So in true ADD-fashion, I was all set today to write about something near and dear to my heart: my morning routine, an integral piece of me getting back to my true self (and consequently giving up my ADHD medication). But then, as often happens, a series of events hit, straying me off course. I decided to roll with the tide, and instead share a “yoga pose” that has become one of latest favorites. A little move I like to call the static hang.
It all started when I took my first arial yoga class a few weeks ago. Something about hanging upside down in the hammock – it felt amazing. I wanted to hang there, sloth-style, all day. Alas, I don’t (yet) have a hammock of my own from which to hang so freely. So in the aftermath of arial, and for when I cannot make it to the studio, I have since resorted to hanging from anything (stable) I can find. Mainly pull-up bars and playgrounds.
For a brief second there I was debating being scholarly and organized about this, and researching some of the scientific benefits of hanging upside down. But that’s not really my nature. So instead, I’ll share how a static hang makes me feel:
-My spine feels decompressed. Like I can actually feel the lightness of space in between my vertebrae, all floating one on top of the other.
-My head feels clear and bright. Yes, these are both feelings. If you don’t know what I’m talking about here, probably an indication you could use a solid static hang sesh yourself.
-I feel like a kid
again (did I ever stop?) Seriously though, as a child, I used to spend hours on these things called monkey bars. Swinging and hanging and having a grand old time. In my opinion, so many of us “adults” out in the “real world” take ourselves far too seriously for our own good. Why not take a pause in the day to create some ease and playfulness? If we give ourselves the opportunity to feel light – well then that only extends out to those we come in contact with. And spreading lightness and ease? What a subtltely powerful way of being.
To summarize, I highly recommend hanging upside down. Keeps the body fresh and young. Caveat: this is based not so much on statistics or facts, just on my own interpretative experiences. Also the pull-up and monkey-bar version of the “static hang” is not actually a yoga pose that I learned from anyone else. It is a term I made up, inspired by an arial yoga class I took. But, if it works, does it really matter?
How to get into and out of the static hang, you ask? Simple – here’s a video. It’s quite intuitive, especially if you’ve spent any amount of time on playgrounds. One thing to note: the bar feels tougher on the legs than I remember it from my playground days. So I used a scarf as a cushion. Another thing – when you’re coming out, use your core (the more you activate your abs, the easier it is). I prefer the slow back-roll exit strategy. Completely up to you.