How Indian Yoga Levitates

The classic name for this trick is levitating man trick (we will call it LMT for short). They came up with it a long time ago - Indian yogis practiced “levitation” at least 1000 years ago and, thanks to their amazing abilities, collected quite decent alms.

There are several varieties of LMT. For example, sometimes two people take part in a composition. The first sits on the ground and holds in his hand the end of the staff, on which lies the hand of the second, flying participant. In other cases, magicians levitate not while sitting, but standing; sometimes even lying down. The most interesting variant of LMT was invented by German street magician Johan Lorbeer. During the famous Hanging Man stunt, Lorbeer simply stands with his hand on the wall of the building - only his feet do not touch the ground. Especially Johan likes to stand at the level of the second floor. In addition, the German knows how to sit upside down, stand at an angle of 90 ° to the horizontal, etc.

But we decided to repeat the LMT in its classic format - one person with a staff. And since there was no Indian yoga at hand, we asked the eastern beauty to field.

Iron levitation

Arseny Belkevich, a jack of all trades, traveler and artist, once agreed to make a levitation frame for us, once having made, for entertainment purposes, an exact working copy of the electric chair from the movie The Green Mile. We thought that an unusual person should make an unusual design.

The simplest frame consists of four elements: a base sheet, a staff, two beams (one passes through the arm, the second descends along the wall) and a seat. More complex systems may include more beams, footrests, armrests, etc. The main difficulty in the design is welding points - they are seriously loaded, and for the visual effect the system must be completely rigid. The staff should not deviate a centimeter, the seat can not sink under the mass of the magician. Arseny used a 10 mm thick steel sheet as the base, and strengthened the welded joints between the beams with struts, giving them the shape of triangles.

High Fashion The clothing of a magician plays a crucial role in a stunt. The support system must be draped so that the pose seems as natural as possible, and the steel beams do not stick out from the back or sleeves. At the same time, no meticulous tourist should notice anything, even sitting down and looking at the levitating person from below. Usually special costumes are used with split sleeves and pants - the magician puts on the costume after he perches on a stand. In our case, we used something like an Indian sari - several large pieces of matter, fastened with pins in the right places.

Now, Popular Mechanics has a new source of financing: every day we put out one of the editorial staff members to levitate on Arbat. The problem is only with physiological absences - when you leave the structure, you unwittingly give its system to passers-by. And you won’t take it with you - it weighs 52 kg.

Flying in the night

The girl in the picture weighs 48 kg. Usually levitating magicians are thin enough, because the less the performer weighs, the thinner and easier it is to make a structure, the easier it is to transport it. The projection of the magician’s center of gravity should be as close as possible to the center of the base plate - then the performer can completely relax, not paying attention to the balancing.

The rest is visible in the illustrations. "Popular mechanics" does not like physics to be considered magic. Because the existence of magic is not proven by anything, but physics surrounds us absolutely everywhere. Including on the streets full of skillful magicians with primary physical training.

The article “The Art of Levitation” was published in the journal Popular Mechanics (No. 5, May 2015).


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