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Antigravity Yoga to Lose Weight

by
author image Sapna Pathak
Sapna Pathak is a certified professional yoga therapist, yoga instructor, diet and nutrition consultant. She is also certified as a prenatal yoga and aerial yoga teacher. A sports writer for the "Boston Globe," Pathak has won numerous awards for her coverage of sports, health, diet and fitness issues. In 2004, she earned bachelor's degrees in journalism and exercise physiology/neurobiology.
Antigravity Yoga to Lose Weight
A man is practicing yoga. Photo Credit Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images

Antigravity yoga is a great way to lose weight and can be as gentle or vigorous as you want on any given day. Antigravity yoga is normally done using a yoga swing, which you can easily set up at home or in a gym setting. Antigravity yoga allows you to lose weight by challenging you to use your muscles while you are in the air, completing a few yoga poses or a series of poses at one time. Antigravity yoga can help build lean, toned muscles, which can replace body fat you burn while practicing.

Features

Antigravity or aerial yoga is done in a yoga swing that is usually made from materials used in hammocks. The material is slightly stretchy and most yoga swings come with padding for your lower back when you are sitting or inverted in the swing. Antigravity yoga that supports you through various yoga poses draws from a variety of weight-loss disciplines, including yoga, Pilates, gymnastics and aerial arts. The swing supports you in your yoga poses, so you get to choose how restorative or challenging your practice is. You can do full yoga sequences, like Sun Salutations, or pick and choose single poses, like inversions, to experience their benefits and lose weight.

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Benefits

Antigravity yoga is best for practicing supported inversions and for building and increasing your core strength. You will gain flexibility and more strength through the upper and lower body. If you choose a more vigorous practice, you will burn more calories and fat during your workout, thus leading to more weight loss as the muscle begins to replace excess fat. Another benefit of antigravity yoga is an increase in body awareness, which will help you keep better form while you practice aerial yoga and other exercises to lose weight.

Considerations

Although antigravity yoga is an effective way to lose weight, it is not for everybody. According to AntiGravityYoga.com, contraindications for aerial yoga include pregnancy, glaucoma, recent surgery, heart disease, very high or low blood pressure, easy onset vertigo, osteoporosis/bone weakness, recent head injury, cerebral sclerosis, propensity for fainting, carpal tunnel syndrome, severe arthritis, sinusitis or head cold, hiatal hernia, disc herniation or acute discogenic disease, recent stroke, artificial hips and radiculitis inflammation of nerve root in spine. You should also abstain from antigravity yoga if you've experienced severe muscle spasms or had botox injections within six hours of practice.

History

Antigravity yoga can most easily be traced to a style created by renowned Indian yogi BKS Iynegar. Iyengar would use ropes attached to brackets in a wall to practice poses while suspended in the air. Antigravity yoga is fairly new and most of its roots are associated with Iyengar's rope-based practice. Iyengar yoga is also known for its emphasis on form and alignment of the body, and most importantly, the spine.

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References

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