What is AntiGravity® Aerial Yoga?

AntiGravity® Aerial Yoga is a unique fusion technique, revolutionary in relieving compressed joints and aligning the body from head to toe. The AntiGravity® Hammock acts as a soft trapeze and as a support while you master simple inversions and finally progress to more advanced poses.

AntiGravity® Yoga is a fitness regimen designed by Christopher Harrison to increase one's overall health and physical agility while having fun and creating beauty. AntiGravity® is an acrobatic performance company whose daily workout utilizes the AntiGravity® Hammock. The technique was originally created for athletes and gymnasts and has since been modified and perfected for the everyday athlete. Incorporating components from dance, Pilates and calisthenics, AntiGravity® has created a complete workout that is certain to get you in shape while realigning you from the compression of gravity. AntiGravity® Yoga works to manipulate physics while staying lighthearted.

Christopher was initially drawn to yoga in the early 1990s while traveling in India. As world-class competitive gymnast, then later as a professional dancer, his body had experienced its share of abuse and was ready for healing. In his quest he discovered just how much of that healing was connected to his state of mind and positive attitude. Yoga revealed itself as the portal for that growth.

It is now 15 years later and he is indisputably considered the quintessential authority in aerial yoga. The AntiGravity® Yoga technique originally emerged from his experiences in the physical world - his yoga practice combined with the artistry he created as a choreographer for his aerial performance team, AntiGravity. AntiGravity® Aerial Yoga was born as a fusion technique. It became the necessary tool for Mr. Harrison to continue healing his body in order to continue to create his art.

The AntiGravity Hammock is a structural fabric that is connected from two overhead points. It acts like a swing or soft trapeze. The AntiGravity® Hammock is utilized to change one's dynamic relationship to the ground, allowing the participant to better understand their body and its relationship to physics.

The technique of working on fabric as a performance apparatus is fairly new in the aerial arts, emerging in the mid 1990's. As far as we know, we were the first company to use the apparatus looped as a hammock or swing rather than like a rope. This was actually because our original company members were not circus performers, but athletes and dancers. It was much safer to have a seat at the bottom of the hanging fabric. Our performers found that working this apparatus gave them a great core and upper-body workout --- it shredded their abs. We also found that there were other hidden benefits from hanging upside down. We would relax in inversions only to discover it would revitalize our entire body. Aerialists who work on this apparatus tend to be a very positive and upbeat group and for many they have performance careers that continue well into their forties. In essence, AntiGravity® Yoga is a technique that developed organically and naturally as a logical result from our work

Why AG®Y? ...the Benefits

Zero Compression Inversions that allow circulatory and lymphatic systems to refresh while stimulating the release of neurotransmitters in the brain
Decompression of the spine through gentle traction and hydration of vertebral discs
Muscular tension release through self massage techniques
Core strengthening
Increased kinesthetic awareness; fine-tuning balance and increasing proprioceptor response for greater agility
Low impact cardiovascular conditioning
Self-esteem enhancement through process of conquering basic fears
A creative and artistic mind-body experience

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can anyone do AntiGravity® Yoga (AG®Y)? 
A: Provided one does not have any of the contraindications listed herein and barring any physical abnormalities, anyone who can do at least 3 consecutive sit ups can do AG®Y. AG®Y Restorative is more therapeutic and therefore more accessible to all than AG®Y Flying Fitness. To do all of the exercises in AG®Y, it is easiest for someone who maintains a consistent fitness regime and has a strong core. 

Q: How hard is it? 
A: First of all it depends on which AG®Y class you take and which instructor you have. No matter what, YOU monitor your own resistance so each class is as hard as or as easy as you choose to work. AG®Y Restorative is easier to execute than AG®Y Flying Fitness. If you can do 3 consecutive sit ups, you can do AG®Y. 

