Some of us want to be fitter, more flexible, have better balance and a stronger core. While these desires are obtainable with a little hard work, no matter how hard we try, the wish to be taller just cannot be granted, at least not until now.
Christopher Harrison, a competitive athlete, dancer and former gymnast, turned his love of aerial arts and performance into the first complete program in the emerging exercise field called “suspension training.” Defying the laws of physics, AntiGravity Aerial Yoga is about having fun while learning how to fly. It is a hybrid class that involves a variety of physical disciplines such as dance, Pilates, acrobatics and aerial arts practiced within the context of yoga. Harrison claims his revolutionary system of yoga can make you taller by decompressing the spinal column and aligning the body from head to toe.
How is it done?
Participants hang their bodies in silk AntiGravity hammocks that are suspended from the ceiling. This specially designed hammock acts as a soft trapeze of support for the body, so students can master inversions and progress to more advanced yoga poses that are not possible for them to do in a regular yoga class. For example, the yoga headstand is a great inversion, but for those with neck injuries or issues such as cervical bone spurs, headstands are not recommended. By doing a headstand in the AntiGravity hammock, there is absolutely no pressure exerted on the head, so the neck is free of impact and the student can enjoy the benefits of being inverted.
What are the benefits?
Since there is virtually no impact placed on the joints of the body while practicing AntiGravity yoga, it helps to stretch and strengthen the muscles without the extra risk of injury. After hours of driving, days of traveling or years of being sedentary, the spine tends to compress. AntiGravity yoga works to restore length to the spine for healthy alignment and energy flow. Poses that require a certain amount of flexibility and strength to perform can come a bit easier to most folks because of the unique shape, technology and form of the suspension hammock.
Who is it for?
While AntiGravity Yoga was first designed for Harrison himself in an effort to help him recover from joint pain and issues due to a life as an athlete, it is now offered in many places across the United States and is available to all shapes, sizes and abilities.