Category: In The Press

Aerial Yoga Magazine, Who Knew?

Hey, did you know there is a whole magazine called, Aerial Yoga? I didn’t. But this summer, the magazine’s founder and creator, Camille, contacted me for an interview. She asked some fantastic questions, and the whole article just came out. It looks really good!

Way back when I started Unnata Yoga, aerial yoga as a yoga method didn’t exist. Yes, some yogis centuries ago hung from trees, and even decades ago yogis began to hang from ropes and hammocks. But all that time, trees, ropes and hammocks were used more as a way to prepare for the yoga asana class, not to be used throughout and as the yoga asana class.

Well, all that changed once aerial yoga captured the general public’s imagination. And, pioneering yoga teachers like myself contributed to the development of what has now (16 years later!) become an entire method for practicing yoga. Aerial yoga classes can be found in almost every city, and there are numerous places to purchase aerial yoga hammocks for at-home use, too.

Fast forward to 2020, and now there’s an online journal called “Aerial Yoga Magazine.”

If you’re interested in reading the interview, or the magazine in general, check them out at:

Or, if you prefer to interview me with your own questions, I periodically host “Ask Me Anything” livestreams. There is one coming up on Sunday, October 16, 2022 at noon (New York City time zone). Feel free to join me!

Michelle and Aerial Yoga a Good Fit for Verywell Fit Article

Did you know Michelle Dortignac, founder of Unnata® Aerial Yoga, continues to be the leading expert on aerial yoga? On a regular basis, we here at get requests from news sources all over the world to contribute as the “industry expert” on all aspects of aerial yoga. And, Michelle is always happy to help educate and inspire.

Most recently, Michelle was invited by Verywell Fit to weigh in on topics such as: the benefits of aerial yoga, the pros and cons of aerial yoga at home vs. at a studio, what to look for in an aerial yoga studio and even how to begin an aerial yoga practice.

Here’s an excerpt from the article…

“At its core, an aerial yoga class guides you through the same types of yoga positions you experience in a traditional yoga class,” says Michelle Dortignac, founder of Unnata Aerial Yoga. “The difference being that the hammock offers support at key places, allowing you to spend more time in a position, and adjust your alignment.”

According to their website, Verywell Fit “uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles.” Seeing as our main mission for Unnata Aerial Yoga is to maintain high standards and high value, we support Verywell Fit’s mission and the general news industry as much as we can! Just like the yoga hammock supports the yoga student.

Want to know why alignment is so important for yoga? How about the pros and cons to aerial yoga at home vs. at a studio? Read the full article here.

4 Yoga Hybrids You Might Want to Try

Even though we know our yoga practice will help us feel better both physically and mentally, sometimes our motivation and dedication slips due to the ups and downs of life.

It’s during these times we can turn to a yoga hybrid to inspire us. Since a yoga hybrid combines traditional yoga postures with something new, interesting and fun, the end result can spark our curiosity and re-ignite our desire to seek better health.

The Unnata community and our teachers love innovation and experimentation, which may be why Unnata can be found in many countries around the world.

Recently, Russia’s channel 5 news featured Unnata Aerial Yoga along with several other yoga hybrid classes in their article, “Cleansing Your Mind: how yoga helps and why is it so popular?” Some of the combinations are surprising!


And, here’s some bonus footage that didn’t make it into the Russian article. Michelle predicts the next innovation in the evolution of yoga…

There are people who watch the news, and then there are people who make the news. When you spark your own creativity, there’s no telling where your intuition will take you in life, and what you will invent! You don’t have to wind up on television, or cultivate thousands of followers on YouTube/Instagram/Twitter to influence the world you live in, and to be a shining light of positivity for those around you.

Now, go take a yoga class! 😉

See the Russian article on their own site.

Discovering Unnata Bed Yoga

Unnata Bed Yoga classes were recently featured in an article over on Redfin, a new real estate search website!

The article entitled “5 Ways to Create a Self-Care Sanctuary in Your Home” explores creative ways to stay healthy at home during this period of self-isolation, when we might be struggling to feel at ease.

Michelle talks about her Unnata Bed Yoga video series under the section header, “Get creative with household items to adapt your workout.”

Here’s what Michelle says in “pro tips and tricks”:

“Yoga is one of the best ways to reduce stress and anxiety because it specifically works on the autonomic nervous system to bring us back from the state of fight/flight/freeze. Because we know most people don’t have a hammock in their house, we’ve started a series of videos in which we use a regular bed, instead of an aerial hammock, to drape over.”

Want to check out an Unnata Bed Yoga class? Visit our Vimeo On Demand page to watch the trailers, and find out more.

Also, be sure to read the full article over on Redfin for more great ideas!

