Elevation Floating Fitness takes exercise to new heights

Walking into Elevation Floating Fitness for an Elevate Your Zen class, one sees 16 colorful silk hammocks hanging from the ceiling.

Peaceful music plays in the background, and inspirations signs with sayings such as “Your time as a caterpillar expired. Your wings are ready” hang on the wall.

Women of all ages and fitness levels chat familiarly with each other before owner and instructor Alyson Natoni starts class.

Natoni describes AntiGravityFitness as “an exercise regimen that combines aerial fitness techniques in a silk hammock with yoga practice, Pilates, ballet barre exercises and suspension fitness techniques which use your own body weight as resistance.”

Natoni saw pictures of AntiGravity on Facebook and decided to she wanted to give it a try. She started attending classes and immediately felt the benefits.

“Without even really understanding what was happening I just felt so much better, and I didn’t really know why, but I felt like I was walking taller, and my mood was enhanced,” she said.

Natoni also said the sense of accomplishment got her hooked.

“Even today in class some of the older ladies that are in here, they’re like ‘I can’t believe I did that,’ and that’s how a lot of people feel, every time they come in they do something more than they thought that they were capable of, and so you just have that sense of accomplishment,” she said.

Sherrie Rohner has been coming to the studio since February and expressed a similar sentiment.

“When I first came to class I was like ‘oh I would love to do that.’ Well now I’m doing some of those things that I didn’t think I’d ever be able to do,” she said.

“It’s fun and challenging at the same time, and there’s always something to be doing, there’s always another pose, there’s always something else and I love that they do that. They always come up with something new to try to challenge yourself,” Rohner said.

Rohner said she was intimidated when she first came to class but was quickly put at ease because of Natoni’s teaching style.

“She simplifies it, and explains it, so before you know it, you’re doing something you never thought was possible,” she said.

Cathy Brandley said after her first class she really enjoyed the workout and that “I don’t think they push you to go beyond what you feel comfortable with, and then the more that you come, the more comfortable you feel, the more you feel with the hammocks, then you’re more able to do some of the things that she’s asked you to do, ‘cause it’s kind of scary, I think, at first,” she said.

There are also physical and mental benefits to AntiGravity workouts, Natoni said. She said it also helps with anxiety and depression.

Natoni said watching her students feel the benefits of AntiGravity is the most rewarding part of owning her own business.

She has a woman who comes to class every day who has rheumatoid arthritis, and before coming to class she was bedridden for months at a time because her flare-ups were so painful, according to Natoni. Since coming to class the woman has fewer flare-ups and they don’t last as long.

“I feel like I have tons of stories like that, but even just the minimal person who comes in here and has a better day or a better outlook their life because hanging upside down has helped improve their mood, I just feel like that kindness spreads,” Natoni said.

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Source: Business