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aerial yoga

Surfing icon Laird Hamilton shares his 10-point plan to live forever - Including Aerial Hammock Inversions!

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Surfing icon Laird Hamilton shares his 10-point plan to live forever - Including Aerial Hammock Inversions!

Jennifer Cawley / One&Only Palmilla

Jennifer Cawley / One&Only Palmilla

"I’ve had back issues and injuries over the years. When your back goes out, you’re out of commission. I give it relief with stretching and inversion, and strengthen it with core work and stand-up paddle boarding. Someone once said, ‘If you did 20 minutes of headstands a day, you probably wouldn’t age.’ Gravity is always pulling us down, and inversion fights it. I do it on a teeter board or on an upside-down hammock, not gravity boots, which don’t allow your legs to relax and decompress." - Laird Hamilton

Full article here by: Roy M. Wallack

Perpetual youth is a whimsical notion suited to screen writers and 16th century Spanish explorers but a career requirement for Laird Hamilton.

In the ocean as many as five hours most days, the inventor of tow-in big-wave surfing, modern-day stand-up paddleboarding and hydrofoil surfing uses a unique diet and training regimen to maintain a chiseled fitness that astonishingly belies his 51 years. Here, the father of three explains why he hasn’t had a drop of alcohol in a decade, heartily devours fat, hangs upside-down with regularity, pals around with an 83-year-old for inspiration -- and keeps searching for the Next Big Thing.

1. Forget age. Just keep driving the car: 

I take better care of myself today not as an accommodation to age but to maintain continual high levels of performance and just to feel good. I have a friend Don Wildman who's 83 years old - and the guy's an absolute stud who works out with weights, mountain bikes, paddles, surfs every day. Don’s a living example of what it’s like when you just keep driving the car. I think what happens is that we decide we're old and everything stops working. There's so much stigma and weirdness around being older. Don and I were watching a tennis match and the announcer was saying "He's 34 years old!" Get over it - and keep moving. Don't wait until you have a health scare or collapse. Get off your [butt] and feel better now.

Jennifer Cawley / One&Only; Palmilla

Jennifer Cawley / One&Only; Palmilla

2. Take care of every day priorities:

The stuff you do every day — your sheets and towels, the food you put in your body — these are your priorities. Not a fancy car or fancy clothes or fancy watches. For instance, I used to drink red wine every day — nothing like a good Bordeaux — but haven’t had a sip of wine or beer in nine years and have no desire to. I realized that sugar is not good for your body and that alcohol is one of the biggest culprits.

The fact is that alcohol doesn’t taste good anyway. The reason people drink is to have some sort of sensation, right? So if you’re not into that sensation, it’s a waste of time. It’s a discipline thing too. My mom once said to me, ‘If you can’t be true to yourself, you can’t be true to anyone else.’ As proof to myself that I had the willpower, I don’t do it. Bottom line: If you want your rocket to fly, you put rocket fuel in it. I want to be able to do certain things at a certain level. I like the way I feel. On a daily basis, I feel better not drinking.

Getty Images

Getty Images

3. Be a fat-burning monster: 

I don’t eat energy bars when I’m out on the water all day. In fact, I don’t need to eat anything. My body runs off its body fat. That’s because I’m Paleo. I consume hardly any refined sugar (only if it’s in a salad dressing), a few raw dairy products and almost no wheat or grains. I eat plants and animals. I actually grew up that way in Hawaii. [Paleo researcher-kineseologist] Paul Chek taught me that your body has enough fat on it to run for days ... and that sugar fouls up your machinery. So after I cut alcohol, I began eliminating sugar and sugary fruit. I refined it over the last two years listening to [Primal lifestyle guru] Mark Sisson and other Paleo people.

If you’re eating right, a triathlete can go for hours and hours on a couple tablespoons of almond butter and your own body fat. But if you eat refined carbs, your blood sugar spikes up and down and you’re sucking down gel packs to get it back up. I love espresso. … You could give me five shots of espresso, a quarter stick of butter, a quarter stick of coconut oil and other fat, and I’ll drink that. I could go for five or six hours and not even be hungry at the end. Because I’m burning fat.

4. But don’t be a zealot: 

I have a saying: 'Everything in moderation, including moderation.' I make it achievable, not stressful for me and people around me. I’ll use a little coconut sugar. … I’ve got friends who have to stick [to a particular diet] at all times, and the stress of that almost overrides the quality of the way you eat. My eating is not such a hassle that I can’t go anywhere.

