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The best way to get into yoga is by swinging blithely in a hammock. And here’s why
Swinging to and fro in a hammock may sound like the sort of thing for the recumbent and lethargic days of summer, but it’s actually a great way to boost your health and fitness levels, and propel yourself into yoga classes, global fitness brand Fitness First say.
And before you start your it’s-not-pumping-iron-so-it’s-not-fitness judgements, reserve them. The ancient Indian practice decreases the secretion of cortisol (stress-inducing hormone), relieves anxiety and depression, and improves cardio-vascular health: all of which is backed up by science and clever sciencey people who research these things with their scientific studies.
Also, yoga makes you “one” with nature and the environment around you: this is not backed up by science.
So, provided you want all of these health benefits and naturalistic unity — which if you’re working out, of course you do — how to go about getting into yoga?
Well, slumping in a gravity-defying hammock and swinging like King Louie is, according to Fitness First the newest and easiest way to get the hang of it. Sorry — pun intended.
According to Fitness First, “Swing Yoga has become increasingly popular in recent years in the Middle East. A combination of traditional yoga poses with the use of a gravity-defying hammock, it’s the perfect class for anyone looking to get into Yoga,” the company said in a press release.
Fitness First’s hammocks designed for the classes can support up to 300kg of weight and is attached to the ceiling hanging to less than 1 meter from the floor.
The hammock acts like a swing and soft trapeze, supporting the hips for forward and back bends.
The point of introducing the hammock for a newcomer to yoga means that the fundamental postures which some people can find difficult to do on the ground can be easier without the added pressure on joints.
Satish Thirumurthy Ramaswamy, Platinum trainer and Swing Yoga Instructor at Fitness First says, “Swing Yoga is actually the perfect introduction for those looking to get into Yoga and lays a solid foundation for successful Yoga practice.”
And to encourage you further to think about taking the past-time up, below are a few FAQs which Ramaswamy has answered for you.
FAQ: Can I join a Swing Yoga class if I have never done Yoga before?
STR: “Swing Yoga is the perfect beginners starter class and helps correct mistakes in the body to help you perform standard Yoga poses properly.”
FAQ: If I find Yoga difficult should I avoid Swing Yoga?
STR: “With today’s sedentary lifestyle, it is advisable to start with Swing Yoga over normal Yoga. Swing Yoga develops perception and direction within asanas. It indicates the details and depth of yoga asanas which is supported by the swing to maintain and move more deeply into any type of Yoga pose. Swing Yoga works towards desired results in practice as it aims to move blocked areas and create energy in the body. It encourages you to hold postures for a longer duration of time without any strain, which can be more difficult with standard yoga.”
FAQ: What benefits can I expect from Swing Yoga?
STR: “The benefits of Yoga are different for every person. Everyone has different abilities in strength and flexibility. Some people may have injuries that they would like to help correct, so it depends on the intention of the person and what benefits they would like to take from the class. Many people love the feeling of freeness and say it boosts their mood. Others have said that Swing Yoga helps improve their balance and stability in daily activities.
“Swing Yoga opens up the hips, shoulder joints, and rotator cuffs. It can also provide many health benefits including the betterment of the endocrine, circulatory, lymphatic and nervous systems.
“As well as this, the thyroid system is massaged reducing inflammation and stress within the body. Swing Yoga can also lessen the side effects of female hormone imbalances and the inversions increase oxygen blood flow to the face which helps with ageing as skin cells are nourished. The parasympathetic nervous system is positively stimulated, promoting a feeling of calm and deep wellbeing.”
FAQ: Can Swing Yoga help with physical injuries?
STR: “Swing Yoga can be very beneficial for those who have injuries, especially joint issues and back problems as it doesn’t put strain or pressure on the joints. It gives you the chance to hang freely, allowing your spine to lengthen and stretch.
“With less strain on your back whilst doing the exercises, it eases tension in the spinal cord and hip joints, which is great for those who suffer from sciatica. Much of the human body is in an upright position daily from sitting at a computer, walking, driving and day to day activities so the forward bending helps with disk injuries, releases joints and realigns the spine.”