Aerial Yoga for Chronic Pain and Trauma
Aerial Yoga is growing in popularity across the country.
People who have never loved yoga before are coming out to try this new fun and effective way to workout. We have talked here before about some of the reasons why aerial yoga is amazing, but maybe you are still unsure.
Yoga itself can be a little scary for someone who has never done it before, especially for someone who suffers from chronic pain. Many of you know I suffer from SLE (Lupus), which has many super fun symptoms (yes that was sarcasm you read). Every day I battle through joint pain, muscle weakness and fatigue. There are days I cannot bear to lift 2 pounds because of weakness in my wrists or stand for longer than a minute or two due to the strain placed on my hips, knees and feet. For years I have mostly avoided yoga because my weakest joints, the ankles and wrists are constantly asked to support more weight than usual or pushed past a range of motion that my joints are able to handle. And I’m not going to lie, I HATE being the person in a class who has to do all the modifications. I once overheard two ladies snickering as I propped my hands up with yoga blocks to avoid bending my wrists too far for comfort and then needed to support my back with a towel to help protect my hips. Maybe they were not laughing at me, but either way my focus was gone. Now I was more worried about what my body was unable to do instead of what it could. That is not what yoga should be like for anyone.
Should it have mattered what someone else ‘potentially’ thought of me?
No, of course not.
Did it matter to me at the time? Yes. It did.
Could it have all been in my head? Of course.
But did I ever return to that specific yoga class? Nope.
And I hate that. I hate that I let my insecurity take away a powerful tool of healing from me. Yoga is amazing. But I left thinking that maybe I needed to move on or find a different way to find my zen and help restore and release my body.
Does any of that sound familiar to you? Hopefully not, hopefully you have only been surrounded with the peace, relaxation and support of amazing instructors and fellow participants. Hopefully you have been able to turn your mind off and allow your focus to stay on your breath and your body. Cathy and Jenn at root SUP & Fitness make it their mission to help each individual protect and respect their bodies and move through each pose with their personal needs considered in all of their classes. Aerial yoga allows for this kind of personalized yoga on a whole new level though. Your hammock can help support your body, protect your spine, and help you move through poses you may have otherwise avoided with confidence. If you suffer from chronic pain like me, it can help take some weight off your supporting joints, and offer a new sense of freedom in movement by reopening access to yoga and poses that I have not been able to do for years. The fabric around you helps you to turn your focus inward, forgetting that there are others in the room, centering your mind on your body, your movements and your breathe-just the way it should be. I was wrong to think that there was no place for Yoga in my life, Aerial yoga provides a path where I can meet my physical needs safely and without feeling insecure or unsafe.
So if you are looking for a workout that can truly help you feel better, inside and out I encourage you to give Aerial Yoga a try.
But don’t just take my word for it- here are several other articles about Aerial Yoga for healing after trauma, dealing with PTSD, dealing with stress, and aiding in chronic pain management.