(I am a lawyer and lecturer, and spend most of my working days at a computer).
I was diagnosed with scoliosis at the age of 16, which I learnt to effectively manage for seven years with a combination of Iyengar yoga and swimming. My exercise regime went out the window when I commenced working full time as a trainee solicitor, and after nearly eight years of abandoned good intentions and computer work, the discomfort and pain were constant and had begun to interfere with everything, including sleep.
I resolved that 'things had to change' and it was at this time that I heard about AGY from two very different sources. I was curious but skeptical when I signed up.
It was in the first inversion in that first class I knew this was going to help. The pain was enough to bring me to the point of tears, but the relief in those tightest muscles along my spine and hips was almost instant. I left that class exhausted but invigorated.
Continuing with AGY has helped to nearly eliminate the constant discomfort not only from the instant release of tension during class, but also through improving strength, muscle tone and posture. It's challenging, but the benefits have made it easy for me to stick with (the most consistent exercise regime I've started in the past nine years). Plus, it's as close to that childhood ambition of becoming a trapeze artist as I am likely to get!
The Master Yoga Instructor
I have enjoyed 13 years of teaching yoga as my full time occupation. I had a rare opportunity to study intensively under the daily supervision of a masterful teacher for four years. This gave me a firm foundation in Hatha Yoga and taught me three fundamental aspects for the successful development of advanced yoga practice. The first relates to a psychological perspective and can be described best as a loose, natural and lighthearted attitude (be sincere not serious, practice your buddha smile!). The other two relate to longevity within the physical discipline, and are essentially the prevention of physical injury through the practice of Bandha (co-activation of opposing muscles around a joint complex), and the prevention of energetic depletion through the practice of Pranayama (movement of vital energy via breath control and bandha). These invaluable yogic methods are keystones for health and vitality, and generally require years of dedicated, sustained daily training to master.
Today, our time-poor modern lifestyles makes it challenging for most people to come to class daily. Our world is only getting faster, so the question arises how can yoga fit the 21st century yogi? I see AntiGravity® Yoga as a unique 'pre-yoga' system that can bridge the gap between the wisdom of ancient practices and contemporary living. This revolutionary technique, developed by Christopher Harrison, now offers the pure beginner a way to develop a sensory understanding of advanced yogic skills. AntiGravity® yoga uses a soft hammock apparatus, which is most celebrated for its ability to allow every beginner to safely experience inversions with zero joint compression in their first class. However this is not the only amazing benefit! Using the hammock in non-inversion asanas beginners also gain insight into the power and protection provided by bundhas as they rapidly build alignment awareness and proprioceptive neuromuscular control. The joy of teaching AGY is knowing that every student can access the incredible feeling of traction and lightness using the hammock to provide self-adjustments, regardless of ability. They can also experience transitioning with flow and freedom between postures which enhances integrated breath and movement, a fundamental pranayama principal in vinyasa practices. Students are able to use the hammock to refine the ability to monitor resistance in functional dynamic situations which reduces their risk of injury. Most importantly the AntiGravity® yoga philosophy of 'levity' provides an antidote to stress and allows people to embody the playfulness of childhood while learning the essential components of traditional hatha yoga.
For my own longevity as a teacher, I have found the restorative effects of AGY to be a relief for my joints that have suffered from the repetitive floor movements in my full time teaching load. It has given me what I needed to keep teaching for years to come without wearing my own body out!
The Martial Artist
As a MARTIAL ARTIST (Japanese Jujitsu) I've seen great improvements in my core strength, muscle tone, balance, flexibility and even my grip strength! This has been a great boon for my ground-fighting work, and I'm generally feeling more grounded and balanced with other techniques, including my breathing. Initially I figured that of course it would improve my flexibility, but I hadn't expected the extra strength gains, streamlining and toning of my body - gotta be happy with that!. AG®Yoga leaves me with a happy endorphin high after every class!
The Computer User
Kirsten - Camp Hill
As a COMPUTER USER for eight (plus!) hours a day, I know of the ergonomic and postural issues that can affect desk-bound workers. It's only recently that I realised, hang on, I'm no longer getting those regular blinding headaches that I used to get - despite all the modifications I'd made to my working environment - and I can only put that down to one change in my lifestyle - I've been doing AG®Yoga for the last six months!
The Competitive Gymnast
Emma Slattery (20)
When i 'retired' after 15 years of competitive gymnastics, i knew it would be difficult to curb my desire for strength, flexibility and being upside down. i also quickly realised that going without these components day after day was beginning to take its toll on my body; in particular the 7 years of Acrobatic Gymnastics and having other gymnasts standing on or being supported by my body had left a marked effect on my back, shoulders and knees. My cousin suggested i try AntiGravity yoga, as it contains the mix of strength, flexibility and upside down i was so used to. I now do one AGY session and one strength/ tumbling session every week. I find the AGY helps me to increase my flexibility and reduce/ negate some of the wear on my body the the gymnastics causes. It has also helped me improve my posture and balance, as well as help me relax when im stressed about university. Its also great fun!