Anyone who follows my blog probably knows that I'm not the best when it comes to keeping health-related promises. But I think I may have broken a personal record for following through in the past couple of weeks. True to my word, I attended my first anti-gravity yoga class on Friday (www.verticalgirlfitness.com), and I had an absolute blast. Class started with a bit of hammock familiarization, followed by some deep breathing. We were then instructed to hop into the hammock, where we enjoyed some very soothing suspended poses, such as "Womb Pose"; all wrapped up with soles of feet together, knees out, and arms resting at the sides. The sensation of gently swaying in the dimly lit room, enveloped by the semi-sheer fabric, was truly like nothing I've experienced. It took the term relaxation to a completely new level, and I knew right then that I would be hooked.
After a few more suspension poses, we moved to the inversions. These are upside down poses we completed while being wrapped one way or another with the hammock. The first was called "Skirted Star", which was accomplished by leaning back with legs straight out and the hammock stretched down to the heels. When you let yourself go upside down, you pull your feet out so your legs are in a "V", and the hammock is stretched out around your bottom half and it appears you are wearing a skirt. Your arms then come out to the sides with hands resting, palms up, on the floor. The next pose was called the "Booty Wrap", in which you sit in the hammock and scrunch it down so it's just around the booty, then lean back, shoot the legs up, wrap the feet around each side of the hammock and hang upside down. I enjoyed this pose with my hands at heart center, with palms pressed together at the center of my chest. Inversion poses are thought to have multiple health benefits, including decompressing and realigning the spine, oxygenating the brain and blood, assisting with elimination and detoxification, and elevating the mood (just to name a few). So if I continue the yoga (which is within reach at only $10 per class), I know I could reap those benefits and more. Not to mention it was really fun, which is always a good motivator.
After the inversions, we did some fun swinging moves, and some old familiars like "Downward Dog", only using the hammock to support and open the hips. We ended class with several minutes of meditation, during which time we laid in the hammock, legs stretched straight out like a corpse (hence, this was called "Corpse Pose" or "Final Rest"). After the lights came up, our instructors offered to take pictures of us in our favorite pose, so I chose the "Booty Wrap" and sent the pic to a few friends so they could see what I had been up to. Their surprised responses were amusing, and after talking further with the instructor I was even more pumped to come back for more...can't wait!
You may also be pleased to know that I have stuck to my elimination diet without fail. Well, just a tiny slip up the other night when I just had to have a bite of a pop tart smeared in only the most delicious stuff in the universe; Nutella. But other than that I have held strong and am going into week three feeling great and with much clearer skin. And I finally got myself on a scale, which told me that I am down over ten pounds since the last time I weighed in almost a month ago. That's completely amazing, especially considering I made it through a road trip to North Carolina, bringing my own food and avoiding Bojangles (the best chicken and biscuits in the South) like the plague. The happiest part of all this is that I'm still craving veggies, not carbs and sugar, and it's getting easier everyday. All in all, a very good week!
Published On: February 28, 2012