Kaya Aerial Yoga | What to Expect
Kaya Aerial Yoga is a popular and Vata Asana certified aerial studio in Philadelphia's Old City neighborhood offering all levels of aerial yoga instruction, restorative yoga classes, circus arts training on silks and lyra, and a wide variety of yoga, Ayurvedic, and other health and wellness workshops. All of our teachers are Yoga Alliance certified, and we offer a range of classes geared toward all skill and fitness levels.
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What to Expect

New to aerial yoga? Not sure what class you should take? Don’t know what to bring or expect from class?


Then you’re in the right place. Just click through the text below to find answers to your most pressing aerial questions. And if there’s anything we haven’t covered, you can always reach us by email at fly@kayaaerialyoga.com, or by phone at 215-550-5344. (Feel free to send us a text message.)

What is aerial yoga?

Aerial yoga is a relatively new method of yoga that uses an aerial hammock, or “swing,” to help the practitioner achieve various poses and sequences in traditional yoga.


By relieving 20-80% of body weight, the hammock allows students to rapidly increase their flexibility while improving balance and core strength. In doing so, students are able to more reach more advanced yoga poses, like inversions, offering drastic improvements in health and vitality in a short amount of time. In addition to the benefits of yoga, our methodology incorporates the hammocks in “wraps” that gently massage and stimulate various acupressure meridians of the body. One of the wraps specifically massages the lymph nodes, facilitating powerful detoxifying effects.


Along with aerial yoga, we also offer aerial hammock dance, Pilates, and other aerial fitness classes, all designed to help you look and feel your best. Aerial yoga and aerial arts in general have a unique way of lifting the spirit and reminding the practitioner of their unique insight, strength, and value as a person.

Can I take aerial yoga?

Yes! Almost anyone can take and enjoy the many health benefits of aerial yoga. We have clients and teachers of all ages, including men and women, college students and senior citizens.


With that said, those suffering from certain injuries and medical conditions should avoid aerial practice. Such conditions may include unmanaged high or low blood pressure, recent surgery, glaucoma, recent brain injury, and other chronic cardiovascular conditions. Women who are pregnant should not start a new aerial practice, but if they are already acclimated to an aerial workout, they may continue at a reasonable and gentle pace up to the third trimester.


As with all exercise programs, we strongly advise anyone suffering from any kind of medical condition or injury to consult their doctor before beginning aerial yoga.

What class should I take first?

All new clients must begin by taking our First Flight: Intro to Aerial Yoga class at least once. Along with beginning to familiarize students with the process of using the fabric, the First Flight class gives new students the knowledge and confidence they need to get into poses safely. Kaya’s First Flight class is the first step you’ll take as you build the bedrock for your aerial practice.


Depending on your current fitness level, previous aerial experience, and general comfort with the basic aerial wraps and poses, you can then move up to our intermediate classes—and beyond—as your abilities and interests allow.


During your initial First Flight class, one of our instructors will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and to make recommendations in terms of the classes that will best meet your current practice goals.

I'm a yogi (or dancer, gymnast, Pilates instructor, etc.), do I really need to take First Flight?

Yes, absolutely! Aerial yoga is different from traditional yoga, dance, Pilates, and other movement methodologies. Even if you already have the fitness level and body awareness these practices provide, it is nevertheless essential that you learn the basic wraps and safety taught in our First Flight class.


Aerial yoga and the aerial arts require that practitioners build strength in areas of the body that other fitness, yoga, and dance programs may not provide. This is most true when it comes to forearm strength, which is essential for our upper-level (advanced) classes.

What should I wear to class?

You should wear form-fitting clothing in breathable cotton fabrics.  New aerial students may also want to wear a shirt that covers the underarms, as some of the wraps may cause discomfort at first. Cotton leggings, fitted yoga pants, tanks, T-shirts, and other yoga basics all work great. Please avoid clothing with a shiny or slippery surface and anything non-breathable; these can become very uncomfortable as the detoxifying poses often stimulate a lot of sweating.


Women may want to want to wear a properly fitted sports bra, as wardrobe issues during inversions and other upside-down poses and transitions are not uncommon. While many men prefer to wear shorts, new male students may want to wear pants until they become more comfortable in the wraps.


For safety concerns as well as to protect the hammock fabric, what NOT to wear is more of a concern. You must remove all of the following items before entering the hammock studio:


  • Shoes
  • Jewelry of any kind, including earrings
  • Yoga socks or other yoga footwear
  • Clothing with gems, sequins, glitter, or other sharp or abrasive surfaces

What do I need to bring?

Most of our clients bring nothing but themselves! We provide complimentary water, towels, and mats. Mats aren’t usually used, but some people do prefer having them available during our core classes to have the extra padding and grip while in plank poses. Please feel free to bring your own water bottle and hand towel. Also, since we always ask students to remove any of their jewelry before class begins, you may want to consider leaving any pieces of jewelry at home that you wouldn’t be comfortable leaving in our cubby room. (We do, however, have a ring tree in our studio, and you’re always welcome to bring any valuables with you into the studio during class, if you’d prefer.)

What if I'm late?

We recommend arriving roughly 10 minutes prior to the scheduled start time of your class. Because our instructors must adjust the studio’s hammocks to accommodate each client’s height, students who arrive a bit early help us to begin class on time. Prompt arrivals also ensure that each class runs the entire hour.


In terms of late arrivals, we do allow a five-minute grace period. Clients arriving more than five minutes late, however, will be denied entry and are subject to our cancellation policy. Late admissions are left entirely to the discretion of the instructor. We apologize for any inconvenience, but late-arriving clients often disrupt students during their centering exercises, and in some of our more strenuous and high-impact classes, arriving late and participating while not warmed up can be dangerous, and can result in injury.


If you know you are going to be late, please call the studio at 215-550-5344 to see if you can be accommodated or rescheduled for another class.

Can I eat or drink before class?

Because you will be inverting (going upside down) during class, we advise clients not to eat or drink anything acidic for at least an hour before class starts. This is especially important during the early stages of your aerial practice, as your body won’t be used to inverting yet.

What if I'm really out of shape, or have never worked out before?

Aerial yoga is a great way to get in shape, and we support and encourage clients of all shapes and sizes. We do not judge anyone, and we understand that everyone is in a different place in their journey.


If you are concerned that you may need additional support, we strongly recommend starting with a private appointment before moving into a larger group class. We offer private appointments for one, two, three, or more people. Aerial yoga does require some core and overall body strength, and our instructors are able to provide you with more modifications and personal support during private instruction.


Many of our instructors have experience and certifications in a number of health and fitness related fields, and can help tailor an aerial plan into your overall fitness and wellness goals.

Is aerial yoga safe?

All exercise entails some level of risk, and aerial yoga is no different. That said, we take the safety of our clients and instructors very seriously.


Our yoga hammocks are rigged to hold 1,000 lbs., and we will be improving this safety ratio even further this summer to gain more studio height and better facilitate our upper level conditioning and circus classes.


The most common cause of discomfort when beginning an aerial practice is due to the wraps themselves, and you may experience some minor irritation, discomfort, and even bruising as you condition your body to the sensation and pressure of the wraps. Some people may also experience dizziness as a result of inverting, and we take great care in our classes to ensure adequate time is allowed for clients to breathe and reconnect with the earth after inversions.


It is essential that you inform your instructor of any existing medical issues, injuries, or other concerns before beginning class. It’s also essential that you review the “Can I take aerial yoga?” section above, to ensure you do not have a condition that may prevent your practice.

Where is your studio?

We are located not far from the corner of N 3rd and Race streets, at 225 Quarry Street, just behind Cafe Ole in the Old City neighborhood of Philadelphia. We usually tell customers that if Cafe Ole had a back exit (which it actually doesn’t), and if you were to walk out that back exit, you’d find yourself in the parking lot in which our studio sits. Cafe Ole’s address is 147 N 3rd St.


One important note: Although we are located in a parking lot, the lot is unfortunately not ours. It’s a private lot, and you run the very real risk of having your car towed if you park there. So please don’t! (When our clients park there, it also gets us in a lot of trouble with the people who pay good money to rent a space in the lot each month.)

Please see the detailed map on our Contact Us page for other nearby landmarks.

Do you have parking?

No, we do not have parking. Interestingly enough, our studio is actually located in a parking lot, but unfortunately the lot is not ours. It’s a private lot, and you run the very real risk of having your car towed if you park there for any length of time. Please do not park there!


Ample street parking exists nearby on N. 2nd St., N. 3rd St., Arch St., and Race St. If you find yourself having a tough time finding an available parking spot, drive a little further north towards New St., Vine St., and Wood St.


Street parking in Old City is free on First Fridays (after 6:30 pm in most locations), and all day on Sundays.