Posts Tagged ‘Anti-Gravity Training’

Anti-Gravity Training? Just Head to Your Nearest Swimming Pool

November 22, 2008

The other day I was reading an article on a trendy new yoga method called “Anti-Gravity Yoga.  Have you heard of it? Participants perform various postures while hanging from suspended hammock-like “yoga wings” anchored to the ceiling of the studio.  Apparently, you have to be pretty strong to maintain many of the postures, and with participants hanging and swinging from the ceiling there is the potential danger of mid-air collisions. Plus, there’s considerable risk of falling out of the hammock “wings” on to a hard-wood floor! 

Anti-gravity training is nothing new, folks.  And if you ask me, a safer, much more effective way to “throw gravity out the window” is to head to your nearest swimming pool for some anti-gravity exercise – including aqua yoga and aqua Pilates and “Ai Chi” – a form of Tai Chi developed specifically for performing in warm water.

No need to hang upside-down –  the buoyancy of the water naturally offsets gravity. In waist-deep water you are about 50% of your body weight, at chest-depth you’re 35%. In deep water you’re weightless and you can literally “off-load” your entire musculo-skeletal system by wearing a flotation belt or using a noodle. Buoyancy also increases range of motion of joints and muscles, further facilitating movement. Moreover, if you exercise in a warm pool (86 F or warmer), you’ll experience even greater ability to stretch your muscles by increasing circulation.

For more information on anti-gravity training, please visit my website at www.bewellcoaching.com. You might also check out these two short videos for specific information on the benefits of aquatic therapy and training: 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnG17QjJxrs&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzdHxnTj7EU&feature=related

Be Well,

Carolyn

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Throw Gravity Out the Window!

November 14, 2008

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about gravity. I suppose it’s only natural given the gravitas of the current economic situation.  It could also be the fact that as an aquatic therapist, I spend many hours a week speaking to clients about gravity’s counterpoint – buoyancy. Apart from outer space, deep water is the only place where we can literally throw gravity out the window and free our bodies (and our minds) of its heavy influence.  

Did you ever consider the negative connotation of the words and expressions that stem from gravity? There’s the aforementioned gravitas, there’s grave – as in “going to an early grave” or thegrave expression on his face“, not to mention the “gravity of a situation“. Buoyancy, on the other hand, coveys lightness, cheerfulness and exuberance – “he was buoyant in his attitude” “the fans were buoyant after the big win“, “she gave him a buoyant hug and kiss at the airport“.

Of course we need gravity to anchor us to the earth. Often, though, we are too weighted down by it – whether it be physically with musculoskeletal pain from injuries or surgery, or emotionally with worry and stress. Certainly our country is anything but buoyant economically right now. Lately it feels as thought we’re sinking rather than floating financially (unless it’s after being given a life raft like some of the banks and mortgage lenders). But maybe it’s time to literally and figuratively “throw gravity out the window” . Smile, breathe, laugh, hope and if possible, emerge yourself in a body of water, trading buoyancy for gravity.

As she was quietly floating upright in the deep end of my warm swimming pool at the end of her workout the other night, my client Cathy said to me, “everyone should have a few minutes a day without gravity”.  I couldn’t agree more!

Be well,

Carolyn