I know what you are thinking. Why would anyone want to spend her free time hanging upside down? The health conscious answer is that it is actually good for you. The more playful response though is, it’s so much fun!
Yoga has been a part of my life for the last ten years, but I’m more of a once a week practitioner. I have always enjoyed the challenge and peace yoga has brought to my ever-racing mind. Of course, there are so many different styles of yoga, but many people assume that yoga is an hour or so of chants and stillness contemplating the wonders of the universe. While I do not want to undervalue or judge that type of yoga, the practice I have been doing for most of the past decade involves detoxifying by sweating in heated rooms and moving at times briskly, and other times more steadily, through a series of salutations and postures to strengthen and engage my core. I have been a practitioner of Raffa Yoga of Cranston, RI for most of that time, and as of last year, I took my first anti-gravity yoga class.
Raffa Yoga is the only studio in the state of Rhode Island that offers anti-gravity yoga. During a 75 minute period, you practice using a 9 - foot silk hammock, which is suspended about 2 feet off the ground connected by two large daisy chains. Developed by Christopher Harrison, the practice combines stretching, flips, muscle strengthening techniques, variations of yoga postures, swinging and inversions. According to AntigravityYoga.com, inversions, such as handstands, help to align the body while relieving compression on your joints. Apparently, it also helps you grow taller, which is always a plus in my 5 foot 3 ½ inch world. I’m not sure if I will ever be able to do a hand stand myself without the use of a hammock, but getting there in an antigravity yoga class is exhilarating. Not only did antigravity yoga afford me opportunities to manipulate my body into poses I would probably never get into myself, but it also gave me a chance to swing and flip which brought me back to my childhood. It sounds cliché, but it is true. And you should give it a try.
For only $15, you can enjoy a 75 minute class that will really make a difference in your life. It looks intimidating, but trust me, it’s the best money and time you will spend. Buy yourself some fun and solace all in a matter of an hour and 15 minutes.
And even if you are not “game” for the anti-gravity class, check out one of Raffa’s many other offerings from beginner unheated classes, to ones that require more experience, like the “Shake Your Asana” class I love with Debbie on Wednesday nights at 7 PM. If yoga is not your “thing,” there is also a juice bar, sauna and massage rooms. I always think of it as my personal “Californian” escape. It may just be the true getaway where you find yourself as well.
For more information about Raffa and antigravity yoga, visit www.raffayoga.com . Happy flying!