23 Aug 2014
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Fitness Gets a Lift with AntiGravity Yoga

The world of fitness gets turned upside down with this Yoga trend.

Fitness Gets a Lift with AntiGravity Yoga

Can you give a typical yoga class a serious lift with AntiGravity Yoga? You bet your Asana!

Each time I find a new form of fitness, my heart does a little dance of excitement. My heart does a complete back flip in excitement when I find a form of fitness that involves being suspended in the air like a star circus performer.

AntiGravity Yoga is the newest trend in yoga and has been swinging its way into mainstream gyms. Combining yoga, pilates, acrobatics, dance, calisthenics, and gymnastics, it promises to get you in shape while realigning you with the compression of gravity.

AntiGravity Yoga adds an element of thrill to your typical yoga class by using hammocks of silky cloth to suspend you in the air as you hold poses like the "Skydiver" and "Vampire."

The anti-gravity hammock acts as a soft trapeze, supporting you as you master simple suspension techniques leading to advanced inverted poses. The fear of heights is taken out of the equation, since you are never more than a few feet from the ground.

Walking into class, I'm not quite sure what to expect. First you are asked to use a small ladder to hang your hammock from the ceiling with two large hooks, which look similar to carabiners used for mountain climbing.

We start out easy, with our feet on the floor, building confidence and trust in the hammock. You slowly move into the more advanced poses where the hammock is applying pressure to your hips, feeling like a deep tissue massage (which is not always comfortable), while you press your hands into downward dog, lift your legs and perform full pike movements.

After 45 minutes of class, we are hanging upside down with our legs wrapped around the hammock, anchoring us to the ceiling.

Look Ma, no hands! 

We are hanging upside down from the ceiling and spinning with our arms crossed and pressed into our chest.

Because you are holding static poses upside down, the instructor explains that this class is not recommended for people that have high blood pressure, get lightheaded while exercising, and several other special populations that may find this practice more daunting than beneficial.

There is an instructor and an assistant in each class who are each very knowledgeable and will assist you in deciding if this is the right form of exercise for you.

AntiGravity Yoga, was devised especially for Crunch by the acrobatic performance troupe AntiGravity—founded in New York City in 1990 by Christopher Harrison. From the Olympics to Broadway to MTV, they are the most prominent American based company in the rapidly emerging field of Aerial Arts. The company is best known for their performances which incorporate AntiGravity boots, Dancing Bungees and the AntiGravity hammock.

Some of the benefits of AntiGravity Yoga include:

  • Decompressing tight joints.
  • Relieving pressure while aligning the vertebrae of the spine without strain
  •  Performing advanced yoga inversions without neck or back compression.
  • Holding challenging yoga postures longer and in correct alignment.
  • Stretching further with less strain.
  • Creating better body awareness while increasing overall agility.

Will you break a sweat? Maybe not, but AntiGravity Yoga will definitely add an entirely new dimension to your yoga practice. Classes are offered locally at Crunch Fitness in Blackhawk and San Francisco. You may contact Crunch for information on membership prices and class offerings.

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