I have been bitten by a bug; a yoga craze called Anti-Gravity Yoga in which you swap your usual mat for a beautiful silky soft piece of fabric hung expertly from the ceiling by two very secure ‘hooky things’ (anchors maybe?) to make a ‘hammock’.
As well as the amazing full body workout that you get from this, part-yoga, part-dance, part-burning, bust-a-gut, intense upper-body workout, you also get an amazing buzz from the experience.
I had been feeling kinda flat for a couple of weeks, it was taking me longer than usual to shake the remnants of a head cold, I was grieving the premature loss of our 14 mo kitten, nursing a neck/shoulder soft tissue injury and generally feeling blah. Then I did a private anti-gravity yoga session. I felt better than I had felt in weeks, probably months. I was buzzing with excitement, the wonderful post-workout feeling of detoxified muscles, the tingling of endorphins and a full flow of oxygen to my brain (look out I could be dangerous on full function!). But as well as the physical benefits of this super awesome style of yoga I received a psychological boost as well. I felt free, playful, strong, and empowered. I was on a high.
It is absolutely necessary to remain fully present as you glide through the air, flip from upright to inverted and raise your leg to catch it in the fabric; unless you don’t mind falling face or butt first to the floor. I find that sometimes in class, as you sink down into Trikonasana, despite your best intentions, occasionally your toenails grab your attention, or perhaps a cobweb in the corner of the yoga studio reminds you of all the things in your own home that need a wipe or a sweep. But gliding, sweeping, flipping and drawing yourself up into the air by the grace of a soft flowing piece of material, well that requires mindful practice.
Mindfulness of the body helps us to be more grounded in the reality of our experience, in the reality of who we are. It helps us to move beyond the stories in our head to what our life actually is at this moment. With this awareness we can also make the transition from concentration meditation to insight meditation in which we bring moment to moment concentrated, mindful and compassionate awareness to the ever-changing flow of our experience.
Yoga is a wonderful way to get into the groove of your ever-changing flow of experience, Anti-Gravity Yoga is an awesome way to fly into your flow, strengthen your connection with your true nature and come totally back into your body.
Totally Awesome. Totally Hooked.
Over and out, from the flight deck of bodhishari.