I had no idea what Gravity Yoga was a few months ago but recently discovered it, realised I needed to be practicing it and decided it was SO needed in others that I have also recently trained to teach it. TRUST ME. It’s a game changer. You don’t need any prior yoga knowledge. It is something you can use to supplement any other exercise or activities that you do.
GRAVITY YOGA IS
A long hold stretching practice specifically designed to increase mobility. This is the ease and range in which your joints and muscles move. Gravity Yoga is practiced completely relaxed, passively, so gravity does most of the work, hence the name. The practice is meant to support, not replace, other forms of yoga and exercise.
Stretching and Gravity Yoga can improve flexibility and mobility at any age BUT flexibility will not happen without targeted practice. What is true is that our daily activities and exercise are probably making you tighter. Our modern lifestyles are making us tighter and stiff and reducing our mobility. We spend so much time hunched over, sitting and in static positions that shorten our muscles and give us muscle and joint pain. A lot of the fitness trends and activities today make us stiff, Crossfit, HIIT, marathons, and obstacle courses because people don’t tend to balance this activity.
As we age we lose mobility. Flexibility gains will stay with you longer than strength gains. Keep your mobility and youth longer by training in mobility. Gravity Yoga:
- It 100% focuses on mobility
- It is slow, deliberate and uncomfortable
- More challenging mentally than physically
- Strong, deliberate, targeted mobility training
- no energy, meridians or chakras
- Not a meditation class
- Not physiotherapy or rehab
- Not a restorative class
HISTORY OF GRAVITY YOGA
- Founded in 2007 in Thailand by Lucas Rockwood
- Taught as home practice (15 min) and in group classes
- Used by 80K+ students internationally at home
- Taught to 1,000+ students weekly in group classes in Barcelona and internationally
3 PRINCIPLES OF GRAVITY YOGA
WET NOODLE : You relax into the stretch as much as possible. That means total release and not engaging any of the muscles and to use as little muscular energy as possible to stay in the position.
4:8 BREATHING : Breath in for 4 and breath out of the mouth for 8. By slowing the rate of breathing to three (or less) breaths per minute and by extending the length of the exhale, it stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, turns off the stretch reflex, and creates a simple point of focus during the long challenging postures.
MEET OR BEET YOUR HOLD TIME – You body will always trend toward inertia (NO CHANGE), so the stopwatch or your yoga teacher is a way to measure, match, and eventually exceed your previous results. For flexibility results, the amount of time under passive tension is the key factor, so stretch times cannot be random or intuitive.
Everyone’s body is different and to get into a lot of the postures you may need to modify. This means using a prop to make the pose more accessible for you. Over time you may not need the prop anymore as you gain mobility, but don’t worry if that doesn’t happen.
- Block – you may want to get two or more of these in different shapes, sizes and stiffness
- Strap – this can be a scarf or belt but the nice things about yoga straps is you can loop them to hold a position
- Cushion/bolster/pad/pillow – again doesn’t have to be fancy. Your knees will thank you for this and it’s helpful to prop different parts of the body to support weight
- Massage balls – (optional) for deep facia release
CONTRAINDICATIONS – WHY IT MIGHT NOT BE FOR YOU
Don’t practice on pain killers
Don’t practice if pregnant
Get doctor’s approval if you’ve had: joint replacements, severe scoliosis, long term illness or disease, recent surgery
Ehlers-Danos Syndrome or severe hyper mobility