13 February 2018/Resource Aerial Yoga

We recently came across an article written in February 2018 by Occupational Therapist, Christy Jo Edgerle, MS, OTR/L.

In this article, Edgerle and her young students, take an Unnata® class at our member studio Kula Yoga and Wellness, in Wisconsin. Edgerle dives into the scientifically proven benefits of Unnata® Yoga including ‘upside-down play,’ and ‘vestibular, proprioceptive and tactile input,’ what those are and how they are beneficial for children and also for adults.

Edgerle shares her new-found love for the Unnata® Method and how excited the children were taking it.

Read the glowing article below:

In my recent adventures of exploring new and exciting ways to both relax and exercise, I came across the practice of aerial yoga. As an Occupational Therapist, I couldn’t help but think of how my kiddos would benefit from it! —

Since reaching out to local businesses that have aerial yoga, a few of my co-workers and I were able try it out and take some tips and tricks back to our practice (many thanks to Kula Yoga & Wellness for the opportunity). Just as we imagined, our kiddos literally rose to the challenge to try different yoga-inspired positions and loved it!

The experience we’ve had introducing it to our kiddos has been so great that I thought I would research and share my findings about the benefits of aerial yoga (for kids and adults alike).

What is Aerial Yoga?

According to the Unnata Aerial Yoga website,
“Aerial yoga is a fun and transformative new way to practice traditional yoga. Using a soft, fabric aerial hammock suspended from the ceiling, you’ll explore new and traditional yoga postures with your body weight partially or fully supported. This allows you to expand flexibility, increase range of motion, build strength, lengthen the spine, and relax the nervous system. Never more than a few feet off the ground, you’ll let go into gravity, be held in the hammock, and awaken yogic bliss.”

Watch this video to check out how aerial yoga can be implemented in the pediatric setting. It is is an example of a session developed and facilitated by Lindsey Lieneck, MS, OTR/L RYT of Yogapeutics in Austin, Texas.

What does this mean for us and our kiddos?

It is a SENSEational experience

Aerial yoga offers a unique opportunity for vestibular, proprioceptive and tactile input.

Vestibular input is received within the inner ear. It detects changes in head position with changes in level and direction from the swinging motion of the suspended hammock. In aerial yoga, you are encouraged to explore going upside down, which offers an array of benefits including improved circulation, and flexibility. Exposure to vestibular input in a safe way can help to improve balance and coordination. Click here for more info on the importance of “upside down play.”

Proprioceptive input is received from the deep pressure of the material against the body when resistance is applied, which can have a calming effect on the nervous system and improve body awareness.

The tactile input is received from the material against the skin. Therefore, kiddos seeking these types of sensory input, or who would benefit from further development of these systems, could benefit from what aerial yoga has to offer.

It Can Help Target A Wide Range of Muscle Groups and Skill Areas

Aerial yoga can be used to target many different muscle groups.

  • For example, gripping onto the aerial material during movements helps promote hand strengthening, maintaining the head and neck in a neutral position helps to develop head and neck strength, lifting the legs and acquiring positions helps develop core and back strength. Aerial yoga positions typically require a couple steps to complete; therefore, a wide range of skills can be targeted, including: sequencing, working memory, imitation skills, attention, motor planning, and coordination (of one or both sides of the body).

Additionally, the hammock style and element of suspension can act as a unique tool to help facilitate traditional floor yoga positions that may be too advanced due to a lack of strength/endurance/flexibility. This essentially makes traditional yoga even more accessible, providing an opportunity for the brain and muscles to experience the feeling of which muscles should be activating in order to sustain a pose.

It Can Promote Emotional Wellness

The first thing you will notice when the kids (and adults alike) are practicing aerial yoga are the smiles on all the faces. Aerial yoga can be fun! The second thing you will notice will be the shine of confidence and perseverance. The poses are enticing to imitate and practice, which makes it even more rewarding once the positions are achieved.

Engaging in this new view, the individual’s perspectives of their world, their abilities and the creative possibilities widen just a little bit. It also helps to create a positive association to fitness and yoga as a meaningful occupation. This opens the door to share and teach the many benefits of yoga (e.g., breathing, mindfulness). Skill building, a sense of self-efficacy, and fun with fitness are really big rewards for anyone, especially our kiddos. Aerial yoga truly is SENSEational!

So, whoever you are, parent or teacher looking to try something new, I encourage you to explore the world of aerial yoga! If you are interested about learning more, here are some resources you may want to explore:

Local Resources:
Cottage Grove, WI
*(offering Tween Aerial Classes, private lessons, both adult and children’s birthday party options and more!) *

Madison Circus Space 
Madison, WI
(offering various classes, lessons and even a $15 Try It Out Class)

The American Center at UW Health
Madison, WI

Not-So-Local Resources:
Austin, TX
(offering teacher trainings and hammock sets and information for in-home installation)

Unnata Aerial Yoga
(offering info about aerial yoga, teacher trainings, blog, find classes near you)

Written By: Christy Jo Edgerle, MS, OTR/L
Occupational Therapist

This 2006 Article about Unnata Yoga is still One of the Best!

