Anti Gravity Yoga is the hot trendy workout making its way across the continent! Invented by ex-gymnast and onetime Broadway performer Christopher Harrison, it borrows elements of yoga, Pilates, calisthenics and aerial acrobatics to create a new technique that provides a full-body workout.
Anti Gravity Yoga uses a hammock-like apparatus made out of a structural fabric that is fastened to two overhead points. The Anti Gravity Hammock is used as a swing or a trapeze and according to adherents; it helps to change one’s dynamic relationship to the ground. The technique is said to have taken Canada by storm and is currently making waves across the United States. Even celebrities (including Pink and Gwyneth Paltrow) have jumped on to the anti gravity yoga bandwagon.
According to proponents, anti gravity yoga is said to be a lot of fun which can help to alleviate stress. It also has several health benefits. Fitness trainers say that it is extremely good for the back and anyone with back trouble can benefit from it. Some go even so far as to claim that it is better for backs than an inversion table. This is because the practitioner hangs inverted from the hammock, allowing the force of gravity to stretch the spine. A lot of people who have tried this technique claim that their backs feel much better afterwards, including those suffering from back problems such as sciatica. Benefits to the spine apart, Anti Gravity Yoga is said to help increase overall flexibility and strength and helps build an awareness of your own body. The benefits are not limited to the physical alone. It also benefits you mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Many runners claim that Anti Gravity Yoga can help them recover after a marathon.
Technically, Anti Gravity yoga is more than just a normal yoga workout. It uses a hybrid of different exercise styles as can be seen from its instructors’ backgrounds. Some have a background in gymnastics, while others practice dance or Pilates. Even a person with no experience in yoga can do it. So while you will still have conventional yoga postures such as “downward dog” and “cat cow”, you will get to master new postures such as the “awesome possum” and the “chandelier”. Classes will also feature some form of inversion exercises that help to decompress the spine.
Getting ready for your first class may require some mental preparation. After all, if you are going to be hanging upside down from a hammock then you have to have confidence in your support. Rest assured on that front –the hammocks are created to support up to 2000lb or 970 kg. The hardware that fastens the hammock to the ceiling is similar to the ones used by mountain climbers. Initially it may take some getting used to – doing back flips while supported by a hammock. This is where the mental preparation comes in. Once you let go of your fear and put your trust in the equipment and the process, you will be able to really enjoy the class.
Since Anti Gravity Yoga involves plenty of flips and inversions, it is not recommended for pregnant women. Those who have just had eye surgery or suffer from vertigo should skip Anti Gravity Yoga. It would be best to consult your doctor before trying it. Anti Gravity Yoga has something for people of all age groups. It doesn’t matter if you have no previous experience at yoga or how physically fit you are. Almost everyone can try it and enjoy its many health benefits.