After teaching aerial for 13+ years, the biggest benefit of adding aerial to your weekly activities is to bring health to your body, specifically the central nervous system. Your nervous system is your body’s command center. Originating from your brain, it controls your movements, thoughts and automatic responses to the world around you. It also controls other body systems and processes, such as digestion, breathing and sexual development (puberty).
Most of us are born with an unbalanced nervous system. That is why yoga is so beneficial to us; using the body to fold forward, and bend backward brings the nervous system into a balanced state. If we are feeling tired all the time, what we need are back bends to stimulate the sympathetic nervous system, and the hammock supports us wonderfully as we lean back allowing blood to flood the higher parts of heart, throat and brain. Likewise, if we are stuck in a go go and go faster mode, or foot on the gas paddle all the time (overactive sympathetic nervous system) we will BURN out over time and we need to hold forward bends with support from hammock to stay longer, to influence the parasympathetic nervous back in balance. Staying in sympathetic drive is like waiting for a heart attack to happen.
We are not meant to go go go all the time, and cannot replace the nervous system like our brakes on our cars. The central nervous system also controls our thoughts and automatic responses. Are you a Debbie Downer, or someone who automatically thinks the worse will happen? Practicing aerial overtime will turn your thoughts around, because when you are feeling good, generally your body is doing good, or healthy.
What you see on social media is people using the hammock to wrap around different parts of the body, to increase flexibility and strength in the body. Our hammock classes will also do this, but our GOAL at Anahata is to influence your HEALTH using the hammock for a healthy central nervous system.
Excerpt taken from Yoga International, Making forward bends accessible….(picture is what we practiced on Saturday, a forward bend with a chair)
“The nerves of the parasympathetic nervous system originate in the cranium and sacrum. Forward bending stimulates these nerves by stretching the neck and low back, which is calming to the nervous system as we literally turn within. We also create a feeling of safety because the sensitive front of the body is well protected. This experience of drawing in energetically is the mark of forward bending and one of its most profound benefits.”
Excerpt taken from Franklin Cardiovascular Associates. (read the whole article…..it will help you understand better!
“The sympathetics typically increase heart rate and blood pressure to pump more blood to deal with stress; and dilates pupils to see more, bronchi to inhale more oxygen, and peripheral blood vessels to bring more blood to the muscles. The parasympathetic nervous system does the opposite. If the sympathetic system, like the accelerator of a car, becomes over-reactive it may actually damage the other component of the autonomic nervous system, the parasympathetic nervous system. In the car analogy, this is like driving fast all the time and therefore, having to stop hard all the time. Doing this you wear out the brakes faster. The problem in the human body is that we cannot replace the “brakes” (the parasympathetics). Once the Parasympathetics wear out you are essentially a heart attack waiting to happen.”
See you on the mat,