Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
It looks like an act straight out of Cirque du Soleil, but don’t be intimidated. AntiGravity Yoga, sometimes referred to as suspension or aerial yoga, incorporates techniques from aerial dance, acrobatics, calisthenics and yoga for a unique total-body workout. And yes, you will spend time upside down.
The class was developed by Christopher Harrison, a former aerial acrobat and gymnast who was looking for an exercise that would give his joints a break.
“AntiGravity Yoga is available to everyone of all ages and sizes,” says Kristina Cubrilo, an AntiGravity Yoga instructor at the Om Factory in New York City. “When we [go upside down] our nervous system, circulatory, as well as lymphatic systems get refreshed, toxins are flushed out of our system and more oxygen flows into the brain. In turn, serotonin, also known as the happy hormone, is triggered, so the practitioner leaves the class happier as well as worked out.”
In the classes, yoga moves are performed in nine feet of silk suspended in a long hammock shape from the ceiling. The hammocks are attached to the ceiling with mountain climbing equipment and can hold 1,000 lbs. “I’ve had 69-year-old clients take the class,” says Cubrilo. “You build muscle while burning calories. Participants can see a lot of weight loss.”
AntiGravity Yoga is not for people who are pregnant, have glaucoma, recent surgery, heart disease or have had botox injections within six hours of the class.