What Is an Inversion Swing & How Does It Work?

a green yoga and inversion swing

Some people may think the idea of being inverted upside down doesn’t fall under the category of fun. While it might take some getting used to, the benefits of suspending your body in an inverted position are tremendous.

The idea has been around a lot longer than you might think. Inverting the human body has long been a practiced art of both medicine and therapy. Today, using a unique type of inversion swing, it’s found its way into the ancient practice of yoga.

What Is Inversion Therapy?

The practice of inversion has been around for centuries. There are descriptive pictorial drawings of the concept, which date back to 3,000 B.C. Inversion therapy is used all over the world by medical professionals, physical therapist, and athletic trainers.

Inverting the body upside down so that the lower portion is above the heart reverses the flow of blood. This by itself has heart benefits. When inverted, the spine also decompresses allowing space between the vertebrae. This enhances the flow of blood and nutrients throughout the body and helps to ease nerve pain.

Yoga instructor Tone Cardenas decided to incorporate the century-old concept of inversion into the art of yoga. With so many different benefits, it was necessary to invent something could do it safely. Anti-gravity yoga burst into the fitness mainstream after its origination in New York. Also, known as aerial yoga, it uses an inversion swing (yoga swing), to perform a yoga workout.

What Is an Inversion Swing?

a woman in an inversion swing

An inversion swing is a piece of exercise equipment used primarily by people who practice yoga. It almost eliminates all stress to the joints, providing a safe approach to strengthen various yoga postures. You may have heard it referred to by different names. Since it’s frequently used as part of yoga workouts, it is commonly referred to as a yoga swing.

Shaped a little like an arm sling, it’s also called a yoga, or inversion sling. Others appreciate the peaceful tranquility it can produce and call it a yoga hammock. It looks like a swing and inverts your body, so inversion swing is ultimately very accurate. They weigh less than 3 pounds and fold up in a gym bag so you can use them at home, or take them on the road.

How an Inversion Swing Works

It supports your pelvis, allowing you to easily reposition your body horizontally, vertically and ultimately upside down. From a seated position in the inversion swing, you can perform any of the hundreds of yoga postures. There are three different handles for your arm and legs, positioned at various heights.

Benefits of Using an Inversion Swing

a smiling woman in an inversion swing

Until you’ve actually tried it and given an inversion swing a chance, you may have doubts about how flipping yourself upside down could be helpful. There are a number of physiological things, which benefit from inverting our bodies.┬áHere are some of the benefits of using an inversion swing.

#1. Improves Circulation

Inverting the body upside down actually reverses the flow of blood. There were initially some suspicions that this may not be a good idea. Every medical professional who was skeptical has changed their opinion after seeing the positive results.

When you invert your body using an inversion swing, it pumps more oxygen and nutrients to the brain. This physiological phenomenon causes the brain to function faster.

Before you brood over some vision of all the blood rushing to your head, using inversion therapy develops better brain function. Inversion therapy improves memory, enhances concentration, increases clarity and promotes clearer thinking.

According to Dr. Robert Martin in his book, ‘The Gravity Guiding System, Turning the Aging Process Upside Down,’ our brains actually function 14% more efficiently when it’s inverted upside down.

Using an inversion swing also forces the blood to flow more efficiently than if you were standing, or exercising in a straight up and down posture. It uses the forces of gravity in a positive way to help improve circulation.

#2. Reduces Muscle Tension

When you invert your body upside down using an inversion swing, it decreases the effects of your body weight to zero. As you perfect the art of using an inversion swing, you will feel an improvement in joint movement and a more relaxed sense in your whole musculature.

#3. Improves Sleep

You can use your inversion swing to improve your quality of sleep and decrease the incidence of insomnia. The mental benefits of improving your blood circulation, help your mind to relax.

In addition, when your muscles are more relaxed it reduces tension. With a peaceful mind and relaxed body, people who use inversion therapy report they sleep better.

#4. Core Strength & Stability

The handles are useful, especially for beginners learning how to manipulate their body into the many different yoga positions. However, as users become more comfortable using an inversion swing, it is an incredible way to develop core strength and stability. Fitness enthusiasts are always looking for inventive ways to exercise their core.

#5. Reduces Back Pain

One of the most frequently reported benefits of different types of inversion therapy is the reduction in back pain. Chiropractors use different types of inversion equipment to reduce compression problems between the vertebrae. The spinal cord is the single most important part of the active body, so the benefits garnered from using an inversion swing can be dramatic.

Unlike standard inversion boards or gravity boots that suspend you upside down by your ankles, an inversion swing allows you to move. This is an excellent tool to help with back issues because it removes the forces of gravity.

As you invert your body, the compression between your vertebrae is eliminated. It allows you to improve your posture and work on increasing flexibility if you suffer from a chronic stiff back. Regular use of an inversion swing for back problems reduces pain as it helps develop a better posture.

Bottom Line

An inversion swing can allow you to perform some different movements that can enhance your life. You’ll feel better, think better and move more freely; all from sitting in a swing-like seat while having some fun.

Image sources: 1, 2, 3

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Steven D. Schiller -

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