JEZE October 2011 : Page 114

Fly Girls Metro Atlanta yoga instructors are the first to bring an unusual NYC workout to Georgia. all of Launch Awareness’ teachers are “Level One” certified and the safely secured hammocks hold up to 2,000 pounds. Students must monitor their own bodies closely, deciding what’s best for them on a given day. It’s a practice that results in agility, balance and conquering the fear of falling. People of all ages, shapes, heights, experience levels and weights can reap the nearly boundless health benefits of AntiGravity yoga: increased muscular flexibility from head to toe (biceps, triceps, core and lower body), decompression of the spine and zero-compression inversions that allow the circulatory and lymphatic systems to refresh. The hammocks act as props offering support, allowing AntiGravity yoga to serve as a therapeutic restorative treatment for knees and other joints. The inversion poses increase height (yes, you’ll grow taller) and stimulate the release of neurotransmitters in the brain—great for banishing depression. Perhaps the best perk? It’s a mini vacation for your mind. “For an hour and a half, you are unable to think about anything else, other than what you are currently doing at the moment,” says Carraway. “In other practices, you’re able, even on your yoga mat, [to think about] what you’re going to do after class or what you’re going to cook for dinner. We multitask all day, so it’s a huge gift to be able to be present with yourself, [doing] something that makes you better in every other part of your life.” –Maria Carter Launch Awareness Yoga Centre 3450 Acworth Due West Road, Kennesaw 770.975.4795 launchawareness.com Classes: $20 per class or $90 for a five-class package; classes held Monday through Saturday, mornings and evenings; daily schedule varies; check the website for details. Levels range from beginners and restorative (suitable for all levels) to Level One Fundamentals. Classes for children and seniors start this fall. Fun Poses Bat: an inversion similar to the way bats sleep Flying Dog: the AntiGravity yoga equivalent of traditional yoga’s downward-facing dog Mountain Peaks: AntiGravity’s version of traditional yoga’s sun spiderman: a beginner’s inversion, hanging upside down, knees bent, all 10 toes touching Cocoon: the resting state at the end of practice, wrapped inside the hammock For more info, visit antigravityyoga.com. AntiGravity yoga photo by Karen Fuchs 7 WELLNESS FOCUS by JEZEBEL AntiGravity yoga, all the rage in New York, has arrived in our area. Swinging in a silk hammock suspended from the ceiling with daisy chains and carabiners, Kelli Carraway tells students it’s time to do what they came here for—“to get upside down.” Carraway goes first, inverting and contorting her body into a formation that leaves her lower back (the sacrum, specifically) supported by the hammock with her legs wrapped around it. The feeling of weightlessness that results from this pose is no longer reserved for Cirque du Soleil acts; Atlantans can experience it now, too, thanks to AntiGravity yoga at Launch Awareness Yoga Centre in Kennesaw. The amateur AntiGravity yogis follow their instructor’s lead and end up levitating like sleeping bats, their heads a few inches off the floor. All that blood rushing to the head can leave one’s mind spinning, but Carraway reminds students to let go, laugh, scream and cry—whatever emotions come naturally. “This is not the class to be quiet,” says Carraway. Co-owners Carraway and Jane de Albuquerque opened their studio in April of this year, after training with Christopher Harrison, the Broadway choreographer who created AntiGravity yoga in 2007. It’s the only place in Georgia to experience this fusion of dance, pilates, gymnastics, yoga and aerial performances. It’s also the largest franchise in the United States, with a classroom that can accommodate up to 24 participants. To be successful in this unique practice requires open-mindedness and trust (both in the hammocks and the instructors). Not to worry; salutations

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