Have you ever needed a workout class to help you chill the eff out, but you leave class feeling more keyed up than you were before you started exercising? Have you ever been in a yoga class and wished that Savasana would last 20 years longer? Do you enjoy naps? What about the idea of floating in the air?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, AntiGravity Cocooning is all your dreams come true. In the anticlass class, you won't break a sweat, you won't get your heart rate up, but you will achieve peak zen levels, calm down, restore, and improve your mobility. I got the chance to try this class at Crunch Fitness in San Francisco with Crunch's director of group fitness, trainer Michelle Opperman, who opened my eyes to the antianxiety powers of cocooning.
Getting ready for my glorious power nap.
As someone who stresses out every single day and has a superfun time with anxiety, I needed this class more than I thought. And as someone who likes to work out every single day, with intense classes like Barry's Bootcamp and SoulCycle and lifting heavy weights in personal training sessions, it's rare that I take a moment to recover and calm down. In fact, I never even thought a recovery class existed!
"This class adds the perfect balance to any workout routine, as it helps to create more mobility and awareness in the body," Michelle told POPSUGAR. "We now live in a fast-paced world where we are overstimulated," she said, so to counter that, she recommended supplementing your exercise routine with a restorative class like AntiGravity Cocooning two to three times a week.
If that sounds like a lot, consider this: classes are only 15 to 45 minutes long, with most set at 30 minutes. You could easily tack this on after a workout (one of Michelle's suggestions), at lunch time for "a midday recharge," or at the end of a stressful day. You most likely spend more time scrolling through Instagram and checking email — why not allow yourself 15 to 30 minutes of bliss a few times a week?
Not convinced yet? Let's talk about what it feels like. Here's how it's structured: there are three phases of class (the second phase will be your favorite). Michelle explained it as "warm up, cocoon, wake up and out" (in which you'll "emerge a beautiful butterfly"). The warmup is "focused on nice and easy warming of the body." You'll start with "grounded movement [with your feet on the floor], opening up the spine and hips, to get more mobility and range of motion."
From there, you get "into cradled abs, working the core," Michelle said. This is where you'll be suspended in your cocoon, gently working the ab muscles (it's mellower than you think) to create some stability before getting into phase two — your butterfly cocoon.
A sneak peek at the low-key ab work.
More gentle movement to prep for your nap.
After a few gentle spinal movements and core exercises, you're ready to get into your "melt into bliss" nap position as you hang from the ceiling in your sweet cocoon.
"Focusing on the power nap" (yes, a trainer just said "power nap") and "meditation to relax, you'll rejuvenate and enjoy a suspended massage tingle bath," Michelle said. And yes, it's just as magical and wonderful as it sounds. You'll be blissing out and napping in your cocoon, floating in space and emanating joy, and then your trainer will come by with gentle touches to help you achieve a new level of relaxation. It's like a light massage, and I want to experience it every single day.
Then comes time to gently wake up — just as you would from Savasana — and "ground yourself again, feeling renewed and transformed." You'll immediately feel some of the benefits, which Michelle outlined:
- Relaxation and recalibration of mind and body
- Refresh and calming of the nervous system
- Release of tension
- Enhanced mobility and increased range of motion
- Improved mind/body awareness
You want all of those things, right? Same. I can tell you firsthand that I felt them all once I was finished with my cocooning — it's the most relaxed and de-stressed I've ever felt after a class. AntiGravity classes are available nationally, and you can find them at many gyms in the US, including Crunch Fitness. I highly recommend grabbing a spot ASAP and finding your bliss.