Floating yoga, a new fitness trend

The latest fitness mantra is 'floating yoga'. Are Mumbai's health-conscious game to get suspended?

Talk about taking the whole mind-bodysoul philosophy to another level... one that's anti-gravity. The latest form of yoga will now have you floating from the ceiling! Joining the list of yoga-losophies - hot yoga, lunar flow yoga and even flo-yo (which mixes balancing on a paddleboat and yoga) - it's set to get you in shape as you contort mid-air, much like a trapeze artist. Judging by reports of its soaring popularity in Singapore, where it has started, will the fad float into the city soon?

What it's about The workout involves doing a balancing act suspended mid-air, your feet firmly tied in stirrups, as you perform breathing exercises and various asanas. It's somewhat a cross between Cirque du Soleil's fancy midair acrobatics and being in a hammock. A website reports John J Sweeney, who conceptualised the regime, as explaining how floating yoga brings a unique fusion technique that can relieve compressed joints and align the body from head to toe. "The new fitness and wellness workout works best in toning and getting you in shape while realigning your body from the compression of gravity. It also helps to increase one's health and physical agility in a fun and creative way," says Sweeney on a website.

Adds holistic health guru Mickey Mehta, "We normally are subjected to gravity while doing exercises on the floor Floating yoga improves the scope of biomechanics enhancement, as the inversion suspension head down does not put weight on the cervical, which otherwise happens in shirshasan. This truly decom presses your spine, and the traction allows more space in between the vertebra for stimulating your nervous system and improving agility of the spine."

'Sounds exciting' Model Nethra Raghuraman says she wouldn't mind trying it out. "I'm a big believer in yoga, and I prefer slow techniques that stretch the body instead of something like power yoga. Since floating yoga involves being in stirrups and harnesses, it's obviously working slowly on building core strength, so it can be good."

Singer Raageshwari Loomba, who has been practicing yoga for the past 11 years, finds it an interesting new trend. She says, "Originally, yoga was all about connecting with the universe with your feet firmly planted on the ground. Of late, it has shifted avatar to becoming a cardio workout like pilates. It's an unnatural form of movement but also a new way of improving flexibility. People give up working out due to monotony, so I'd to try it for sure."

What's their yoga-losophy? Lady Gaga, Ellen de Generes - Power Yoga Madonna - Ashtanga Yoga Miranda Kerr, Ricky Martin - Hatha Yoga Meg Ryan - Siddha Yoga Jada Pinkett Smith - Yoga-gym workout mix Christy Turlington, Michelle Williams and Jake Gyllenhaal - Kundalini Yoga Sting - Jivamukti Yoga

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