“In order to fly you must be willing to let go” – Christopher Harrison
Abu Dhabi raised, American born, Forever Palestinian at heart and by blood. I always imagined myself entering the creative world which is something I am extremely passionate about. And I did. Spending late nights drawing and painting was the ideal perfect escape for me. My passion is to create and through my paintbrush, I found a way to access my true authentic self. Each canvas took me on a sacred journey. This is how being in the AntiGravity® hammock now makes me feel.
In 2010, I got into a minor accident which caused a never-ending piercing pain in my back that was an unpleasant drug for years. I moved to New York City in 2011 at the age of 16 and discovered Antigravity yoga during my years there as an Art student.
Art School, oh what isn’t there to say about being an Art student. Well, let me sum it up this way… carrying a 12kg portfolio bag every day through the bustling streets of New York City and spending a large number of hours sitting on high metal stools for 6 hours with a minimum of 3-hour classes. That became my routine life for my first year. Months have passed, which lead to horrible posture that only worsened my back condition. I tried everything, nothing was impactful enough as Antigravity® fitness. Antigravity® transformed my life and most importantly had a huge impact on my back; from then on I knew there was no turning back.
Living in NYC meant constantly being on the go and running errands. I was always a fitness person at heart and really enjoyed being active, the main reason for that would be being a food lover, so working out meant I could eat more and remain guilt free 🙂 I needed to find my center, shake off all the pain and focus on moving forward happily. I stumbled upon a printed poster of a stunning lady hanging from an orange silk apparatus which said Aerial Yoga studio 8th floor.
It is well-documented that I am a huge fan of adrenaline rushes and being active. So when I read that Aerial yoga was about being suspended in the air and still getting the most out of your workout? Now that’s a thrill seeker’s dream!
I’ve never been a yogi, but I was willing to try it and see what antigravity yoga has to offer. Now Imagine me walking into a yoga studio for my very first time (I am sure we have all been there), I had no idea what to expect as that is what excited me the most. I signed in and welcomed myself into the room sitting next to one of the hammocks. In a flash, class began and I had realized that I registered for an open-level class. In other words, I was going to have to do some pretty intimidating hanging up-side-down sequences to embrace those adrenaline sensations I wished for. I was puzzled and lost, I had no idea how to come into an inversion, especially as someone who has never-not once taken a yoga class or done any kind of inversion in their life. Intense fear took over my mind and body. Panic mode switched on. I then slipped out of the hammock during the second inversion of class, which got rid of any bit of confidence I started to build. I walked out an hour later with my head feeling heavier than ever, everything was a blur. I couldn’t even remember the details or benefits of the class.
I was so close to giving up, but I reminded myself that every drop of sweat, every push, every moan is a step closer to great progress. It is all part of the progress. One week later I decided to give it another chance.
Fear is your worst enemy, you cannot grow wings if you do not learn to let go of all the negative voices in your head. My journey as an Antigravity instructor, Almost 90% of people that walk into my class say “I can’t, I can’t, I can’t.” The beauty of Antigravity is that it is made for everyone, anyone! in any shape or form and this is where we as ‘Antigravity practitioners’ are reminded and live by the quote “In order to fly you must first be willing to let go.”by Christopher Harrison.
After my 2nd shot at experiencing a class at the Christopher Harrison Antigravity Lab in NYC, I am more than pleased to say, I walked out of the class feeling accomplished and empowered by the benefits of Antigravity® and the effect it had on me. My face felt a little glowy, maybe after all the blood that had rushed to my face. It became an addiction and I have been practicing ever since. I decided to encounter all the aerial yoga genres that Antigravity offers and expand my knowledge with teacher training.
What is AntiGravity® Fitness?
Christopher Harrison is the creator and founder of Antigravity® it was established in 1991. When the hanging silk first emerged as a performance apparatus, Mr. Harrison redesigned it to create the “silk hammock” which generated a completely new movement vocabulary, that is now adopted and admired worldwide.
AntiGravity® has two meanings 1) playing within the laws of physics 2) against graveness — in other words, keep moving, stay light-hearted and have fun! When you laugh you are working your risible muscles. In AntiGravity, we are intent on keeping them in shape.
Antigravity yoga & fitness classes are inspired by movement, you hang upside down for most of it which are meant to elongate your spine and release all tension in your bones and muscles. Flip your perspective on life, it is a valuable factor to have, as swinging freely in space also helps strengthen proprioceptors which send signals to your brain letting you know where you are in space and time.
The Hammock supports you in all positions, and because it supports you, you are able to relax and let go. The benefits of Antigravity® classes are to increase flexibility, strengthen your core muscles, release tension and get a deep tissue massage in areas even a masseuse may not be able to reach. Even poses that can be really tricky on the floor, for example, handstands, become much easier with the hammock. The apparatus helps build confidence and works on your alignment to progress even in other physical exercises.
Defy gravity while becoming more connected to the Earth. It harnesses the power of the ultimate apparatus and can make advanced yoga poses accessible to beginners and the most basic poses a challenging exploration for advanced practitioners. -Levity
“In Life, Hidden in the Forces that pull us Down, is the Energy to lift us Up!” – Christopher Harrison
AntiGravity® Fitness is a wonderful way to stay in shape by opening space in the mind, and body. When you open up space in your body, you open up space in your mind. When you open up space in your mind, you release judgment and regret and are able to experience life and pleasure with abundance! Open Up. Be Free! Live AntiGravity! Discover the power, excitement and pure joy of moving freely in all directions of open space and explore the evolution of yoga into 3-dimensional space with Antigravity® techniques. It is without a doubt a unique and fun way of being physically active and building strength.
AntiGravity® is a fitness technique that is there to help you reconnect your body and your mind and to take any tension away from you. It is also there to challenge you, challenge the way you think the way you view yourself and challenge your body. PROGRESS. A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there. There is no challenge, more challenging than the challenge to improve yourself.Your workout is a personal practice of awareness. In your pursuit of health, do your best, no better no less.
Fitness techniques are not just for those who are physically gifted. It is my personal opinion that everyone has a duty to themselves and society to do their best to care for their body and mind. Our true wealth is our health. Challenge yourself to do things you’ve never done before. Your success lies not in perfect outcomes, but in braving the courage, in believing in yourself enough to just try. There is absolutely no shame in making mistakes or even falling on your face. It’s all part of being alive and being a human being. Don’t be discouraged to try again or to try something new. Keep expanding your experiences, keep growing your wings. This life, this day is short and waiting for you to seize it! Carpe diem!
I chose to move onto greater things and changes by leaving New York and coming back to Abu Dhabi to introduce my learnings and teachings in UAE and make everyone happier, healthier, stronger and taller from just one class!
The primary philosophy of Antigravity is presence.Finding “presence” by living in the moment is the true objective of a yoga practice. In the present moment, you are safe and in flow with the universe. Cradled in your Harrison AntiGravity® Hammock it is easier to come to yourself. Suspend your disbelief, learn to let go of things that serve you absolutely no purpose. Go out there and try something new, listen to your body! Experience new sensations, you may never know what your body really needs if you don’t.
I cannot wait to fly with all you beautiful souls. Get out of your comfort zone and join me for Antigravity® Aerial Fitness classes at The Studio in Abu Dhabi, or contact me through the below details for any details, questions or private & group sessions you may be interested in.
FLY HIGH & LAMASTE.
Lots of Love & Light,