Yoga practice is a way for us to ascend to a new height of consciousness through a regular practice of yoga poses and meditation. Christopher Harrison took that in mind when he created what is known as AntiGravity Yoga in 2007. He is a former gymnast and Broadway choreographer and took the idea of yoga and twisted in the use of a specially designed hammock, a silk sling prop which is attached to the ceiling and can hold up to 1,000 pounds. Students are able to follow someone with yoga teacher training experience and use what they know of yoga off the mat and into the air.
Style and Idea
AntiGravity Yoga has exercises that are inspired by yoga, Pilates, calisthenics and aerial acrobatics while in a hammock type apparatus to get the full experience and total body workout. This style is building up a strong interest because it takes what we know and the traditional ideas and puts a new twist of fun into the practice. Yoga teachers are gaining a new tool to reach their students and may even be able to bring in a new crop of students.
Poses for AntiGravity Yoga
- Washboard Pushups- this poses also manages to build a strong workout for your abdominal muscles. You begin standing on your yoga mat in front of your sling. Grab a piece of the sling with both hands at about shoulder width apart. Make sure your arms are straight and push the sling away from you with your hands and lean your body forward at a 45 degree angle. Hold for a few seconds while keeping your heels on the ground-then return to your starting position.
- Flying Downward Dog-this pose is to strengthen your back and stretch your spine. Begin with the sling against your body at the crease between your torso and your upper legs. Slowly fold forward while putting your hands on the floor. Then walk your feet back until your hips are directly below the hammock supports. Lift your feet off the floor one at a time and bring your lower legs in toward your buttocks. For more stretch slowly move your hips side to side.
- T Plank-this pose will cradle your upper back while in the sling and bend your knees. Slowly move your arms out to the side at shoulder height behind the sling. Make sure to straighten your legs and lean forward. You will not fall because the sling is holding you. Rise up on your toes and lower your heels a few times while releasing the pose by bending your knees and pushing back with your feet until you are standing.
- Monkey Pose-this pose is inverted. Put the sling tautly against your sacrum and take a step forward. Slide your hand up the swing as you bend one knee at a time and slowly lift your legs off the floor. Open your knees to the sides and bring the soles of your feet together. Separate your feet and wrap them once around the sling. Release the sling with your hands and let your arms hang upside down and free.
It Is More than Yoga
Antigravity Yoga is not just a yoga workout because it uses several different exercise styles. The yoga teachers come from a variety of fitness backgrounds such as gymnastics and dance. You will still enjoy the benefit of a yoga pose such as downward dog but you also get to experience new moves that take their ideas from the traditional.
What to Expect
AntiGravity Yoga is a new experience of yoga teaching. Yoga teacher training in traditional styles will not compare to this but it will give you a strong foundation. Like with any new experience you should prepare to have an open mind. Always listen to your yoga teacher and most important be comfortable with the hammock and trust that it will do what it is designed to do.
AntiGravity Yoga poses are bringing the traditional to a new height. These poses are designed to blend old wisdom with a new approach to yoga. Yoga teacher training is taking new steps into the future.