Body Positive Workout: Aerial Yoga

When I first decided I wanted to try aerial yoga, I had one question– what is the weight limit for aerial yoga?

You already know what I was worried about, I was wondering if aerial yoga for plus size people was even an option. Would the silks hold me up? Would I be able to do aerial poses? Is aerial yoga hard?

If you have similar questions, this post is for you! I’ve done Aerial yoga more than once now at different studios and I’m going to answer everything you need to know before you go into your first aerial yoga class. Ready?

What is Aerial Yoga Good for?

According to experts, Suspension in the air releases tension on the bones and muscles, increasing flexibility and deepening your practice. Suspended yoga strengthens core muscles and increases spinal and shoulder flexibility. … Balance is a key component in daily activities, and aerial yoga helps maintain a good balance both inside and out.

I personally love how I can use the Aerial silks for yoga modifications (I held the best downward dog ever, using aerial silks around my tummy to hold some of my weight).

Is There Aerial Yoga Near Me?

I live in New York City, so it was pretty easy to find an aerial yoga studio. But my absolute favorite Aerial yoga experience was on Martha’s Vineyard at the Yoga Barn.

As with any fitness class, the thing I look for above anything is a place where I feel safe. As a plus size woman (and a woman of color) I don’t always feel immediately welcome in fitness spaces.

From the moment I walked into the Yoga Barn on Martha’s Vineyard, I felt a warmth and kindness from everyone who was there. The yoga barn staff helped me get comfortable and set up right away. The aerial yoga instructor, Jennifer Delorenzo was kind and patient with me during our session. Since I had done aerial before, I knew that inversions (going upside down) was really difficult for me– Jennifer listened to me, gave me some pointers, encouraged me to do my best and breath and by the end of the session I was doing inversions that I didn’t think I could pull off. I actually cried at the end of my session, which speaks to the type of powerful release that can happen through body positive fitness!

When looking for an aerial studio near you, I’d suggest stopping by during a class session so you can get a feel for the studio, instructor, staff, etc.

My outfit is: Calia by Carrie

What is the weight limit for Aerial Yoga?

The first studio I went to said that their silks could hold up to 5,000 pounds, so I felt pretty confident that I wouldn’t come crashing to the ground. Dedicated aerial yoga studios have the silks bolted to the ceiling with metal plates and chains. Another option is for studios to expertly tie the silks around beams, which is what they do at the Yoga Barn on Martha’s Vineyard. I watched them tie each silk specifically and between the combination of knots, the beam and the silks I was completely confident that I would be held up during my session– and I was!

Related: Join my FREE 5 Day Get Motivated Challenge

Is Aerial Yoga Hard?

I personally don’t think aerial yoga is hard because (as with traditional yoga) your practice for the day is what it is. I challenge myself each time I do aerial yoga and I learn new ways to use the silks with each instructor I meet. I think it is worth a try, if only to sit in the silks, close your eyes and swing… it’s so soothing!!

Major thank you to Randi Baird photography for these images and for being a gem during my time on Martha’s Vineyard!

So, what do you think? Would you try Aerial Yoga?



8 thoughts on “Body Positive Workout: Aerial Yoga”

  1. I’ve been curious about Aerial Yoga for quite some time. After reading about your experience, It’s definitely on the Too Do list! Thanks so much for this post!

  2. Hey CeCe!
    Did you find that instructors are used to working with plus sized people?I would hate to feel like I’m the only one walking into a class! I have been wanting to do aerials for a long time but I’m a size 22 and have worried about it. I also want to get into rock climbing.

  3. Yoga is important to me. It releases so much tension in your joints and muscles. I really appreciate the shared info on aerial yoga; had some of the same concerns. I will definitely be trying it.

  4. i do aerial yoga. I do not know anyone that does lol. I like to swing on monkey bars so this was fun for me. I am not small nor taller so I was worried about many legs missing the scarf lol. Now I need someone to go with. When I’m back home in nyc you have to set a class up so we l can try it with you.

  5. I’ve heard of Ariel yoga in the past however I honestly it never came to mind as something I could actually do as a plus sized woman. My concer was flexibilty and control in the air combined with concerns over weight capacity. Thanks for sharing your experience in this great post. This definitely makes me think twice about trying aerial yoga.

  6. I’m not able to do regular handstands or many inversions (ab strength and flexibility need improving at age 59 🙂 though I’ll have to see if there are places near home or work — a studio near my office closed earlier this year and they weren’t size friendly.

  7. I tried Aerial Yoga at a then popular NYC gym and it was liberating. All the stress I usually feel on my joints was relieved and I felt like I was flying. It was the best thing ever. I especially remember feeling like a little kid. As a plus size girl for basically ALL of my life, I missed out on so much and this felt like one of the activities that
    I would have missed out on but I didn’t. The hardest part for me was getting up on the cloth, I practically crushed the instructors fingers.; mortified!

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