It’s a no brainer that mixing up your approach to exercise is important to maintaining a strong body and healthy mind. To add a little spice to my routine, last week I joined fitness platform KFit as a local ambassador – my goal being to keep things challenging. Well, I found the perfect starting block… on Monday I tried my first ever AntiGravity yoga class!
As I walked into the beautiful studio at Beyond Fitness Australia it occurred to me that I hadn’t really considered what it would be like to do yoga upside down before committing to the class. That quickly changed as l found myself about to attempt a spider-man inversion.
I was soon dangling from the ceiling contemplating what exactly I had signed up for. Aerial yoga certainly isn’t for the faint hearted, but it is something I could easily become very addicted to doing.
For those not in the know, AntiGravity or aerial yoga is a combination of traditional yoga and Pilates using a silk hammock that hangs from the ceiling.
As the blood rushed to my head, I tried to breathe deeply and settle into the poses. But, with 26 years of exercising with my feet on the ground under my belt, I couldn’t get over the feeling that I was about to fall spectacularly and snap my neck – even though there was no way that this was ever, ever going to happen.
Luckily my instructor was a professional traipse artist named Jess who very patiently walked me through each of the positions, and as the class progressed, made me trust the hammock and my body.
Aerial yoga is different to any other type of yoga that I’ve done before. Using the hammock you can stretch your body in ways that aren’t usually possible. Without the pressure of supporting yourself on the ground you’re able to really focus on muscle groups that otherwise feel impossible to target.
Despite hanging like a bat, once I eased into the class I found the entire process extremely calming. The sensation of floating encouraged me to let go of my body aches and focus on stretching and finding balance. Surprisingly the class didn’t require a lot of upper body strength. Your legs do most the work but it certainly isn’t exhausting. The toughest part is letting go and trusting yourself to ease into the poses with grace and poise.
Using the hammocks I was also able to stretch my lower abdomen which has always been a sore spot post my operations. Once the post-class headache disappeared (which I was assured usually only happens following your first few times), I noticed that all the tension that I usually carry in my neck and shoulders had also been released.
The lovely Jess then spent five minutes with me after the class talking through how the poses challenge our bodies to find new ways of functioning as gravity demands that we readjust our normal. I walked away flushed, but very energised from the experience.
Would I do it again? Absolutely! Not only was it different, it was a lot of fun, a great way to connect with my body and an incredibly relaxing way to balance myself for the week ahead. The endorphins must be firing because I truly feel like I’ve broken down a lot of unshakeable stiffness and increased my flexibility, all from one session.