5. Golf-ball your bare feet: 

I grew up barefoot in Hawaii and didn’t give a thought to walking on gravel, but I’d notice some people who’d been in shoes their whole life couldn’t even cross the driveway. The feet are loaded with nerve endings and are the key to balance — and I’m in the balance business. In fact, we all are.

I also believe the Earth is charged with an electrical frequency that matches your nervous system and immune system. So the bare feet allow us to absorb that energy and is a critical part of your wellness. Having them trapped in a boot, toes squeezed together, affects your whole system. To restore dexterity and balance after I’ve been in shoes too long, usually at my home in Malibu, I warm up a couple days a week by standing with one foot on a golf ball. I roll it around, poke it, put weight into tender spots. It’s amazing how your system will be stimulated through working your feet.

Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

6. Watch your back: 

I’ve had back issues and injuries over the years. When your back goes out, you’re out of commission. I give it relief with stretching and inversion, and strengthen it with core work and stand-up paddle boarding. Someone once said, ‘If you did 20 minutes of headstands a day, you probably wouldn’t age.’ Gravity is always pulling us down, and inversion fights it. I do it on a teeter board or on an upside-down hammock, not gravity boots, which don’t allow your legs to relax and decompress.

Since your power comes out of your core, which supports the back, you have to fix tight psoases and weak abdominals. I do planks and rotational exercises with medicine balls and kettle bells on a Swiss ball. Any natural pick-lift-twist-drop movement pattern, like picking something off the ground and putting it on a shelf, builds core stability. The best one of all? Stand-up paddleboarding. It flexes the back and the stabilizers — and cured me.

7. Do the water workout from hell: 

To me, swimming laps in a pool is like punishment — being in a cage. Out of my disdain for lap swimming, I developed what in my opinion is the greatest exercise routine you can possibly do: a bouncing, no-impact, high-intensity strength and cardio workout that is a cross between swimming and weightlifting.

Holding small waterproof dumbbells in your hands, jump into a fairly deep 10- to 12-foot-deep pool and sink to the bottom. Then jump up as hard as you can to pierce the surface and gulp some air. As the weights pull you back, blow it out. Get in a rhythm; exhale as you fall, inhale [after] you blast up. The exercise blasts your legs, which consume five times the oxygen as your arms. It‘ll make you a better, stronger swimmer without having to swim laps.

Associated Press

Associated Press

8. Be innovative in all aspects of life: 

Coming up with new ideas keeps me young and excited. [Hamilton and wildman invented the GolfBoard a kind of skateboard for golfers that won the PGA's New Product of the Year award in2014. He also has lines of stand-up paddleboardssuperfoods, and clothing and fitness wear]. I think travelling to unique places gives you an opportunity to be active. 

Laird Apparel

Laird Apparel

9. Get role models: 

It’s monkey see, monkey do. It’s hard to be the monkey that doesn’t see. We all need an example, a road map, to tell us what’s possible, a Jack LaLanne. Am I going to fret that I’m old and washed-up when I’m mountain biking and paddling alongside Wildman, who’s 83? He lives, wears and eats a youthful lifestyle. And, by the way, who does Wildman use as his role model, since all his friends are dead? Me! So get younger buddies too!

When your friends get older and say, “I want to go play some bridge, you say, ‘I don’t think so — I want to go jump off the bridge.’”

10. Make it fun: 

Having as much fun as humanly possible is one of the keys to staying young, so find fun, physical activities you love. I forget about the time when I’m out there on a [stand-up paddleboard]. Activities are better than the gym because you’re not looking at the clock.

You’ll do more reps in nature than you’ll ever do in the gym. You’ll go for hours and hours. And you’ll be thinking healthy thoughts -- not about how old you are.

health@latimes.com

latimes.com/health/la-he-0521-laird-hamilton

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SOPHIE BENBOW PUTS FITNESS CLASSES TO THE TEST BY THE BONDS TEAM

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SOPHIE BENBOW PUTS FITNESS CLASSES TO THE TEST BY THE BONDS TEAM

For Sophie's first assignment, we sent her out in our women's Bonds Sport range to road test Sydney's must-try fitness classes that have been attracting loads of buzz lately. Scroll on to see what she thought.. 

BONDS

BONDS

Skylab Aerial Yoga

“I find yoga extremely challenging and I am not that flexible so the thought of doing yoga in ‘the air’ made me a little nervous. As soon as I arrived at the studio I had such a warm welcome from Shari. I absolutely loved this class and I couldn’t believe I was doing backflips and hanging upside down. Being in the hammock was so exhilarating, I’m really excited to go back.”

