9 Reasons a Yogapeutics Aerial Yoga Hammock is the gift that keeps on giving to the brain, body & family!
Yogapeutics Hammocks are especially helpful for ANY kid (even the grown-up kind) :
1. Yogapeutics hammocks allow the multi-sensory information and movement that a child's brain needs to process information, learn, attend and develop in a healthy way. Our modern day, sedentary yet overscheduled society doesn't leave a lot of room for the type of movement which research shows is necessary for brain development (inverting the head hanging, gliding, balancing, receiving traction & compression of all joints of the body, and having a space to get away from the hustle of life). Did you know that just 15-20 minutes of this type of movement can have a positive effect on behavior that lasts hours? Yogapeutics' hammock allows you to provide this necessary movement and calming, comforting space to your child at your convenience in your own home!
2. 110 degrees outside? Blizzard coming in? Your indoor hammock keeps your kids from cabin fever and protects a parent from insanity! If you live in a location with extreme seasonal weather, there are some times of the year where attempting to obtain outdoor movement opportunities is considered borderline insanity (i.e. August in Austin). The hammock is an awesome way to receive movement when the weather prohibits outdoor adventures. The hammock is also known to maintain any parent's mental health when staying indoors is required. However, hammocks can be set up outside on swing sets or on healthy trees that are assured to support dynamic forces. We do not recommend you leave your hammock outside overnight. The fabric integrity can be compromised by weather.
3. Hammocks are a calming sensory retreat and physical boundary from everyday overload. Research shows children are more stressed as early as 1st grade than in any other time in US history, and that kids can sense stress in their parents lives even when parents do a good job of trying to protect them from it. Teaching stress management techniques to kids is imperative in today's society. As little as 15-20 minutes of child-led movement time or relaxation time in the hammock can have a positive effect on behavior and stress levels for hours to come! In my workshops, I call such sensory retreat a "peace place." I believe it is essential to have a peace place in every home & school environment where the child can go to calm & self-regulate, receive physical comfort from the compressive support of the fabric and have a sense of respite from the hustle and bustle of modern times. Research supports this belief, too!
4. The hammock has many intentional, calming elements. The hammock allows a static and evenly dispersed compression of the body, which is calming to the nervous system (much like a massage is calming). The blue color was chosen intentionally because it has been demonstrated in recent studies to be psychologically calming and to encourage creativity. When inside the hammock, the fabric is sheer enough to see through, and the material breathes easily so the child doesn't get overheated, but the slight concealing nature of the fabric also decreases visual distraction and allows a calming inward focus to be practiced. The linear movements of swaying and swinging have long been shown to calm a nervous system. In fact, the first thing parents naturally do for their newborn babies is to sway and/or swing them into a soothed state. This hammock allows a child to receive such movement, but because the height can be adjusted and the hammock can move in all directions, the child has complete control of how much and which way the movement is facilitated, and to offer a child some sense of control is to also offer self-regulation and self-calming capabilities. Additionally, Yogapeutics hammocks include a "squishy pad," which is like a 20 inch, extra thick yoga mat that can be utilized to make the hammock positions comfortable and as a prop for modifications for the individual person.
5.The nylon fabric is inclusive and supportive! This texture of fabric is tolerated well by kids with tactile sensitivities as it is smooth and seamless. Additionally, it has low to no stretch so while it is malleable to any body shape or size, it simultaneously offers stability for poses and even compression, which is very different than the feeling of practicing poses in stretchy fabric, spandex or high stretch aerial arts fabric.
6. Small space friendly and practical! Unlike bulkier swings with more hard materials, these hammocks don't take up much space (tie them up in a simple knot over your head to have full use of floor space or to remove access to children when unsupervised). Once installed, hammocks are easy to adjust down low to a few inches above the ground or up high using our chained webbing system, which offers about 4.5 feet of adjustable height levels in a few inch increments! I recommend a 6 foot diameter of free space for hammock use, placed at least 4 feet from the wall.
7. Kids won't grow out of these versatile and inclusive gifts! Even the teenagers and adults in the house will be hankering for a hang! All of our hammocks are suitable for adults. The length of the fabric is 7-8 yards long, and the width is 108 inches wide! This is much more fabric than any other sensory swing I've ever seen and allows for two people to get into the hammock (parent and child)! Even my 6'2" tall husband fits inside! Weight limit is 1000-2000 lbs! For advanced poses, the fabric is kinder (less intense compression) to individuals weighing less than 200lbs, for individuals greater than 200lbs, more restorative yoga poses are wonderful in the hammock hung low to the ground! I feel this hammock is for everyone of every age and size! The hardware of the hammock is all safety-rated climbing equipment from my climbing fav, Liberty Mountain, which includes all steel carabiners and nylon safety rated webbing. I've had these in my house for over a year, and you can count on one hand how many times we have skipped a day in the hammock! It's just so convenient right there in the house, and too fun and versatile to ignore!
8. The hammock comes with my wholehearted offering of information to empower you on your aerial yoga journey, online demonstrations so that playful & creative techniques for aerial yoga for kids that I openly share to others. The more, the merrier! When I first bought a yoga hammock almost 2 years ago, there was very little out there by way of instruction for adult use, and certainly nothing for child use. I received a hammock in a box without instructions or information on how to use it safely, and it was up to me to figure the rest out. That's a difficult and expensive way to learn, and most of us don't have time, resources or energy for that laborious route. I get emails from around the world daily requesting a way to learn aerial yoga for kids, and I don't intend to hold any this information back from anyone seeking to better a child's life and play through aerial yoga. That's why I offer an exclusive access to anyone who purchases a hammock to view my demo page with online videos that are regularly added!
9. The hammock is actually only the icing on the cake. The real core offering of this gift, is that it introduces so many kids to yoga in a playful and interesting way. The fun-factor of the hammock brings kids to the mat that may not otherwise come, and often holds them there for a bit longer than if it were all on the floor. As a child develops motor skill, coordination, and receives sensory nutrition for brain development, she also takes with her an ability to trust beyond herself, to try something new for mental flexibility, to practice self development of mindfulness, gratitude and kindness, to learn coping strategies and stress management techniques and develop healthy awareness of her own needs and individual make-up. Yoga is something your child can do his whole life through, no matter age or ability, and it offers a healthy coping technique for walking through life, being himself and honoring his own neurology. Yoga teaches kids how to walk down life's path with a sense of peace, no matter what obstacle they may discover before them. This is more than just a gift or a toy you would give them; it's a healthy way of life and a legacy of love and compassion.
But don't take my word for it, check out what Angie Voss, OTR, has to say about aerial yoga from Yogapeutics on her sensory benefits page! She would know as she's the author of bestselling Understanding Your Child's Sensory Signals (currently rated 4.9/5 stars by 147 reviews on Amazon) and owner of an amazing, free sensory resource, ASensoryLife.com
See my You Tube Video below, which is a sample of the kinds of videos you see on the online demonstration site. Here's a Yogapeutics original rhyme to help kids sequence the steps of Monkey Hang:
Sit up tall.
Grab on strong.
Take a deep breath in.
Make your breath out long.
Eyes look high.
Legs spread wide.
Lean way back.
Feet and toes wrap.
Hands let go, now join the gang!
Here you are in Monkey Hang!
Lindsey Lieneck, MS, OTR, RYT, is owner of Yogapeutics in Austin, TX where she has developed the Yogapeutics Aerial Yoga & Mindfulness curriculum for kids. She teaches classes, consults with parents & schools and educates other professionals on the Yogapeutics curriculum. Read more about Lindsey HERE.
See the Yogapeutics class schedule and offerings: