Aerial yoga, a modern variation on traditional yoga practices, uses hammocks or "silks" to support participants in midair, where they execute a range of postures, also known as "asanas." If you'd like to try aerial yoga, first contact local studios to try out a class. To continue the practice at home, you can make your own hammock either with a ready-made yoga silk and appropriate hardware or with comparable fabric of equal strength. You need a sturdy, exposed I-beam to hang your hammock safely.
Making the Sling
Select nylon or polyester fabric with a load rating that exceeds your body weight. Order only from a reputable fabric vendor or from a company that specializes in fabric for acrobatics or hammocks. Opt for nonstretchy fabric if you are a beginner at aerial yoga.
Cut the fabric into a single strip measuring approximately 60 to 180 inches wide, depending on how wide a hammock you want. Determine the length of the fabric by doubling the height of your ceiling.
Sew the strip into a loop using high-strength thread designed to bear weight well above your own body weight. Use a sewing machine instead of hand sewing. Seek the advice of a qualified seamstress if you are inexperienced at sewing for high-strength applications. Alternately, tie the strip into a strong knot instead of sewing.
Making the Brace
Select a location for your hammock along an exposed I-beam. Use the square of carpet or thick fabric to wrap around the exposed I-beam to protect the fabric from any sharp edges. Consult with a contractor or other building professional to verify the strength of the ceiling beam you use.
Wrap a polyester sling of high-strength fabric around the carpet-wrapped I-beam. Use a non-stretchy sling that is large enough to loosely wrap around the beam without any tension and has the form of a loop. Pass one end of the loop through the other, so it hangs securely from the beam with a looped end hanging downward.
Hook a high-strength, locking carabiner to the hanging loop of polyester sling. Thread the hammock through the carabiner and lock it securely closed. Test the hammock by keeping your feet on the ground and leaning into it with all your weight. Do not hang upside down or use it to support all your weight until after you have tested it.