I decided to go to Anandair to give anti-gravity yoga a try — it’s a bit of an experience to say the least! Broken down to its logistics, it’s the application of yogic postures with the aid of an elasticised hammock. The complete experience of it is so much more than that though! The introduction to the session starts in a seated position totally cocooned in your hammock giving an almost in-vivo feel which I’d describe as “amniotic hypnotic”. The hammock actually moves with you and supports your weight in the same way that an amnion would support an unborn child; as your chest expands you feel that your breath movement is echoed around the other parts of your form and the lower part of the hammock contracts to grip you tighter. It’s very bizarre but very comforting at the same time, giving an overwhelming feeling of safety.
You then move into the practice. The feel I got from this class was that a person who wasn’t of a reasonable standard of fitness/flexibility, or not at least an intermediately skilled yogi, may struggle here. I wouldn’t take a friend who’d never done yoga before, it’d be a bit much maybe. That said, if you know a little then you’re in for a treat because the weight support of the hammock allows you a bit of liberation from that pesky law of gravity. It becomes a lot easier to hit certain stretches, which you may not have been able to achieve whilst still under the same restraints as Newton’s apple. Personally I found it quite easy to take to — the hard bit is trusting that the hammock can hold your weight. The instructor told me it could hold up to a thousand pounds — as I was pretty skint at the time I guessed I was well in range and just went for it.
The final relaxation is a bit dreamy — because it’s weightless and you are rocking, it feels pretty much like a big baby’s cradle with someone gently talking you through an auto suggestive body scan meditation. Personally I’d strongly recommend it to any yogis who fancy a variation in their practice or anyone who is reasonably fit and wants to work on flexibility and core strength in a very comforting yet unorthodox manner.
Big thanks to Dawn Musa who looked after me and didn’t even laugh when I front flipped my stupid arse out of the hammock onto my back (Note: that doesn’t normally happen, unless you stop listening to the instructor and begin to freestyle your own moves).
For more information on anti gravity yoga classes or to book a class, please visit….
Anandair website HERE
Anandair Facebook page HERE
Images by Ged Thompson