I am fairly averse to naff, I think. I usually steer clear of fads. I am plain, simple and certainly not an early adopter of quirks and new-fangled rubbish. (Maybe I should throw away my disco lights, my portable mini disc recorder and my Uri Geller Pendulum dowsing kit). No, I would never indulge in a fad. Stepping into the world of the suspended hammock, lying back and opening up my spine is not for me.
Or is it? And why do I find myself upside down? Feeling the swinging motion, last sensed when I was eleven on a swing. My spine is more open, I feel light and full of desperate ...enjoyment!
As a yoga teacher and mother of two, I have often been a little frustrated that I can't quite fit on a child's swing. I always get the job of pushing. So imagine my pleasure at knowing there is a swing which will fit my hips, there is even space to share it with my brood if I feel so inclined.. Unlike Pole Dancing, the swing is 'respectable', 'acceptable' and certainly within my comfort zone of being a 'mother' and my middle of the road (some would find annoying), attitudes.
AntiGravity Yoga, the brainchild of dancer, acrobat and gymnast Christopher Harrison in New York, involves a thorough workout a few feet above the ground in a silk hammock that can close around the person to form a peaceful pod.
Christopher reported that having travelled continuously on planes with his dance troupe he found that, "hanging upside down got all the kinks out..."
There is no pressure with anti-gravity. (Please re-read this sentence.)
I know, but there really isn't. Release can be felt throughout the spine and you can use the swing to work as deeply or as gently as you require.
Christopher found that even his mother who had suffered a back injury found the anti-gravity a treat!
'My mother wanted to exercise but she struggled because of a back problem. But she tried AntiGravity yoga and was successful."
If that isn't enough information for you, here is some more:-
Hanging upside down refreshes the body's systems, helps blood flow, and allows
everyone to try postures such as the headstand and handstand. In the hammock, you can support yourself into more advanced postures than you never would have dreamt of.
'Using the hammock, you close off everything around you and have awareness of mind, body and spirit."
The technique is a fusion of around 40 percent yoga, acrobatics, dance gymnastic moves, pilates and other disciplines and the flying silk allows participants to travel and flow freely between postures.
Recently Gwyneth Paltrow has revealed that she is a big fan of the swing, working with Richard Holroyd in his studio in London.
"Richard showed us several moves with the hammock. In comparison to other yoga classes, the moves felt constructive without feeling like a chore."
The celebrity list is filling up with aerial fans. Consider Pink high on her swing, twisting and turning and singing at the same time! Let us not forget the cast of Made in Chelsea or Strictly Come Dancing!
My neck does not feel the same since I leapt onto the Yoga Swing. If you come across one, you should take care, you may even feel taller...
Aerial Yoga is a brilliant way to have fun, find your inner child, move your body and allow yourself to stretch! Watch out for a swing near you, you never know where it will stretch you!
Go Yoga Harrogate offers regular Aerial Yoga Workshops and Classes, the next being Saturday November 9th 10-12!