More on Fly high yoga.

Flying High/AntiGravity Yoga is a new kind of workout. It involves performing a series of exercises inspired by yoga, Pilates, calisthenics and aerial acrobatics in a belt or hammock-like apparatus, in order to achieve a total-body workout. Think Cirque du Soleil for gym-goers and yoga buffs. It’s also incredibly fun.

Currently available in Albany, Western Australia with Hayley Lawrence from radiant being. Flying High Yoga + AntiGravity Yoga is making its way across the world after garnering a great deal of attention in the United States. Even celebrities are getting in on the AntiGravity action; pop singer Pink implemented anti gravity and fly high for the daring routine that she performed during the 2010 Grammy Awards.

The benefits of Fly High Yoga/AntiGravity Yoga

Apart from being a major stress-buster due to its high fun quotient, there are some serious health benefits associated with Fly High /AntiGravity Yoga. “Anyone that has back issues should be doing this class,” says Bill Davis, director of group fitness for The Athletic Club in Brantford, Ont. “It’s better than an inversion table. It gives you the chance to hang freely, allowing your spine to lengthen. People who have taken the class always comment on how much better their back feels afterward.” An avid fan, Katlynn MacDonald can attest to this. After suffering from sciatica for years, she has found that practicing Fly High Yoga/AntiGravity Yoga helps to relieve her pain.

In addition to decompressing the spine, Fly High/AntiGravity Yoga can help to increase strength and flexibility, as well as bring you greater awareness of your body. “It’s a real mind-body-spirit experience,” says instructor Hayley Lawrence, who has been teaching yoga for the past 11 years. “It really does help in other areas of our lives, too. The core work is a huge benefit for all sports and I’ve found that my students can recover faster.”

More than yoga

Fly High/AntiGravity Yoga isn’t just a yoga workout—it combines several different exercise styles. “Lots of people who aren’t into yoga still do Fly High/AntiGravity,” says Davis. Even the instructors come from a variety of fitness backgrounds—one's background is in gymnastics and dance, while another instructor’s specialty is Pilates or Yoga.

While you’ll still find yoga favourites like "downward dog" and "cat-cow," you’ll also get to experience new moves. And Davis notes that every class features inversions, so that participants can enjoy a spinal decompression.

What to expect

So how do you prepare to have your world turned upside down? “Drop all expectations,” says Davis. Like any brand new experience, it’s important to have an open mind. “Listen to your instructor, and most importantly, trust the belt. We wouldn’t let people do this if it wasn’t one-hundred percent safe.”

While it may be difficult to feel comfortable doing backflips in a belt for your first time out, it may ease your mind to know that each belt can actually support up to (350 kg). As for the hardware that attaches the hammocks to the ceiling? “It’s all mountain-climbing rated,” says Davis. Once you’re able to overcome that initial fear, you’ll be able to enjoy all that the class has to offer.

Some cautions about AntiGravity Yoga

Due to the nature of the class, with its flips and inversions, Fly High/ AntiGravity Yoga is not recommended for women who are pregnant. Also, if you have recently had eye surgery or suffer from vertigo, it is recommended that you consult your doctor before giving the class a try.

But when it comes to your fitness level, there are no restrictions for Fly High/AntiGravity Yoga. Even if you’ve never taken a yoga class in your life, you’ll be amazed at how much you can do. “It’s really accessible,” says Hayley, noting people of all ages can attend her classes. “Different bodies, different fitness levels—everyone gets something different from it.” In fact, it’s very common to see mums and daughters in class together, swinging in belts side by side. Husbands and wives, and groups of friends. The other great thing is it appeals to both masculine and feminine fitness + wellbeing needs.

Flying high after class

After an hour of swinging back and forth, flipping upside down and pushing your body in a whole new way, it’s hard not to leave the class with a big smile on your face. “You walk out of it, and you just feel good!”. So don’t be surprised if you get hooked. “It’s like an addiction, almost", “People come in and say, ‘I just need to hang upside down!’”

 Timetable for Fly High in Albany