A few years ago you will have to be born in a circus family or to be enrolled in a professional circus school to be able to learn any kind of aerial acrobatics.
Thanks to the popularity of this discipline, nowadays you can find recreational aerial classes in studios, fitness centers or gym
When I am talking about recreational classes I am referring to the classes where the ultimate goal is not to be a professional performer. And when I am talking about aerial acrobatics I am referring about learning different type of movements and skills in aerial apparatus like aerial silk, aerial trapeze, aerial hoop or aerial rope.
Learning this kind of activities at a young age will help the young person to develop body awareness, self-confidence, and love for the sport.
For a better understanding I like to compare aerial acrobatics with gymnastics, they are quite similar in the organization of the class, teaching techniques, and learning procedures.
The strength, flexibility, and balance that the kid will gain from working on gymnastics skills will transfer easily to every other sport that he or she might want to pursue.
You can find gymnastics classes for children as young as 2 years of age, but many coaches and PE teachers will agree that it’s better to wait until your child is 5 or 6 before enrolling in a gymnastics program.
Spending time with parent-child “classes” at home that emphasizes climbing, crawling, and jumping is a gentle way for children 2 to 3 years of age to develop their physical coordination and self-confidence.
As the PE teacher I am, when I teach I follow Piaget’s cognitive stages of development, which it says that at the age of 6, the children’s thinking becomes less egocentric and they are increasingly aware of external events, they begin to realize that one’s own thoughts and feelings are unique and may not be shared by others or may not even be part of reality.
At this time, elementary-age and preadolescent children demonstrate logical, concrete reasoning, their language became more mature. That means they will be able to communicate in a better way with the teacher and with other students during the class. They are transitioning from a preoperational stage (toddlerhood 18-24 months) to a concrete operational development stage at the early childhood (ages of 6-7 to 12). Their way of thinking is less symbolic and more concrete, being capable to understand concepts such as to cause and effect, time, and comparison. They can tell what is wrong, what is right and how can we correct this. They are at the ideal stage, to begin with, classes like aerial circus acrobatics or gymnastics
Although teaching to the people of this age can be certainly a challenge, it can also be so rewarding when seeing their faces light up every time they a achieve with success something new.
The classes should have a safe and fun approach because practicing sports when you are a kid can lay the groundwork for a lifetime of healthy habits.
As a conclusion for the explanation above, I suggest the ages of 6-7 to start with classes like aerial circus acrobatics or gymnastics.
When participating to this classes they should:
Wear comfortable sport clothing.
No shoes needed.
Bring their own water bottle.
I recently started with a kids aaerial acrobatics summer program in Cayman Islands, where I am currently living. I have to be honest I haven’t taught to children in a long time so I had to take off the dust of my “old activities” book “, but I am absloutley loving in it.
It last 2 weeks in July and 2 weeks in August 2019
If you would like to know more about it I am sharing here link so you can take a look
“How do other aerialists make this all look so effortless and graceful?”.
I get that question quite often
The answer is: CONDITIONING.
Efficient conditioning done consistently, with proper rest and recovery.
Did you know that yoga can help you to improve your conditioning practice?
Yes!, Yoga can help so many people in so many way.
And the best of all, you don’t need to be flexible to start practicing,
Let me tell you something, when I was in my earliest twenties I had a lot of energy and I only care about improving my physical condition without being aware on how important it is to work in your wellbeing integrating mind, body and soul in order to improve yourself in any discipline.
Maybe you are like me and you practice aerial circus acrobatics, maybe you are a professional or you just started taking classes. Maybe you are a gymnast, a pole dancer, a rock climber or you just enjoy to play around practicing acrobatics postures of yoga like headstand, crows and arm balances.
If so, let me ask you somehting;
How long have you been practicing and how much have you improve?
It is already proved that we won’t get different result by doing always the same thing.
Every time I am in my trainings dealing with a hard move during my climbing sessions or if I am trying an inverted posture in my aerial silks trainings; I try to take the time to discover a new awareness of the posture and focus my attention in the details.
How do I feel my feet? Am I using my strength in an efficient way?
To be able to brig your mind to be present in the moment is something I learned form my yoga practice and I can transfer that to any other areas of my life.
It helps me so much what I practice on the mat to prepare my body and my mind to be ready for my aerial trainings or when I go to rock climb for fun.
But you might be wondering how does that exactly happen?
Basically I practice de yoga postures where I am using the same muscles or similar movements I will do later in my trainings.
1- If I am working in improving my straddle position for the aerial trainings; in yoga I will practice Upavistha Konasana
2- If I am working an aerial pose or trick witch demands lots of shoulder opening in yoga I will practice Reverse Prayer Pose, also known in Sanskrit as Viparita Namaskarasana and I make sure that I am present with intention the palms of my hands as well as my fingers.
In Sanskrit the name is Paschim Namaskara or Paschim Namaste.
💗It is a heart-opening posture that increases flexibility and strength in the arms, shoulders, chest, and wrists.
You don’t need any equipment to practice but you can experiment trying to hold a yoga block or something in between your reverse prayer hands
3- If I want to work in the flexibility of my spine ; I will practice a yoga twist pose named, Marichyasana twist. (there are many variations of the pose)
It calms the mind and the body.
It stretches the shoulders and the upper back.
Massages the internal organs and improves digestion.
None, but you could use a yoga strap or a belt to hold between the hands if needed.
3- Urdhva Dhanurasana pose also known in English as the Bridge pose.
Expands chest, lungs, shoulders.
Stretches hip flexors, muscles of the abdomen, wrists.
Strengthens the gluteus, hamstrings, lower back muscles
Enlivens the heart chakra and throat chakra.
You don’t need any equipment to practice but you can experiment trying to push from a safe elevated surface like yoga blocks or the step of stairs, if you feel your shoulders are tight.
And the examples can go on; because I have been there I know how it feel when you can not tell what are you doing wrong and why you can make any progress an an specify posture or trick.
Bringing together my years of experiences as a practitioner, my university education and my observance in my students; I have create a conditioning workshop specific for people who practice aerial circus acrobatics, such us aerial hoop, aerial silk or aerial trapeze combining yoga tools and physical education trainings.
If it happen you are in Cayman Islands I am leaving here a flyer with the info and a link.
If you are no currently in Cayman Islands but you understand the importance of working your body with love and awareness being respectful of your possibilities and limitation, knowing these limitation will transform in achievements with the practice then add other kind of practice like yoga to improve your training.
I will suggest to practice:
Vinyasa yoga if you are looking to build endurance
Hatha Yoga to cultivate more awareness.
Restorative yoga to rest and recover your body.
Are you interested in having access to an online training where you can practice at home?
Let me know, send me an email to tell me what would you like to learn online to make your performance as an acrobat easier
Join the Facebook Group, Yoga for every Acrobat and take advantage of the weekly videos tutorials I posted with easy yoga postures to practice at home
Find the practice that suits you better.
“We are spiritual beings having a human experience “