Transcending Insecurity: The Anti-Gravity Yoga Edge
Welcome to the first in a series of WAC posts inviting you to rediscover the concept of the weekend getaway! If there’s one thing we’ve become pretty good at, it’s finding ways to unplug and treat ourselves to little adventures that enrich our lives. Our part of the country has much to offer in the sphere of adventure, and if you’re feeling boxed up, it’s time to tap into them. Kristi McKee starts the series off with her impressions of an exciting recent getaway with a group of special friends. Her style is thought-provoking and moving, and the destination she discovered sounds mighty tempting. Have a read…..
Supported only by the silk hammock suspended from the ceiling and wrapped under my butt, I swung gently while my toes just grazed the floor. My fists clenched the white silk cloth, which seemed way too thin for the job. Random thoughts darted in and out and feelings circulated quickly—self-consciousness, anticipation, fear of falling onto the floor in a pile. A physically fit girl in the back row flipped upside down into Monkey Pose with grace and ease. The adolescent in my head snapped, “show-off.” Acknowledging my own insecurity, I hoped I didn’t earn some bad instant Karma. I leaned back and much to my surprise, my feet rose naturally above my head like a lever.
Kate, the anti-gravity yoga instructor at Raffa Yoga in Cranston, RI, called for us to wrap our legs around the hammock and let go. The command “trust the hammock” was emblazoned across the wall of mirrors in front of us. Forget the hammock, I needed to trust my body, my strength; I needed to trust myself. I let go.
As I rested the backs of my hands on the floor, the blood rushed to my head, but so did a sense of satisfaction and confidence. I pushed myself to do something the negative voice inside my head chanted, “you can’t.” I chose not to listen. I chose instead to stuff a sock in that little voice as I pushed past what’s comfortable.
Confide and Conquer
Pushing outside your comfort zone is imperative to move forward, to overcome fears and insecurities—likely based on negative thought patterns leftover from childhood—or worse yet, imposed on us by society.
“It’s not just anti-gravity, it’s anti-graveness, as we seek to lighten our bodies, our minds, and our spirits,” Kate instructed us. She encouraged lightness; encouraged us to laugh during class.
In addition to a multitude of physical benefits, which, let’s face it, you can get from many different kinds of activities, the mental benefits of anti-gravity yoga are unique. According to the Raffa Yoga website, anti-gravity yoga can bring you, “increased self-esteem through trusting your hammock and working through the process of conquering basic fears.” In the pose aptly called Womb, your body rests comfortably, entirely enclosed in the hammock as the soles of the feet come together. The position delivers a combination of calm and lightness unrivaled in a group exercise class.
Beyond the Comfort Zone
Statues of the Hindu god Ganesha—the remover of obstacles—stand on my desk at work and at home. They act as a reminder that most obstacles that stand in my way lie within. I highly recommend everyone find an activity that’s a little bit scary and try it anyway. The rewards floating just outside your comfort zone are many and waiting!