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Yoga trapeze

A unique way to build core strength

A yoga trapeze class. Photo courtesy Gravity Yoga, LLC

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It seems like every time you turn around there is a new type of yoga. Recent versions are goat yoga and stand-up paddleboard yoga. One of the latest to hit this area is yoga trapeze. Lori Capra, owner of Gravity Yoga, LLC, brought the practice to Olympia and is among the first in the United States to offer this style of yoga.

"I attended Yogabody Trapeze teacher training in Barcelona, Spain, where I learned from the founders of this practice, Yogabody International. I was among the first 25 to be trained in this technique," Capra said. "I am an official affiliate of Yogabody and am currently the only one in the Pacific Northwest."

Yoga trapeze is a yoga-style exercise practice that incorporates a hammock-type sling with handles along both sides, Capra explained. The student uses the trapeze for support while stretching and strengthening. Most of the poses use and strengthen the core. The trapeze also offers an opportunity for traction of the spine without much experience needed. Classes are usually an hour and are open to beginners and non-beginners. No yoga experience is needed.  

"Often the people who come to yoga trapeze are interested in trying something new and fun to break up their routine," she said. "Most people quickly realize it is not just fun but a great workout and stress reliever. Folks who are on their feet for work or at the desk all day or work at a repetitive trade feel the benefit from just one practice."

Yoga trapeze complements floor yoga, and practicing the two makes for a good total-body workout.

"I still do floor yoga as well," Capra said. "This is not necessarily a choice between one form or another form of exercise. Students are often attracted to the yoga trapeze for spinal traction and passive backbends, but very quickly they learn that the functional pulling and grip strength offered complements a mat-based yoga practice to create a full-body fitness routine. A yoga practice or exercise routine that integrates the yoga trapeze, even if just once or twice per week, includes pushing, pulling, holding, twists, backbends, forward bends, hip opening and so much more. You can work your shoulders, calm your nerves, and leave class floating on air."

Common benefits

  • Instant traction on your spine (within minutes)
  • Relief of back pain and possibly sciatica
  • Core strength development
  • Deeper backbends, shoulder tension release
  • Functional upper body and full body strength

Capra, who recently opened her studio in downtown Olympia behind City Hall, has worked with students as young as age 5 and as old as age 85.  In warmer weather, you can find her teaching paddleboarding and paddle yoga.

Capra's classes cost $15 for the first class or three for $30.  After that, participants can purchase five- and 10-class or unlimited packages. Note: the weight limit for the trapeze is 300 pounds.

Gravity Yoga, LLC, times vary (check website for class times), 623 5th Ave. SE, Olympia, 360.451.3179, facebook.com/gravityyoga.oly, yogatrapezeolympia.com/

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