Last night I went to my first AntiGravity Yoga class at House of Yoga in Redfern. If you haven’t heard of AntiGravity Yoga it’s basically a series of yoga postures done using the assistance of a big hammock. Upon walking into the studio at House of Yoga I was greeted by rows of white silk hammocks that swing from bolts in the roof. The hammocks are big enough to completely envelope you in your own little cocoon, or as the teacher Holly described it, like being back in the womb.
We start the class relaxing in the aforementioned silky white cocoon, and then get straight into the good stuff; inversions, we spent the next five odd minutes hanging upside down with our legs intertwined in our hammocks. One of the great things about AntiGravity Yoga is that it makes inversions a lot more accessible; it takes the pressure off your neck that you might experience in headstand and also removes some of that fear that often pops up when trying to get your body upside down because the hammock just feels so darn safe and supportive. Inversions are fantastic for improving your circulation, alleviate compression in the spine and get you to see the world from a different perspective. So, if you are planning on heading to an AntiGravity class be prepared to spend a bit of time upside down, however if you have high blood pressure or detached retinas it’s best to avoid inversions.
After hanging upside down for a while we moved into some hip openers and back bends, including a very ambitious attempt at a standing split on my part. Then we worked on gripping the hammock and using our upper body strength to pull ourselves up into different positions ie pike & straddle. In regular, run-of-the-mill, gravity bound yoga there is a decent amount push (chataranga) but there is no pull, so it was great to be able to work the biceps and back muscles.
To finish off the class we laid back down in the silky white cocoon for blissful savasana, and it was one Ah-mazing savasana, set off by the gentle swaying of the hammock and the supportive feeling of being gathered up in the light white fabric.
There is defintely a space for AntiGravity Yoga alongside my regular Hatha practice, it is challenging, exhilarating, blissful and oh so fun. If you feel like shaking up your yoga practice and trying something different, give it a go.
Check out this video from lululemon to give you an idea what to expect in an AntiGravity class:
After just one class, do you think it’s too soon to get an AntiGravity hammock installed in my house?