Some answers to questions people have asked about the practice of Vayu Aerial Yoga
Who can come to classes?
Classes are open to anyone over the age of 16, no upper age limit. No previous yoga or aerial experience needed.
How do I contact you?
please email email@example.com
phone or text 07870429529
or fill in a form here!
How did you start, did you train to teach?
Having practised yoga and Aerial work independently for many years Rachel finally realised that she could combine the two forms and in 2015 she looked around at training opportunities. She tried five different classes in various parts of the country and was amazed at how different each class was: one seemed about tricks and making amazing shapes with the body, one was like an upside-down aerobics class and one just got her completely tangled up in fabric! But eventually Rachel discovered the work of Ana Prada which worked at a much gentler, deeper level, allowing the body to unwind, strengthen and lengthen. Rachel was really pleased to have the chance to study on Ana’s teacher training course and continues to be guided by her.
Rachel is one of the very few accredited Vayu Aerial Yoga teachers in the UK.
How do I benefit from aerial yoga?
Hammocks support the body at different heights which allows us to explore and understand alignment while creating space within the body.
In the practice we aim to find balance, strength and flexibility , creating space to open up the body, calming and expanding the mind.
Through specific articulation of movement we incorporate strength and the lengthening of the muscles isometrically to create core strength and balance.
The Vayu practice takes the body to a much deeper level. Using the support of the hammock we are able to challenge the body moving through various postures, as well as allowing the nervous system to relax.
Inverting the body while suspended in the air not only provides many physical benefits such as spinal decompression, it also expands the mind by creating confidence, overcoming fear and allowing a change in our physical perception.
How do I sign up?
For more information and a booking form please see CONTACT US page.
How do I know it’s for me, are there tasters?
Rachel holds regular taster sessions but new participants are also welcome to join any of the regular classes.
How do I pay?
Usually, students sign up and pre-pay for a block of four classes at £12 per session, total £48.
‘First-time’ sessions also cost £12 and ‘drop-in’ sessions £15 (but contact me in advance to check there is a hammock available)
What happens if I miss a class?
Cancellation policy… Since there are limited available hammocks per session, please be aware that by reserving a hammock for your use, you are agreeing to pay for all sessions within the reserved period. If, for any reason, you are unable to attend you can invite a friend to attend in your place or instruct me to try and find a student to fill in for you. The attendee will then pay for that session and I will reimburse you. However, if the hammock remains empty, you will be required to pay for the missed class.
Do you do 1:1 classes?
Yes 1:1 and small group classes are available on request
What do I need to bring to the class?
A yoga mat if you have one (I have some spare mats), payment and possibly a bottle of water to rehydrate and extra layers of clothing to keep you warm you after you’ve worked your socks off in the hammock!
What is a Vayu Aerial hammock?
The Vayu hammock is a support system and tool used to facilitate and understand alignment while creating space within the body. Each colorful hammock is seven metres long and three metres wide; it’s a one-way stretch fabric specifically manufactured for aerial yoga which is threaded through a series of D-ring clips and suspended from a high fixed point by lifting straps. All equipment is load tested to one tonne.
What benefits I am likely to feel?
Some participants can help on this one –
“Beautiful way to work the core and wonderful way to do inversions”
“I love the feeling of freedom as we leave the ground”
– Student feedback 2016
What clothing should I wear?
As with any “normal” yoga class, wearing clothes that are snug-fitting, stretchy and comfortable, non-slip cotton-type fabrics are best as the hammocks are silky, slippy and very strong but anything that could snag or ladder a pair of tights is potentially going to damage the hammock. Please ensure all clothing is free from zips, buttons, poppers, Velcro etc. and that fingernails and toenails are not broken, sharp or excessively long.
What does a typical class consist of?
Classes start off gently, sitting in the hammock and warming up the body. We usually start close to the floor with lying and sitting postures, then progress to a series of standing postures and inversions. Sessions finish with a floating relaxation.
What is your yoga/dance/aerial background?
Rachel has been practising yoga for 35 years and is a trained Active Birth teacher, leading ante and post-natal yoga sessions. She is a trained contemporary dancer and has been developing aerial dance for 20 years as part of her work with disabled and non-disabled people of all ages. As well as teaching Vayu Aerial Yoga, Rachel currently works as Lead Artist with EVERYBODY DANCE, directing, managing and delivering a broad programme of inclusive dance projects and also leads a range of dance activity for people living with dementia and their carers.
What health or medical conditions are contrary to the practice?
Participants are required to complete a booking form prior to the class and this includes a brief medical checklist. Postures, particularly inversions, may be adapted for conditions such as high blood pressure, spinal injury, heart conditions and/or glaucoma.
When and where are classes held?
Please see our CLASSES page
When should I eat before a class?
If possible it’s best to not eat within two hours before class
Which parts of my body might ache the next day?
That depends on how deeply you wish to work your body and which areas of the body we focus on in class! Parts of the body that have previously been under utilised may feel the effects more than often used parts!
“Rachel has a soothing and balancing approach”
“It’s more than yoga”
-Student feedback 2016
Where will I feel the most benefits?
There are a wide range of postures and exercises and each class explores a range of these, sometimes focusing on a theme e.g. back extensions, side bends, hip flexors etc. so these may be the parts of the body that feel the benefits after that particular session. Many people report an overall feeling of stretching, lengthening and relaxation after classes.
“Fantastic yoga, works the inside of the body very strongly whilst at the same time intensely relaxing”
“My body feels light inside, it’s lovely”
-Student feedback 2016
Where does Vayu Aerial Yoga originate?
Ana Prada is the originator of this form of Vayu Aerial Yoga.
Ana was born and raised in Colombia. She has been an aerial dancer and yoga practitioner since 1998. She has shared her talents as a teacher at many different studios in Montreal, Maui, Honolulu and Bogotá as well as at several international workshops and festivals in places such as Hawaii, Miami, Costa Rica and Colombia. She has worked with Cirque du Soleil in Spain, Ulalena in Maui, Antigravity and special events for Cirque Eloize, Cirque Fantastc, and Samadhi Hawaii in Thailand, Switzerland, Canada, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Mexico, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Greece, Colorado and France.
She’s a certified teacher in yoga, pilates, Gyrotonic level 1, Gyrokinesis and Gyrokinesis Pre-trainer. She travels far and wide sharing her teachings, performing and choreographing for different projects. In her works, she is interested in finding a deeper balance and a real organic connection “aerial roots” to be grounded wherever she goes. Vayu Aerial Yoga is the result of years of continuous training and experimenting with all these techniques to create a practice where balance is found, strength and flexibility meet, creating space to open up the body, expanding the mind, and where playing with an open heart is the essence.
In Sanskrit, “Vayu” literally means wind or air.
Where can I practice at home?
People do set up their own hammocks at home and equipment can be purchased – BUT it is essential that fixing points are deemed safe by a structural engineer or other qualified professional and that all equipment is safety certified and regularly tested.
Please feel free to contact us about anything you’d like to know that’s not covered here.