All you have to do is look at a quick yoga trapeze video (or watch the aerial silks at a Cirque du Soleil show) to understand that aerial yoga is inherently fun. Tweens and teens are drawn to the trapeze and silks because they present so many approachable ways to spin, flip, and climb. Luckily, Yoga Trapeze class has tons of benefits for that age group.
Yoga Trapeze Encourages Pushing and Pulling
Pushing and pulling are some of the most functional movements we can practice when building strength, but modern life doesn’t do much to encourage us to develop them. When working on the rigs, we spend time pulling our body weight up and pushing our arms against gravity. That’s much more approachable than a push-up or pull-up.
Working the Yoga Trapeze Builds Core Strength
Kids spend more time sitting than ever before, which can lead to a weak core. Many yoga trapeze poses aren’t possible without building enough strength. Younger kids might try core exercises for the sake of trying something new, but older kids and teens often need a quantifiable goal to make the hard work seem worthwhile. Even if they never progress to the most core-heavy poses, they’ll build a strong muscular foundation by working towards them.
Practicing Yoga Postures Off the Ground Promotes Joint Stability.
One of the first things you’ll notice when watching tweens and teens practice yoga is that they are very bendy. In a lot of ways, that’s great, but it can also be a recipe for injury. Flexibility is nice, but we also need stability.
When muscles can stretch past the point where they are able to keep their joints stable and protected, it’s very easy to hyperextend, cause a strain, or generally overtax a joint. Any sort of yoga, done mindfully, can build joint stability, but the yoga trapeze takes away gravity and the steady ground. As you move and stretch in the yoga trapeze, your body has to work extra hard to stay balanced and stable. It’s as if you were trying to keep that loose puzzle piece from wobbling around. This extra effort your body makes helps to strengthen the muscles around your joints. When your muscles are strong, they act like a protective shield for your joints, making them more stable.
Yoga Trapeze Provides Vestibular Input
The transition from kid to teen can be rough. Bodies are changing, hormones are shifting, and a lot of the tools used for emotional regulation in childhood no longer work as well.
Our vestibular system can be a powerful tool for self-soothing and focusing attention, and it helps us understand where our bodies are in space. Both are things the average teen or tween needs help with!
When we’re spinning, flipping, hanging upside down, or wobbling in or on a yoga trapeze, the vestibular system is getting a solid workout and strengthening its connection to help the body and mind be more stable outside of yoga class.
Mastering Yoga Trapeze Skills Builds Self-Esteem & Confidence
A lot of the yoga trapeze poses look very complicated, but they’re really just something new. Broken down in a class, they’re actually pretty simple to execute. Because our yoga trapeze teachers are specifically trained to work with kids, they know how to present poses and lesson plans that set tweens and teens up for success. Even if it takes a full semester (or year) to work up to a pose, having a goal and working towards it with a group to cheer you on goes a long way towards self-esteem and confidence–and that carries over to life outside of class.
Group Class Activities Build Social Collaboration & Camaraderie
The shared experience of such a novel activity creates a sense of unity and connection that isn’t present in every teen’s life. In yoga trapeze class, we laugh, we share tips on how to get into (or out of) a pose, and we work together to create new ways to use the trapeze and new flows of poses. Students cheer each other on, have a chance to lead, to learn from their peers, and undertake shared challenges. This sense of social connection can be one of the pieces that hold a teen’s mental well-being in place during what can be a very turbulent phase of development.
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About the Author
Jessica LaGarde has been teaching creative movement in the metro area since 2005 and is passionate about helping children discover and explore their bodies and the world around them. She was trained by Joye Newman, MA to teach preschool creative movement for Kids’ Moving Company, a Bethesda-based creative movement studio. In 2017, she completed her Baby, Toddler, and Children’s Yoga Teacher Training through Childlight Yoga.
In addition to working with preschoolers, Jessica is a registered massage practitioner and is trained in infant massage instruction. She has practiced massage for over twelve years and taught massage as part of Potomac Massage Training Institute’s professional training program. Outside of the movement space and massage room, she enjoys cooking, knitting, sewing, gardening and exploring the outdoors with her daughter.