Aerials in Singapore and the rest of the globe is seeing a growing trend, but for a following of good reasons. People from all walks of life are getting into aerials as one of the go to for both fun and rehabilitation purposes, but is all the aerial hype all its made up to be? Read to know what they are, the benefits, and where you can find studios that are offering aerial classes for beginners.
Can anyone teach an aerial class?
Short answer is, nope. Long answer is still nope. Why? It's the nature of the activity itself. Aerial activities naturally increases & heightens your sensory system as you take your whole body off the floor doing poses and transition yourself from one move to another, above the floor, needless to say even more when you are inverted upside down.
The vestibular system is one of the more important system in our body, helping us to be aware of imbalances to decrease the chances of injury. It kicks in when we are off balance or off the centre of gravity, just like how the ballast system in a bot that keeps it upright, constantly feeding off the feedbacks of our joints, muscles & eyes in space or throughout movements on the ground. It's a whole lot of orchestra work that is going on without us doing anything(it calculates everything for us). Spatial awareness or orientation will constantly be organised throughout the aerial session as the brain tries to find logic with what is "normal" and how to keep everything in balance being upright and grounded(stable). For most of us, we hardly find activities which is above the floor and your brain is so used to the feeling of being on the ground, so each time you climb the aerial hammock, it calculates everything, and that is when fear for some kicks in as your nervous system thinks(calculation) that whatever that you are doing may pose a threat to you. Thus it increases your brain's activities to ensure that you naturally have a laser focus with everything that comes with the activity(in this case aerial).
If you have travelled via a boat out in sea, the motion for some of us can be rough with the inconsistencies of the waves which makes the body move in and out of the centre of gravity, and this causes the vestibular system to make sense of the current movement and goes overdrive and not being able to adapt for that ride, which is one of the reason that causes motion sickness. The same is with aerial, when you start moving and swaying from all directions, with poses that challenges you to have your eyes closed and as what everyone is expecting an aerial class is without its inversions(upside down pose). This can cause motion sickness or nauseous feeling that can get worse if you close your eyes, or keep swinging in the hammock.
Studies have shown that the fear of falling is known to influence human balance. When fearful, movements become more cautious and joint stiffness tends to increase, your posture changes to be more upright and balance naturally increases to have your centre of gravity closest to its centre of your body to avoid falling & injuring yourself. This is especially true if you will be trying aerial or have been to a session of aerial class, that you start gripping the fabrics so hard, your hands fatigues halfway through the session. This is one of the reasons why people with height phobia freeze and can't do anything when it hits them in the head that they are high off the floor, the teacher would need to know how to handle this in such a manner that the student can come to their sense, to calm themselves down and come to awareness of the teacher's instruction to safety. As with everything new, it's always harder in the beginnings, and as your vestibular and sensory receptors gets used to to feeling of movements of the floor in the hammocks, it becomes the "updated normal" sensation and you will start trusting your grip and release the gripping to transition into the different poses.
For a more comprehensive study on vestibular system and how increased height perception, click here.
With all that said, aerial yoga or fitness class has all the potential to help you increase everything positive and decrease anything negative. Both your mind and body will appreciate it when you are engaging your:
Aerial activity Pre-cautions
As with any physical activity, there is always a risk, but to lower the risk ration, we highly suggest to check in with your family GP if you have a medical condition that needs clearance or unsure if it's safe enough for you. The list below is a non-exhaustive to use a quick checklist to get doctors clearance:
Below are the places you can find certified teachers that qualifies them to teach in a safe and fun environment after meeting & passing a very rigorous 5 days training course in Aerial teacher training;
Leave us your comment below if you have yet to try aerial and why you want to try it out if you haven't so!