Q: What are the contraindications (aka precautions) for AGY?
A: Pregnancy, glaucoma, recent surgery (esp. shoulder, eyes, back, hips, hands or wrist), heart disease, very high or low blood pressure, easy onset vertigo, osteoporosis / bone weakness, recent head injury, cerebral sclerosis, propensity for fainting, carpal tunnel syndrome, severe arthritis, sinusitis or head cold, hiatal hernia, disc herniation or acute 
discogenic disease, recent stroke, artificial hips, radiculitis (inflammation of nerve root in spine), severe muscle spasms, botox injections (within 6 hours)

Q: Will I be successful in my first class?
A: Yes! Everyone leaves the class a success! Since this is a suspension YOGA class there is no competition nor ego encouraged. Everyone works at their own pace.

Q: What should I wear?
A: Wear workout wear that covers armpits (sleeve) and legs. Cotton or cotton blend fabric is best (non-slippery). Tops: sports bra for females. Not too loose for guys. Remember, you will be upside down. 
Bottoms: If wearing tights make certain they are opaqe (non-see through). If wearing sweats, tight around cuff of legs is best. No socks (unless they are sticky). You may need sticky gloves if you have weak grip. PLEASE NO JEWELRY

Q: What should I bring?
A: Water, sweat towel and an open mind --- NO JEWELRY

Q: Do I need to be a yoga practitioner? A: No. But you will need an open mind. Q: Do I need to be physically fit?
A: Not necessarily. AG®Y is easier than regular yoga because the AG®Y Hammock supports you in your poses. However, AG®Y is easiest for someone who maintains a consistent fitness regime and has a strong core.

Q: Which AG®Y class is best for me?
A: This depends on your fitness level. We recommend that everyone start with a Beginners level group class, Immersion Workshop or Beginners course. AG®Y Restorative is less challenging than AG®Y Flying Fitness.

Q: How do I find an AG®Y class in my area?
A: We will post all AG®Y licensees on our contact us page. Their links will be our website. Class schedules should be available via their link.

Q: Should I come on an empty stomach?
A: We recommend having something in the stomach to stave off dizziness, however, we do not recommend a big meal.

Q: Will I get dizzy?
A: If one has a strong propensity for dizziness or a “hips over head” spatial awareness style dyslexia this is not the technique for them.

Q: How will I feel after?
A: You will feel taller and lighter. Your muscles will have a pump and you will be refreshed!

Q: Are all aerial yoga classes alike?
A: AG®Y is the original aerial yoga technique. Over 7 years went into the development of the technique after Mr. Harrison created the apparatus. He created a very specific nomenclature and sequencing that can be done safely. AG®Y is the only aerial yoga technique certified by the AFAA. Any other aerial yoga technique is a knock-off from the original and should be considered risky.

Q: Are you sure the AG®Y Hammock will hold me?
A: Every portion of the AG®Y is rated for over 2000 pounds (22kns). The points in the ceiling in an AGY studio have been placed by a professional contractor and certified by an engineer.

Q: How yoga is AG®Y?
A: This depends on your instructor. Although it is a hybrid technique, the class is a perfect formula for a body/mind/spirit class that brings about awareness. AG®Y classes in fitness gyms do not tend to be as spirit based as they are in yoga studios.

Q: What if I am afraid?
A: The difference between fear and excitement in the body is relaxation. In AG®Y we bring ourselves to presence before we begin class. During an inversion you are only 3 inches off the ground. Remember, “There is nothing to fear but fear itself” FDR.

Q: What if I am afraid of heights?
A: During an inversion you are only 3 inches off the ground.

Q: Can AG®Y make me taller?
A: Yes! Our promise to you is that after class you will be stretched to your maximum height, varying between ¼” to 1 ½” taller, unfortunately/ fortunately, the effects are not cumulative.

Q: Can AG®Y heal my back pain?
A: Our licensees, instructors and practitioners around the globe all have amazing testimonials of healing through our zero-compression inversions. We are currently having studies commissioned in order to gather concrete evidence, until then you will only know by coming to class.

Q:Can AG®Y be used as an effective cross-fit application?
A: Yes, we have many athletes from professional triathletes through to gold medal Olympic swimmers using this technique as a functional adjunct to their existing training schedules. To get an idea watch the video on the Galleries page of russian Batu Khasikov world champion kickboxer and his training approach.