Christopher Harrison - Creator | Antigravity® Aerial Yoga Training
Christopher Harrison is the creator of numerous aerial performance apparatus including the AntiGravity® Hammock. His Aerial Design work on Broadway was recognized with two Tony Awards for the producers and star of NINE. His work on the Broadway show SWING with his "tracked dancing bungee" creation was acknowledged with a Tony Award nomination for Lynne Taylor Corbett. He also established the AntiGravity® Boots as a performance device, setting off a wholly new trend, which he hopes will emerge as a sport.
Harrison's vast knowledge of the body is not only visceral. He holds a BFA in dance from the University of Utah where he also minored in kinesiology and studied two years of physiotherapy. He also acted as an associate gymnastics coach for their champion team. Mr. Harrison first discovered yoga at an Ayuvedic center in India where he studied in the early 1990's. He has continued his studies at Integral Yoga in NYC and as he travels extensively around the world. Christopher also studied Pilates in the early 1980's with Romana at Drago's in NYC. He has been certified as a personal trainer by the Aerobics and Fitness Foundation of America (AFAA) and as a gymnastics coach by the United States Gymnastics Federation (USGF). He was awarded the "New Yorker of the Week" by Time Warner. Harrison is active on the board of the Wendy Hilliard Foundation, dedicated to bringing fitness to underprivileged youth.
Aside from his professional pursuits, Christopher is also an avid snowblade skier, in-line skater, beach acrobat, partner dancer and urban Segway surfer. He has been teaching since he was fifteen years old and is honored to share his discoveries with others. As a constant student of truth, he incorporates his lighthearted understanding of the universe into all his work.
Copyright © 2012 AntiGravity® Inc. AntiGravity® Yoga All rights reserved.
Christopher Harrison, Founder & Artistic Director, AntiGravity® Inc., is a former Broadway dancer and world-class competitive gymnastics specialist who formed the aerial performance team Anti-Gravity as an expression of his love for acrobatics. AntiGravity® Yoga, the first complete program in the emerging exercise field called "suspension training" is the latest creation that stems from his love for inspiring others with his passion.
Mr. Harrison is the Founder and Artistic Director of the internationally recognized entertainment & fitness brand AntiGravity® Inc. (est. 1991). His love for the unique combination of acrobatic arts and sports has helped fuel the aerial arts movement. As a producer | director | choreographer he has to his credit hundreds of high-profile productions worldwide from original Broadway shows to the Olympic Games.
As a competitive athlete, his background is in diving, cheering, trampoline and gymnastics where as a tumbling specialist he took 2nd place in the nation and 4th place at the USSAF World Games. As an acrobatic dancer, Mr. Harrison danced on Broadway, internationally in A CHORUS LINE and in feature films before starting his New York based aerial performance company. His first professional job dancing was in the film, FOOTLOOSE.
How I discovered Yoga
I discovered yoga out of necessity. As an aging athlete whose passion continued to burn but whose body had been ripped apart by numerous surgeries, yoga healed and rejuvenated both my mind and body. It also allowed me to go deeper into my studies of spirit.
In 1981, in my early twenties after a successful international gymnastics career I blew out both of my knees and had them partially reconstructed. I recovered through grueling physical therapy and pilates. I rechanneled my passion and transitioned from sport to art, having a career as a Broadway dancer. After a time my body couldn’t handle the grueling eight show a week schedule so in 1991, I started my own company where I could call the shots. AntiGravity is what I named my expression. In 1996 at 35 years old I traveled to India with my company of gymnastic athletes to do the opening ceremonies for the Miss India Pageant. Our high-energy acrobatic performance was seen by 300 million people. I choreographed the show but was unable to perform with the company as my body was riddled with injuries. Instead of returning to NY with my team, I went to an Ayurveda retreat in Southern India where I discovered yoga. The transition from hard and fast to slow and mindful was not easy. My guru was ruthless in converting me to being true to the medium in both form and consciousness. I extended my stay more than once to continue to study. I knew the time had come for me to physically re-channel my passion yet again as a matter of survival.
Upon my return to NYC I found Integral Yoga and continued my studies, developing my practice further and healing my body. Simultaneously, in order to take pressure off the joints for my performers I took my performance company from tumbling off the ground to hanging up into the air by inventing apparatus that allowed us to fly. One such device was the silk hammock, created in 1999. In a short time we discovered it was not only a beautiful apparatus for flying, but also a great way to decompress our spine after long flights. The combination of yoga and the silk hammock was inevitable. I created a beta program in our rehearsal studios at the dawn of the millennium as an aerial conditioning program integrating yoga, aerial arts, dance, Pilates and basic calisthenics. I named it AntiGravity Yoga and brought it to the public in 2007.
Early in 2008, shortly after launching the revolutionary yoga program I contracted Lymes disease. My joints froze up completely and my muscles atrophied for 5 months. The universe had something I needed to listen to and this was the best way to get me to stop and open my mind. It took another 10 months to completely recover. During this challenging time I re-discovered spirit on an entirely new dimension, choosing to use it as an opportunity to find enlightenment. I used my own technique to return to health.
Christopher Harrison - Aerial Yoga Creator