Tag Archive: tissu

Antigravity yoga practitioners hang out (couldn't resist the pun) at Shine Alternative Fitness. Photo by Suwasit Ritthiphon.

I’m going to ask you to think about two things. The first, a timeless feature in many a childhood, is a swing set. (If you’re like me, other memories reminiscent of fifth grade come to mind.) The second is a hammock–any kind you want, perhaps surrounded by shady trees or a nice water feature.

Now, I’m going to tweak that vision just a bit. Imagine that you’re in a high-ceilinged space with mirrors on a couple walls and a mix of black marley and blue sponginess underfoot. Your hammock is a cheery shade of white or chartreuse, and it’s cradling you in a swing-set-ish way. And you’re not alone! Another eight or so hammock inhabiters are swaying gently beside you. (The water feature’s gone, although you’re free to keep envisioning it, if you like.)

Welcome to antigravity yoga with Kelly Millaudon at the new Shine Alternative Fitness, where working out is about more than ellipticals and swaying in hammocks is just the beginning.

The practice centers on the hammock itself, which is made out of similar fabric as what you’d see aerialists climbing and twining around onstage in a Cirque du Soleil show. Each hammock is suspended from the ceiling a few feet off the ground; it will comfortable fold into the crease of your hips when you touch your toes if it’s adjusted properly. This height allows you to traction out your spine and limbs without compression, a feat purportedly not accomplished in traditional yoga techniques.

You can sit on the fabric with it bunched up underneath you, like a swing, or you can lay out and have the material support you from top to toe — literally. You’ll have a single leg in the hammock to practice balance poses, or both legs in it with your hands on the ground to tone your arms and chest. A swinging, suspended savasana is the kiss-off at the end of the practice, a personal favorite of mine.

Don’t let the serene swinging fool you, though. The meat of the practice is a strength and cardio workout that features an ab series, upper body exercises and stretches that hone flexibility and balance. You know that runner’s stretch that makes your thighs burn at the gym? Imagine doing that with your front leg supported at the knee by fabric, precariously — or so it feels — teetering on your back toes. These challenges are what make antigravity yoga so enticing and addictive.

And it’s fun! A big focus of the practice is having a childlike sense of exploration, which is a pretty natural response to dangling a few feet above the ground. If you’re a newbie to yoga or inversions, never fear. Kelly is a master of projecting an aura of calm enjoyment and Suwasit Ritthiphon, a Shine cohort who is being indoctrinated into antigravity yoga teaching, is often on hand to assist. If anything, give it a go at least once. I bet you’ll be coming back soon.

Antigravity yoga classes are taught several days a week at Shine, located at 6415 S. Tenaya Way, Suite 100 (part of the Loftworks complex). For a full schedule, click here. A walk-in class is $25, with packages of 10 and 20 classes available at a slightly cheaper per-class rate. To learn more about antigravity yoga and its founder, Christopher Harrison, or to watch a quick video, check out the Antigravity Yoga homepage here. Happy hanging!


A — dare I say — radiant new facility for dancers, aerialists, pole aficionados and fitness buffs is beaming away in southwest Las Vegas. Shine Alternative Fitness, owned by “Zumanity” assistant company manager Russ Petroni and “Zumanity” solo artist Dima Shine, opened at the end of February and offers classes in things like ballet, contemporary dance, pole dance and antigravity yoga. The place has a Cirque-ish vibe, with artists working out and intermingling pleasantly, trading tricks and chatting.

For aerialists that need a place to train, point rentals are available for $15 a day. The space is appropriately open and high-ceilinged, with a dance floor and mirrors at one end and aerial points clustered above a spongy mat floor at the other. Shine is located in the Loftworks complex near Rainbow Boulevard and I-215, an area that has shown signs of arts life in the past. (Click here for a review of “Financial Groove Presents,” an aerial, dance and vocal show that transpired at Loftworks last year.)

For more information about Shine, including location, directions, and schedule, check out the studio’s homepage here. And keep checking back here for updates: a retelling of my first experience with antigravity yoga is coming soon!

Photo by Julie Aucoin

The show that’s been in Las Vegas for nearly two decades just added two new high-flying aerial acts, one featuring flying trapeze artists and one with a fabulous aerialist on silks. If you haven’t seen the show, there is no better time. If you have, you should go again.

I was fortunate enough to get to see the revamped “Mystere” when it premiered on March 3, and it rocked my dance-bloggin’ world. The classics are still there: the semi-creepy, bottle-toting baby, the mischievous clowns, the squawking hand puppet and its pompous animator, the hand-to-hand balancers that will give you chills, and the big, mysterious inflatable snail. The show is classic Cirque at its finest, showcasing Chinese pole acts, Korean plank posses, incredible acro stunts and captivating characters.

Throw in 20 new cast members and a renovated set and it’s difficult to go wrong. I spoke with head coach Karl Abraham and artistic director David Gomez about what it’s like to have 1/3 of the cast learn the show from scratch in a few short weeks, as well as the logistics of replacing massive pieces of equipment and breathing life into a show that’s been performed more than 8,500 times.

Check out the full story on the Best of Las Vegas site here, and be sure to catch the live version if you can!