Perhaps more than any other fitness trend, yoga has come and it’s here to say. Since this fitness offering is so common, studios have to provide gym-goers with a variety of classes to keep things fresh. Nothing will change your perception of the old stand-by more than anti-gravity yoga. During a typical class, students perform postures while suspended in the air by an aerial hammock. It may sound scary, but New York City-based Crunch gym instructor Ambyr D’Amato assures us that it really is for almost everyone. Whether you’re brand-new to yoga or if you have been doing it for years, here’s what you need to know before you turn you world upside down with anti-gravity yoga.
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1. This Workout Can Accommodate Most Students
You don’t have to bend it like a master yogi to take this class. Just come to class with an open heart and mind. D’Amato says that new students should expect to learn about the basics of going upside down, safety concerns and perform strength-building moves. An inversion will be taught right after the warm up to get used to going upside down. Before class, remove all metal jewelry. Be sure to wear T-shirts (no tank tops) and long pants to prevent the silks from irritating your skin. Unfortunately, not everyone can perform anti-gravity yoga. D’Amato cautions that those who are pregnant or who have glaucoma, heart conditions, blood pressure issues or any recent surgery should not take the class.
2. Eat and Hydrate Before Class
D’Amato recommends eating about an hour before class. This should prevent nausea, but also stop you from feeling too dizzy when you’re upside down. Even though some dizziness is normal, D’Amato says it usually subsides after about 10 seconds. In a typical class, each upside down pose is usually followed by a resting one like child’s pose so students have time to recover.
3. You Don’t Need to Have a Yoga Background
“AntiGravity yoga is far from traditional forms of yoga. It is a fusion technique, however we follow the same philosophy of attending to the student as a whole: working on their body, mind, and spirit,” says D’Amato. She says that getting used to the aerial hammock can take time, however.
4. Advanced Yogis Will Benefit
If you’ve been performing sun salutations for years, anti-gravity yoga can help you further your traditional yoga practice too. “By placing the hammock around the hips, it can be used to correct common misalignments in poses like warrior three, revolved half-moon, revolved triangle, and pyramid pose—because it holds the hips level,” says D’Amato.” Likewise, “students with carpal tunnel or any wrist issues can work on standing planks and find other ways to work their core without putting their hands on the floor,” she says.
5. This Workout Will Let You Face Your Fears
If you’re afraid of heights, the last thing you probably want to do is hang upside down in a hammock performing yoga. But according to D’Amato, that’s exactly what you should do. It helped her with her fear of heights. Plus, students are only dangling a few inches off the ground in each position. So rest assured you won’t be falling too far.
If you’ve got coordination issues, anti-gravity yoga can help too. “AntiGravity yoga aids in gaining kinesthetic awareness and fine-tuning balance,” D’Amato says. “Students will gain an increased command/response acuity by attending the class.”
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