Learning to fly

Christine lies on her back. Two people, wearing surgical masks and gloves, tend to her. They insert large fishhooks under her skin, just above the knees. They work quickly and with practiced efficiency, grabbing a piece of skin, pushing the hooks into it. Christine has been waiting for this day for a very long time. Nothing gives her more happiness, tranquility and sense of empowerment than hanging with hooks through her skin. Today she will be hanging for the second time. Next to her, the German suspension veteran, Rolf Buchholz, is getting ready to hang in a «Superman». It will be his 180th suspension.

Body suspension is no new phenomena. People have been hanging themselves from hooks for around 5,000 years. The most ancient suspension likely stems from the South Indian Hindu festival, Thaipusam. At that time body suspension was a spiritual and religious practice. Today, practitioners hang for various reasons: from pure adrenaline or endorphin rush, to conquering ones fears, to trying to reach a new level of spiritual consciousness and everything in between. For some, suspension is another extreme sport; some participants say they get the same adrenaline rush people get from bungee jumping or racing a bike down a hill.

The pictures are taken at «Wings of Desire», an Oslo based body suspension organization.