“Now whip your legs 360 degrees and land on the mat.” I’m inverted several times in a hammock and I’m white-knuckling its silky red fabric because I can’t quite remember how I got here. Georgina the ultra-toned instructor has just somersaulted to the floor without flinching and she’s asking us to do the same. Now, the blood has rushed to my head from hanging upside down for several minutes, so I’m not in the best frame of mind to challenge her. I take a deep breath, close my eyes and kick with all my might.
When I open my eyes I see my standing reflection staring back. My feet have miraculously found the mat and I don’t have a single bruise to show for the process. Success! It is precisely these surprises that make Anti-Gravity Yoga different from other fitness classes. Not only is the hammock there to promote full-body strength by pulling and pushing against your weight – and to give you added range of motion to stretch out your limbs – but it’s also an invaluable resource for liberating your mind.
One minute I’m using the hip-height hammock as a skipping rope, calling both my heart and upper body into action. The next I’m tapping into my inner gymnast with aerial tricks and core-activating balances from a metre off the floor. “The mat will cushion the blow if you fall,” assures Georgina. I think she’s joking because I remember it being no more than an inch wide. Good thing I never have to put it to the test.
The class ends in a refreshing Shavasna with my full body gently cocooned within the soft-touch fabric. I leave standing noticeably taller with my spine and confidence having received a perspective-changing workout. It’s just the escape I’ve been looking for.
Give it a go
Love getting fit upside down? Tell me about your gravity-defying exercise experiences.