as you know, if you’ve been reading this blog, i’ve been a yoga student for nearly 15 years. and since i left my beloved yoga studio in southern california, i’ve found a few places near our new home that, while not offering nearly as many or variety of classes as Soul at Home, nor offering the spiritual hug upon entering, these two studios have kept my practice and my body and spirit well.
recently, due to the suggestion of one of the yoga teachers, i tried anti-gravity yoga at a newly opened yoga/gyrotonics/anti-gravity studio called Gravitas. this is how they describe the practice on their site:
Antigravity yoga combines traditional yoga principles with elements from aerial acrobatics, dance, pilates and calisthenics. AntiGravity Yoga helps students realign their body and spirit with the tool of gravity that serves to achieve physical and mental decompression.
You will learn to fly, hold and balance in challenging yoga poses longer, gain better kinesthetic awareness, build cardiovascular and muscular strength, become more flexible, increase joint mobility, decompress the vertebrae of the spine without strain and utilize the agility you’ve gained from yoga to play with gravity! The class emphasis is to have fun while learning new skills and experiencing a total body workout. This class is for all regardless of your fitness level. Please visit www.antigravityyoga.com to find out more on antigravity yoga.
i originally considered trying the gyrotonic conditioning, but after one anti-gravity class, i was hooked. eventually i will try it, but for now, being able to invert with no pressure or pain in my neck and back is an incredible feeling. after each class, not only do i feel lighter and more energetic, i’m happier. and each class is challenging and confronting fears. fears of being upside down, fears of swinging with no hands, fears of inverting while twisting and swinging, fears of making a continual fool of myself, fears that no one can teach this old dog new tricks.
it’s done utilizing a huge piece of stretchy fabric, like a hammock, suspended from the ceiling, at just the right height so you can invert and allow your head, neck and back to hang freely. there’s nothing like it. and because i have wrist and upper vertebrae issues, this type of inversion is perfect.
with each class i attend, my fears have lessened, and i can walk into the studio now with anticipation instead of anxiety about what poses they may choose for us. just as in a typical yoga class, there are poses that are more difficult than others, but not insurmountable. and hey, anytime you get to hang upside down and watch your wrinkles disappear, that’s a damn good day! and laugh along with everyone else in the group, when we realize that we all look utterly ridiculous and beautiful at the same time!