Defy the laws of gravity. How does lazing around in a hammock while improving your fitness sound? Well, not quite lazing - but a fitness class involving hammocks sounds like our kind of workout. AntiGravity Yoga combines traditional yoga principles with elements from aerial acrobatics, dance, Pilates and calisthenics - all while hanging from the ceiling in a specially designed AntiGravity Hammock. The fitness regime - designed by Broadway aerial choreographer Christopher Harrison - helps relieve compressed joints and align the body from head to toe, using the compression of gravity. This improves overall health and physical agility - not just a casual hanging out, then!
Like traditional yoga, AntiGravity Yoga moves vary in difficulty. The technique was originally created for improving flexibility and fitness in athletes and gymnasts - luckily it has now been adapted for us mere mortals, too. A typical class involves being suspended in the AntiGravity Hammock- a piece of fabric connected from two overhead points that acts like a swing or soft trapeze and carrying out specially selected moves. As you cling on to the material and hang to your heart’s content, by the end of the class you’ll have experienced a great upper body and core workout. We wonder what Tarzan would make of it...
You don’t need to take much with you when attending a class - just make sure you are wearing suitable sports clothing with no jewellery or loose items that could catch in the hammock. The instructor will make sure you are doing the moves properly and will give you an alternative to any positions you cannot do or find difficult. Don’t worry if you’re not a fan of heights- during inversions you’ll be only 3 inches off the ground! Phew...
Most of the time, it’s up to you how hard you work your body during AntiGravity Yoga. Moves can be adapted and made easier or harder- as you grow more used to using the hammock and doing the exercises then you can change the position of your body or add a move for a more challenging workout.
As you will be hanging upside down for a large portion of the class, there are certain people, such as those who have sinusitis or a propensity for fainting, for whom practising AntiGravity Yoga is not recommended. It is not advisable to practise this form of yoga during pregnancy or soon after recent surgery, either. However, if getting fit and enjoying relaxing yoga techniques while suspended from the ceiling sounds good to you, an AntiGravity Yoga class may be just the ticket.
‘Cocooning’ happens at the end of each class - participants take part in relaxing meditation while swinging in the hammock.