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Everything You Need to Know About Anti Gravity Cocooning

Anti-gravity cocooning is a lot like it sounds, as you'll explore what it's like to be a peacefully-resting butterfly.

What is anti-gravity cocooning you might be wondering? As the name implies, you’ll assume the position of a caterpillar/butterfly cocoon during your session. But how could this phenomenon possibly be a workout? You might be surprised to find out why so many people are participating in this new fitness trend.

What is Cocooning?

Cocooning is a type of “fitness” class offered at certain gyms and fitness studios, especially in the New York area. During the class, you’ll be suspended in the air by a cloth hammock hanging from the ceiling. Rather than a grueling sweat session, you’ll experience peaceful relaxation—you may even get to take a short snooze! So is anti-gravity cocooning really a workout? Not so much, but de-stressing is just as important as being physically active for many over-worked, stressed-out Americans.

What to Expect in Class?

Anti-gravity cocooning is similar to anti-gravity yoga, but with more relaxation time. When you get to class, you might be asked to take off your socks and shoes. Your instructor can help adjust your hammock based on your height and will dim the lights when everybody’s ready. You’ll participate in a variety of stretches using your hammock as resistance in many cases—or take part in some guided meditation. Yoga poses may also be incorporated into the stretching portion of the class. You might complete suspended abdominal exercises using your hammock. After about 20 or 30 minutes, you’ll assume a cocoon position—which is one you’re comfortable in to maximize relaxation. You'll be kind of like a human taco, swaddled cozily by your hammock.

Benefits of Cocooning

Possible benefits of taking an anti-gravity cocooning class are endless. You’ll likely leave class feeling refreshed, de-stressed and rejuvenated. And the stretching you'll experience during class helps prevent injuries to muscles and joints—especially after workouts—and improves flexibility. You might even notice tension headache (or other aches and pain) relief when participating in the class regularly. And if you’re doing anti-gravity cocooning on your lunch break or before work, you might notice an improvement in mental alertness and focus.

Potential Drawbacks

If you’re paying a lot for cocooning classes or studio/gym memberships, a 45-minute relaxation class may not be worth it to you—especially if you’re on a tight budget. You can use relaxation techniques from the comfort of home, or on your lunch break for free—you just won’t have a suspended hammock to relax in (unless you have one at your home). And you won’t burn many calories during this type of “fitness” class, so if time is tight you may decide a higher calorie-burning workout is a better use of free time. And while relaxing in a hammock is enjoyable for many people, waking up from a cocooning power nap when you're comfortable can be the pits. Napping late in the day can also make it more difficult to fall asleep at night.

Is Cocooning Right for Me?

When in doubt, give cocooning a try! And if you enjoy it and the price is right, you may have found yourself a new healthy hobby.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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