Anti-gravity yoga

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Anti-gravity yoga is a brand name of "aerial yoga", which is a new type of yoga, originating in California but now being practiced in several countries,[1] which combines the traditional yoga poses, pilates, and dance with the use of a hammock.


Anti-gravity yoga requires a special kind of hammock used a prob which can support up to 300 kilos of weight. The rig consists of support chains, a webbing strap, a silk hammock and carabiners.

Two support chains hang down from the ceiling to less than one meter from the floor, and the hammock is connected at the height preferred by the user.[2]

The hammock acts like a swing or soft trapeze, supporting the hips for forward bends and back bends. Yoga postures which some find difficult to do on the ground, such as the reverse post, may be easier in mid-air using the hammock, and the hammock moves add variety to a workout.[3]

Health benefits claimed[edit]

There is a lack of well-designed clinical trials to support the effectiveness of yoga in improving general health, and anti-gravity yoga is too new to have been studied in this way. However, anecdotal evidence indicates that by facilitating bending and stretching of the whole body during exercise, muscles and joints will be strengthened[4] and rehabilitated, and the spine decompressed[5] as the body hangs freely. As with other forms of active exercise, the circulatory, respiratory and digestive systems are improved through increased blood circulation.[citation needed] Yoga in general, and anti-gravity yoga in particular is promoted as benefiting emotional, psychological and spiritual health.[6]

Popular poses[edit]

There are an ever-increasing number of poses to try out during a session of anti-gravity yoga, with the most popular including:

Cross position[edit]

With the hammock supporting you just above your waist and hands holding the material, straighten your legs and lean back. Slowly let your arms fall wide behind you to complete the cross shape.[7]

Star inversion[edit]

This is one of the first inversions learned during an anti-gravity yoga class. With the hammock resting on the tailbone of your spine and hands gripping the sides, sit and let your body slowly fall backwards whilst opening your legs to rest against the material. Slide your hands down slowly to the floor and stabilize.[8]

One-legged king pigeon pose[edit]

From the star inversion, bend your right knee and hook your foot across the front of the hammock.[8]


From the one-legged king pigeon pose, reach back with one of your hands and grab your left foot or ankle. Then again with your second. Sink into the position and relax.[8]


  1. ^ "Aerial yoga goes head-over-heels in Vancouver (with video)". Erin Ellis, Vancouver Sun, March 9, 2014
  2. ^ Macmaillan. A, (2014). “Quick Tips: What is Antigravity Yoga?”, howstuffwork. (Accessed:6/08/2014)
  3. ^ "New Yoga Sutras". New Indian Express, by Ayesha Singh, 21 February 2015.
  4. ^ "Aerial yoga new way to refresh busy people". AsiaOne: Your Health.
  5. ^ Alicia, M McAuley (2014). The benefits of Anti-gravity Yoga. Best Health Magazine @2014 Reader’s Digest Magazines, Canada, Ltd. .
  6. ^ Anna, W. (2014). 5 Interesting Benefits of Aerial Yoga. (Accessed: 31/7/2014)
  7. ^ Curtis, Carmen (23 July 2015). "8 Essential Aerial Yoga Poses You Have to Try". Wanderlust. Retrieved 4 June 2018. 
  8. ^ a b c Dortignac, Michelle (17 June 2015). "The Aerial Yoga Sequence: 9 Poses to Defy Gravity". Yoga Journal. Retrieved 4 June 2018.