yoga in cocoons is the new fitness craze sweeping America
- Participants use silk hammocks to improve blood flow and stretch spine
- Can also form cocoons to find zen state
Aerial acrobatics and the attainment of spiritual tranquility seem to go hand in hand. Perhaps it’s like real “spiritual flying” or levitation? It’s called AntiGravity Yoga.
It has been developed by acrobat and gymnast Christopher Harrison and involves a thorough workout a few feet above the ground in a silk hammock that can close around the person inside to form a peaceful pod.
New classes are being launched around the USA and franchises have been set up in Ireland and Italy. Sessions are now springing up in the UK.
Christopher came up with the system while playing with hammocks on an Indian retreat in 1996.
He continued to study yoga and invented apparatus for his dance troupe using flying silk to help them exercise and prepare for acrobatic displays.
Christopher, 50, said: ‘I’d been travelling all over the world performing and had put a lot of strain on my body.
‘But we discovered that hanging upside down in the hammocks helped to get all the kinks out.
‘We put hammocks in our practice room and used them as part of our warm up.
‘It was not only a beautiful apparatus for flying, but a great way to decompress our spine after long flights.
‘The combination of yoga and the silk hammock was inevitable.’
Christopher struggled with yoga poses on the ground because of wrist problems but found his practice much more successful in the air.
‘Using the hammock wasn’t challenging on my wrists,’ he said. ‘I put one in my house, and me and my friends would find ourselves hanging around in it.
‘Inside the hammock, you close off everything around you and have awareness of mind, body and spirit.
‘My mother wanted to exercise but she struggled because of a back problem. But she tried AntiGravity yoga and was successful.’
He developed the system over the next ten years and now runs yoga classes 17 times a week from a Manhattan studio.
‘AntiGravity Yoga has become so popular that there are already similar classes springing up in England,’ said Christopher.
‘We’d like people to come to a real AntiGravity class and find out about the original.’
Hanging upside down refreshes the body’s systems, helps blood flow, and allows everyone to try postures such as the headstand and handstand, he added.
The technique uses a fusion of around 40 per cent yoga with acrobatics, dance, gymnastic moves, pilates and other disciplines and the flying silk allows participants to travel and flow freely between postures.
The only other thing I know with this much power to help you “step outside” the everyday world is Transformational Guided Imagery. I wrote a white paper on this, which you can get from here: http://www.LetterFromSerendipity.com/Transformational_Guided_Imagery.pdf