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Through living social I scored a cool deal with Bikram yoga, which is extremely hot yoga. One class of Bikram and it can change your perspective on life. Here I go thinking I just scored a great deal on a new yoga style and in comes a new yoga practice.The newest yoga trend that is taking the world by storm is none other than Anti-Gravity Yoga, Aerial Yoga and even Cocoon Yoga (can be seen with the pictures of participants wrapped in the hammock sheets). This new yoga style was introduced by Christopher Harrison in the early 90’s and it has become increasingly popular over the last decade. This aerial sport was originally intended for gymnasts and athletes, but now it has been transformed, popularized and being offered to the general public. I’m getting excited just thinking about it!

How It Works
At first glance, it looks like you are just wrapped in a hammock (which by the way can support up to 1000 lbs) doing a series of poses. When you look further you can see that it creates union with your body and helps you understand your body better in relation to physics. It reminds me of aerial act that you could see at the circus. I remember going to a night club in hollywood with an aerial silk act performing directly above me, and thinking to myself “I hope they don’t fall right on top of me, because that would totally ruin this night!” However, they didn’t fall and what is important is that I will always remember that evening because the performers were so interesting.

In Harrison’s yoga studio’s, the classes are very similar to an aerial act but the students are much closer to the actual floor. Therefore, if students were to fall, they would not hurt themselves too badly. The Anti-Gravity hammock helps students to do simple inversions, while incorporating lessons from Pilates, calisthenics and dance. Through compression of gravity, the vigorous workout eloquently realign’s your body while keeping you in amazingly perfect shape.

Benefits of Anti-Gravity Yoga
The benefits of this new Anti-Gravity yoga workout are identical to any aerial aerobic workout. The most important benefit is that of progressive resistance that you will receive from such a workout. Progressive resistance training dates back to Ancient Greece, with accounts of wrestler Milo of Croton and accounts from physician Galen. Besides having fun and creating physical beauty, this new form of yoga will assist in your physical agility and promote great health. Other benefits which I found on Harrison’s Anti-Gravity Yoga website are listed below:

  • Zero compression inversions
  • Circulatory and lymphatic system refresh
  • The release of neurotransmitters from the brain.
  • Decompression of spine thru gentle traction
  • Hydration of vertebral disks.
  • Increased muscular flexibility
  • Core strengthening
  • Upper and lower body muscular strengthening
  • Increased kinesthetic awareness; Fine-tuning balance & agility
  • More astute proprioception (sensory receptors) response
  • Increased joint mobility
  • Low impact cardiovascular conditioning.
  • Increased command/response acuity.
  • Greater cerebellum function
  • Increased Neuromuscular plasticity.
  • Hormone stimulation.
  • Self-esteem enhancement through conquering basic fears.
  • More astute presence through mindful consciousness conditioning.
  • Learning of new skills: A creative and artistic fitness experience.
  • Uniquely fun experience that works risible muscles as well as functional muscles

From this long list you can certainly see that there is a laundry list of benefits to encourage you to participate.

Try Something New
Anti-Gravity or Aerial Yoga has been practiced since the 1990’s and is coming to cities near you. After I complete my Bikram classes I hope Living Social or Groupon get some Aerial Yoga classes on discount. If they do, it may possibly be my next purchase. Get up to speed on this new yoga style and see if could be a yoga alternative for you!

Harrison has been practicing all over the world and has studio’s in Europe and the America’s. Harrison’s main U.S. studio is located in Manhattan, New York.  Check out all of his locations on his website.

Like always I have provided a list below of popular yoga studio’s that offer Aerial Yoga in cities near you.

West Coast
Ruby Karen Project – Costa Mesa/Fountain Valley, CA
The Yoga Studio – Campbell, CA (San Jose Area)
Studio Revolution – San Diego, CA
Aeriform Yoga – Seattle, WA

East Coast Locations
Unnata Aerial Yoga – New York, NY (multiple locations)
Yoga Sutra – New York, NY
Studio Serentiy Yoga Studio –  Washington, D.C.
Sky Gym – Atlanta, GA
Anahata Open Heart Yoga Studio – Miami, FL
Winds of Change – Moreland Hills, OH

Midwest Locations
Air Cat – Boulder, CO
Learning to Fly – Mission, KS
The Bumbershoot Aerial Arts – St. Louis, MO

If you did not find your city on this list, just google “aerial yoga” with your city name and see what you can find. I hope this list was helpful to you and if you are aerial aerobics teacher, trainer or expert please leave your feedback on the benefits of the workout or additional studios that are not on my list above.