The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay announces an exciting new addition to its health and wellbeing offering; AntiGravity Aerial Yoga. FACT talks to the founder of this groundbreaking yoga technique, Christopher Harrison, to learn more…

Hi Christopher! For those who are not familiar with AntiGravity Aerial Yoga – tell us five important elements about it…?

ANYONE CAN DO IT: Anyone who has a fitness regime, no matter their level can do it, provided their mind is open. EASY INVERSIONS: The greatest unique physical advantage (that no other technique can boast) is zerocompression inversions from the base of the spine. Hanging upside down not only decompresses the spinal column, but also refreshes the circulatory system, the endocrine system and releases endorphins (aka happy hormones).

SYSTEMS REFRESHED: Everyone leaves feeling lighter. Your body systems are refreshed, releasing neurotransmitters from the brain (which combat depression). Muscle cells have grown and lengthened, joints are hydrated and everyone has had at least one good laugh. BODY RESHAPED: Since we are working in multiple planes of motion, the entire body gets worked and it is the very best core workout you can get.

THE FUN FACTOR: AntiGravity techniques are exploding all over the world because they invoke levity! Why suffer through tedious reps when you can have the same or better results while playfully exploring new movements swinging in a hammock?

Tell us about the idea and inspiration behind AntiGravity Aerial Yoga…

I am an award-winning Broadway aerial choreographer with America’s premier acrobatic performance company called AntiGravity (founded in 1991). I originally invented the silk hammock apparatus for the sake of creating beauty in the air. We discovered the magical healing to our compression injuries while doing inversions on the hammock during rehearsals. I put one up into my house and let go of my chiropractor.

After healing my own body I put a Harrison AntiGravity Hammock into my mother’s house to help her with her back pain. She is exercise phobic and overweight with two reconstructed hips. She became the guinea pig. I realized that if she can do it, anyone could. Witnessing her being healed from years of pain I guess you could say, “I heard my calling”. It took healing my mother to get the hard work done of codifying it into a technique.

Explain how and why AntiGravity Aerial Yoga is beneficial for the mind and body…

ANTIAGING: We are a society that treasures youth. You are only as young as your spine is flexible and your mind is open. When you open up space in the body, you open up space in the mind. AntiGravity is therefore like taking a sip from the fountain of youth! BACK PAIN RELIEF: When you perform a Zero-Compression inversion you get the kinks out of your back and hydrate your vertebral discs, which are like sponges and dry as we age. We have thousands of case studies of people who avoided surgery and got off pain meds thanks to AntiGravity Training.

People of all fitness levels can enjoy AntiGravity Aerial Yoga provided one can do at  least three sit-ups, hold a plank for 15 seconds and has an open mind

DECOMPRESSION: If your workout is only compression based, your machine is bound to break. A balanced fitness routine includes decompression in an equal amount to compression, lengthening as well as strengthening the muscles, mobilizing as well as tightening the joints. This goes for both the body and the mind. In Christopher Harrison’s AntiGravity we pursue excellence not perfection and choose fun over seriousness.

MENTAL BENEFITS: When you move your body freely in all directions of open space you create new synaptic connections and neural pathways that increase the neuroplasticity of your brain (your ability to learn). Everyone leaves class having challenged themselves and accomplished something new, thereby gaining a new sense of self-confidence. This will spill over into your life. Furthermore, when we integrate the body and mind through physical practice, we reconnect with our true self, our spirit. This helps support our coping mechanisms and we function more optimally.

Why did you choose the Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay as a place where AntiGravity Aerial Yoga can be experienced?

The Four Seasons and AntiGravity share in the common values of Quality and Originality. They’ve been the perfect partners for introducing AntiGravity in new territories around the globe. The Four Seasons Spa in Bahrain is one of the largest in their entire network and has terrific instructors whom I personally trained.

How fit do you have to be for AntiGravity Aerial Yoga – is it more mental or physical?

People of all fitness levels can enjoy AntiGravity Aerial Yoga provided one can do at least three sit-ups, hold a plank for 15 seconds and has an open mind. There are different classes and courses, so find the class that is right for you. An AntiGravity Yoga class is a lot like the path of life. It starts with a meditation inside the Womb and then goes immediately into the First Inversion. We enter the world upside down and we start class upside down. We then go through our sun salutation, our strength and flexibility, our swinging and another inversion before finishing in the corpse pose (which we call cocoon) while levitating in our Harrison AntiGravity Hammock. The process reconnects body and mind and reminds us of whom we really are without all the mental trappings of society and pains of the flesh. All AntiGravity Techniques reconnect the mind and body, so although it is physical in nature, one leaves with their mind refreshed, feeling more connected to their true self.


GO: Call 17115000 or email spareception. bah@fourseasons.com, to be one of the f irst to try the new AntiGravity Yoga at the Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay. Visit www. antigravity.com for more information.