RATING: 5/5

BONDS

BONDS

BONDS

BONDS

BONDS

BONDS

So who is Sophie? Well, she’s a true advocate for all things health and wellbeing. As a passionate foodie, she shares everything from her favourite recipes to her fitness regime all on her blog and via Instagram, where you can find her at @sophieluxe.

BONDS

BONDS

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Aerial Yoga Review Urban List Sydney

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Aerial Yoga Review Urban List Sydney

The editor for The Urban List Sydney came to the lab to check out an Aerial Yoga session with us. Check out her review below! 

THE VERDICT

Founded by Shari Veitch in October 2013, sky–lab offers aerial yoga courses, combining methodology of yoga, dance, pilates and suspension fitness to get you looking long, lean and down right awesome. Don't be scared by the anti-gravity part of the yoga - you'll be safely suspended in a soft hammock where you'll learn simple moves all the way to more complicated poses. If you're after a unique way to exercise, sky–lab's anti-gravity yoga is definitely one to try!

Image credit: Federica Portentoso

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INSPIRED ADVENTURES FITNESS SERIES: SKY-LAB AERIAL YOGA

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INSPIRED ADVENTURES FITNESS SERIES: SKY-LAB AERIAL YOGA

Ally Burnie from Inspired Adventures sat down with Sky-lab founder Shari Veitch to get the low down on Aerial Yoga, growing taller and all things upside down - Check it out!

FITNESS SERIES: SKY-LAB AERIAL YOGA

  • LIFESTYLE
  • We all know yoga. But aerial yoga? Tell me more! We’ve recently discovered aerial yoga, which basically is practicing yoga from a suspended hammock. We know hanging from the ceiling in a cocoon of material sounds strange (and quite frankly a little terrifying), but once you learn to “trust in the hammock” there are some amazing benefits of practicing aerial yoga.

We had a chat with Shari Veitch from Sky-Lab AntiGravity Yoga to find out more about aerial yoga. Check it out!

Tell us about aerial yoga. How did the concept originate?

 At its most basic, aerial yoga is a fusion practice. Christopher Harrison, American dancer and acrobat developed it 20 years ago in the USA. It combines elements of yoga (taking its roots in traditional yoga form), so you’re preforming shapes similar to a floor base yoga class but you’ll do them upside down or in the air! Aerial yoga also takes influences from pilates, core development and dance. Its major influence comes from silk trapeze, which is an aerial apparatus. So really you’re combing all those beautiful elements that come together in a really dynamic practice.

How did you come to try aerial yoga for the first time?

Before creating Skylab, I was a professional dancer and doing a lot of pilates. But I’ve always loved yoga and it was my go-to class when I wanted to do something for myself. I started focusing more on my yoga practice, and at the same time I started working in aerial arts as a dancer in a contemporary company. I had a lot of different loves and when I discovered the practice of anti-gravity yoga, I knew I had found everything I loved in one apparatus!

What can someone expect out of an aerial yoga class? What does a typical class look like? 

People are often scared when they first try aerial yoga, because you do spend a lot of time hanging upside down! What you’ll get out of an aerial yoga class, however, is a decompression of the spine – that’s one of the main benefits from an anti-gravity practice. It’s just so good for your body! Another key benefit of aerial yoga is that nothing touches the floor. The hammock is wrapped around your pelvis and is holding you up in space, so you have zero compression happening on the floor. That allows traction through the spine, helping you feel taller and lighter! In a typical class you’ll find we do a lot of pilates and yoga inspired moves, but in a hanging hammock!

Can anyone do aerial yoga?

Yes! Everybody can do it! It is so accessible because the hammock is measured to your body height so it’s at hip height for you. It makes hopping in an out of the hammock like hopping into a chair! The hammock acts like your support or a teacher assisting you through the whole class, lifting you and aligning you from the ceiling. It’s a challenge, but yes, definitely anybody can do aerial yoga and reap the benefits!

How has aerial yoga changed your body and your fitness?

I feel the strongest I’ve ever felt in my life. Aerial yoga is an incredibly balanced practice. After I class, I don’t feel like I’ve overworked or underworked any part of my body. You’re constantly using your core stabilising muscles, even when you’re sitting in the hammock because it forces you to sit upright. You’ll feel more balanced, flexible, toned and overall lighter from practicing aerial yoga, I can guarantee it.

Feeling inspired?

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