Yoga practitioners know that yoga alleviates stress, increases mood and boosts happiness. However, what happens when you bring yoga off the mat and into the air, with a hammock? Yogis experience a free-flowing practice that elates the mind and shows smiles. How could you not be happy practicing yoga in a hammock? Part of the aerial yoga theme, hammock yoga varies slightly as a hammock is utilized in various widths to appropriately execute the pose. If the hammock is not bolted to the ceiling, make sure you have the hammock secured on a sturdy device that can handle body-weight moving in various positions. Get ready for a swinging, crazy-fun yoga experience.
Similar to the famous Titanic scene of Jack and Rose at the bow of the ship, experience a thrilling forward lean plank where you are Rose and Jack is the hammock. Gather the hammock material together and place the hammock behind the ribcage. Slowly, wrap your arms, at the biceps, under and then forward through the material. Walk yourself forward to where your chest is slightly in front of the feet and arms spread wide, holding the body stable. Keep the toes on the floor, and keeping soaring forward to a stable position while maintaining a smile.
Any pose that increases blood flow to the brain creates a happy brain, which results in happy people. Camel on a mat is performed with the shins on the floor; however, hammock camel is a bit more flowing. Widen the hammock material and have a seat with the material between the glutes and the back of knee. Hold the material with your hand as you extend your back to a point to where the crown of hte head is parallel to the floor. The material should be between the knee cap and the low back to allow the rib cage to extend further back. If possible, release the hammock and reach for your ankles. Finally, hangout in the upright camel.
This invigorating pose increases strength in the legs, flexibility of the chest and happiness of the mind. Gather the hammock material together and place behind the rib cage. Step one leg behind, keep straight, as you bend the front knee to 90 degrees. Simultaneously, walk the hands up the material and slightly press the chest forward with your arms straight over the shoulders. To increase intensity, hold the material and slowly extend the back away from the hammock.
Half-moons without a hammock are challenging, but with a hammock it instills the happiness as the body is able to maintain this position. Place the gathered material behind the rib cage, as previously mentioned. Turn to face the right and place the left side of the hammock behind your neck, and your right arm extended holding the right side of the hammock. Slowly bend your left knee and as you extend the left knee, simultaneously lift your right leg to hip height. Hold and repeat on both sides.
The Flying Downdog
Downdog is known to lift the spirits, enhance confidence and calms the mind. Get happy by gathering the hammock material and start to lay the body facedown to where the hammock is on the top area of the thigh, below the pelvis. With your hands and feet on the ground, slowly walk forward to where the hammock supports the hips in the inverted “V” position. Once you are at a point where the upper body is strong and stable. You can progress the pose to bend at one or two knees, essentially, bring the heels toward the glutes and are floating the lower body in the air. The “footless” dog only works if there is enough support with the hammock and upper body.