One of our favorite articles about Unnata Yoga appeared all the way back in 2006, in the healthy lifestyle website!

We loved the fun ice cream yoga analogies the author conjured up, but were super happy that he didn’t miss the deeper point; that Unnata Yoga “remains true to yoga principles and focuses on finding inner peace.” And 13 years later that’s still 100% true.

We’ve recreated the article for easy reading — check it out below!

Aerial Yoga: Grounding with Gravity

by Paul Freibott on June 8, 2006

Sometimes it seems that yoga’s the vanilla ice cream of the body/mind/spirit crowd—people can’t help themselves from sprinkling on their favorite toppings and swirling extras into the basic flavor. How else to perceive AcroYoga, Yogilates, and Cy-Yo, if not as the yogic versions of fudge ripple?

Yes, in Mysore, eyes would surely roll at comparing yoga to a frozen dessert, but in the U.S., yoga can be a delicious starting point for creativity. Just ask Aerial Yoga instructor Michelle Dortignac, who merged her background in dance, her training in the aerial circus art of tissu or “silks,” and her study of yoga at none less than the legendary Dharma Yoga Center in New York. The result: a hybrid form that remains true to yoga principles and focuses on finding inner peace.

How does one feel grounded, without actually being on the ground? “Gravity always works, and it always works in one direction,” Dortignac explains on her website. Students “have no choice but to learn proper alignment.” Aerial Yoga classes take place half on the floor, half “very close to the floor,” with the support of a soft cloth trapeze. Gravity’s effects surely make letting go easier—provided that cloth is tightly secured. According to Dortignac, Aerial Yoga not only helps students understand alignment, but also strengthens core muscles, increases spinal flexibility, avoids back strain, strengthens shoulders and increases shoulder flexibility, and “increases the amount of fun in your life!” Unlike the seemingly similar AcroYoga, which requires a comfortable inversion practice before starting, Aerial Yoga welcomes beginners.

My advice to vanilla yoga purists? Consider it an acquired taste, and take heart. At least it’s not the instant raspberry chai latte version of yoga.

Unnata Yoga: Hammocks Used in Harmony

Unnata founder Michelle Dortignac was recently interviewed for the September 2018 edition of British magazine “In The Moment, mindful ways to live your life well”.

Author Alice Whitehead writes of Unnata Yoga that “the hammocks are used in harmony with more traditional, static yoga poses, in a more yin style, to achieve proper posture through relaxation rather than effort.”

That’s a wonderful description; the author really understood the difference that Michelle has created with Unnata Yoga.

Michelle elaborates in the article, “I wanted to create a method that worked for the average person, not just for athletes. I don’t think of yoga and aerial yoga as being different from each other – we integrate floor and air and reap the benefits of both. The sensation of hanging gives lightness to the heart somehow. It brings me joy.”

See entire article here (PDF).

Shanghai Daily,上海日报 takes a look into Unnata® Aerial Yoga

Unnata® Aerial Yoga is thrilled that Michelle Dortignac has been interviewed in In the interview Michelle explains her reasoning behind starting Unnata® Aerial Yoga, how it has grown throughout the years and its numerous health benefits. In the article Michelle also explains how Unnata® is specifically different from other kinds of popular aerial yoga classes, keeping the authentic traditions of yoga at the forefront of the method.

“When I first started working with an aerial apparatus, I could feel how it was helping support my yoga training,” recalled Dortignac.

“Aerial yoga can help a student develop what is necessary to eventually be able to do a headstand without the hammock assisting them,” explained Dortignac. “I think of the hammock as I do other tools used in yoga classes such as bolsters, blocks and belts.”

Read the original article by ZHU Jing on the Shanghai website

Unnata Aerial Yoga Featured in DOYOUYOGA!

Unnata Aerial Yoga has been featured as number 2 of the 8 new styles of Yoga “You Need to Try!”

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“Aerial yoga has definitely caught on in the past few years, and it’s easy to see why. Who wouldn’t love to invert with ease, with the added bonus of feeling weightless?

Unnata Aerial Yoga got the Aerial ball rolling, and is a traditional yoga asana class that uses a hammock hung from the ceiling to help you with many of the traditional floor postures. Sometimes your body is partially supported by the hammock, and sometimes it’s supported fully.

Give this awesome style of yoga a try the next time you get a chance, and find Unnata Aerial Yoga.”

See the full article on the DOYOUYOGA website.