught your attention, but what the heck are they? And are they really the best way for you to practice yoga?
In recent years, hybrid yoga classes have become increasingly popular. Combining the practice of yoga with various styles of training—Pilates and CrossFit to name a few—hybrid yoga offers a new way to connect to your mind and body.
Read more on the various styles of hybrid yoga and its many benefits. Then, see if it’s right for you!
What is Hybrid Yoga?
Whether you’re a traditional yogi or someone who’d like to switch up their yoga routine, we all need an occasional break from Vinyasa-style flows. Hybrid yoga is a creative way to activate new muscle groups and may even provide a whole new perspective on your practice.
In hybrid yoga classes, you may utilize weights, dance or dynamic movements—each adding an additional layer/depth to your practice. While there are various styles of hybrid yoga, many of them focus on a combination of balance, agility and strength.
Common Hybrid Yoga Practices
Aerial yoga combines dance, Pilates and yoga into one practice. Participants utilize a silk hammock lifted from the ground, with the fundamental idea of feeling weightless. The suspension of the hammock allows participants to move deeper into different positions. And since many of the poses involve inversions, aerial yoga improves circulation in the body, leading to increased health benefits for the circulatory system.
Combining weight training and recovery into a regular exercise routine is a great way to build strength, develop endurance and improve the mind-body connection. Often referred to as dynamic yoga, CrossFit yoga combines weight training with dynamic stretching in every workout. While classes may vary, most CrossFit yoga sessions include sun salutations intermixed with CrossFit strength training, various yoga flows and a meditative cool down.
This is by far the closest you can get to gymnastics while practicing yoga. Acro-yoga mixes both acrobatic moves with yoga flows. But it requires at least 3 participants to engage in the practice—a base, flyer and spotter. The base is the person supporting the pose. The flyer is the one up in the air. To be a flyer, one must have a degree of balance, strength and core conditioning. Lastly, the spotter is alert in case the flyer’s pose fails. Because acro-yoga requires partners, it’s a great way for couples to build trust and intimacy in a unique and fun way.
Why Hybrid Yoga?
Most of us realize the importance of pursuing a life with intention. No longer do we work out just because it’s an obligation. Instead, we view each workout as an exciting daily activity that helps us unwind, destress and feel more self-confident. This is where hybrid yoga comes into play.
Yoga, on its own, is a practice that focuses on your breathing, centers your body and helps you become more mindful in your daily life. These are all necessary elements to benefit your mental and physical well-being. And while yoga is great as a stand-alone, when melded with other practices, the combination suits one another perfectly. It gives one practice an appreciation for the other in a way never anticipated. Mixing and matching will not only amplify your traditional workouts, it may just change your life!