As we drove by the Gravitas studio in SW Portland looking for a place to park, we could already see the brightly-colored swings hanging from the rafters inside – ready to embrace us as my husband and I embarked on our first anti-gravity yoga class.
After a quick sign in, we entered the studio space and chose a swing. Once the height of the swing was adjusted for us, we hung out – testing the feel of things, stretching various sore body parts from the week’s previous workouts. This was a restorative class focusing on stretching, aligning the spine, and regaining fluidity and hydration in the connective tissues.
We began by gracefully maneuvering ourselves into the swing in a kind of fully enveloped straddle. Then bringing our feet together inside the fabric, we sat in our our personal sanctuaries, letting our hips gently stretch and enjoying the sensory experience of being surrounded by fabric in semi-isolation.
A few more positions inside the swings then we moved to inverted positions. This feels wonderful on your lower back, elongating and removing pressure from vertebrae that may have never been released before. Once I got used to the mildly uncomfortable rush of blood to my face (which I’m sure would be less severe after some practice) I very much enjoyed a gentle twisting stretch. We walked our hands around so that we faced the opposite wall, then pushing our hands against the floor, we allowed our hips to naturally untwist. Once finished, we let go and spun around to grab the floor and twist the other side. A bit of a roller coaster ride for me. And I giggled with delight, trying to catch the eye of hubby so he could share in my amusement. Alas, he was very focused on his own stretching, so I giggled to myself and then continued with my exercise.
We progressed through more spinal alignments with the swing closer to the ground – our shoulders resting on the floor and our feet or hips elevated.
Then, some light core work, eventually coming to Savasana within our swinging cocoons. As I lay there, enveloped in fabric, enjoying the slight sway, I wondered why everyone doesn’t sleep in hammocks. I could have snoozed there all night. We were then encouraged to blink, wiggle, and stretch to reset our senses before exiting the swing.
This was a restorative class and was very gentle. They also have classes made for more strength and stretch which I plan to check out soon.
I also have my eye on their yoga wall. Similar in feel to the anti-gravity yoga, I’m told, but it utilizes a sling strap and your feet against the wall to achieve movements using your body weight.
This restorative class utilizes a soft fabric swing to remove pressure from your spine, and achieve articulation not readily accessible while standing on the ground. The inverted positions and enveloped feeling of being inside fabric makes this discipline unique and enchanting.
• This restorative class has some mild core work but focused mostly on mobility.
• Other classes in the swing will use more muscle groups.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls…
This class welcomes women and men. Check with the studio for age limits.
Check with the studio if you have any heath concerns. I do not know enough about this practice to give advice here.
Wear clothes are easy to move in. For your comfort, wear leggings and shirts with sleeves that cover the underarm area. Also, keep in mind you will be upside down. If you’re wearing baggy shorts (guys) you might consider wearing compression shorts underneath.
Get into it:
5210 SW CORBETT AVE
PORTLAND OR 97239
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Other studios in the area who offer a similar class: