Anti-Gravity Yoga?! YES!!

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I’ve taken about nine Anti-Gravity Yoga (AGY) classes in Honolulu with Jordan Shamir and every class has been different, challenging and fun.

The class uses a 9′ silk hammock secured onto cross beams just under the ceiling. While the silk hammock is thin, it’s really strong and is able to support up to 900 pounds.

In my first class there was three of us: a friend of mine, a woman who had taken class before and me. Jordan was an excellent teacher clearly explaining things step by step, making sure that everyone was comfortable.

We started by getting familiar with the hammock and the room. Then we got into the hammock and got used to having it support our weight. We stretched while being buoyantly suspended in the air by the hammock then we transitioned to a short meditation helping us let go of the busy day and be fully present in the safety of the hammock that surrounded us like a cocoon. It was amazing.

The class evolved and we moved to different positions stretching all muscles from head to toe and getting deep tissue massages in places where I needed it the most: my shoulders and hips. The feeling of a deep tissue massage happened when the hammock was placed on one part of my body, the front of my hips for example, and my body weight was applied onto the hammock. A strong pressure was placed onto my hips giving the feeling of a deep tissue massage.

Side note: I have major tension in my shoulders. Massage therapists are often surprised when I tell them that I do not suffer from headaches because I have layers upon layers of tight muscles sitting on knots that sit upon knots. I’ve been told by several massage therapists that in order for them to be able to get to the knots I would have to go for weekly massages for 2-3 months to loosen the muscles enough to get to the knots. Cha-Ching! That sounds like a lot of money.

The 75-minute class came to a gentle end with a suspended shavasana (corpse pose). We had the option of swinging or laying still. I prefer to be as still as possible. It’s amazing to feel completely supported by the thin silk hammock. The hammock allows air to flow through and no matter how you move the hammock is right there supporting you. I don’t get this feeling anywhere else.

At the end of class I felt invigorated, I walked taller and my mind was clearer.

Two weeks have past since I started writing this review. In that time I caught the flu and then a stomach flu (yes, I got a flu shot). I haven’t been to class in two weeks. I’ve heard regular AGY students say that they feel better when they take class and that the real test is when you stop going to class because that is when you realize all the benefits of attending AGY classes regularly.

So how am I feeling after not going to AGY class for two weeks? My shoulders are getting really tight again. I noticed it after missing one week of class (and I just took class once or twice a week). After two weeks, I’m feeling like I really need a deep tissue massage.

I am finding that my body is really craving to be in a suspended inversion. I think there is something really beneficial about 1) spending time upside down and 2) being suspended in air during the inversion which allows gravity to work my body in a different direction, with my head near the floor and my feet in the air.

I love going to AGY class. My body totally benefits from my weekly attendance and I’ve learned that I suffer when I don’t go regularly. I know this isn’t for everyone but I think everyone should at least try it. I’ve seen people of all ages and sizes take class and leave feeling much better than when they walked in.

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