IMPORTANT: Never do more than you can handle. Inversion therapy is not about will power or about stretching your limits. As soon as you feel you have had enough, stop! Stretching and lengthening your muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves in the Yoga Swing is more intense than you may first think. You sometimes only realize the next morning that you have gone too far. So please: take it easy!

The Yogaswing is a clever combination of a swing made of fabric and several ropes, allowing you to position your body in different ways. It enables you to practice yoga postures that would normally be much more difficult due to gravity constraints.

Changing the height of the swing – and with that, the extent to which you invert – is an easy process, using the ropes that are provided with the Yogaswing.

The physical, physiological and therapeutical benefits of yoga in general are well known and we therefore assume you are familiar with them. The added bonus of the Yogaswing is that it will be much easier to practice postures in a vertical and horizontal position, without putting too much pressure on body parts. Using the yoga swing will also be beneficial to people with neck and back complaints.

Not if you are generally in good health and if you follow the instruction manual. The most important rule however is: follow your gut. If it does not feel comfortable, don’t do whatever it is you are doing.

People with high blood pressure can use the yoga swing, but should not invert while using the yoga swing. These people are better off with sticking to horizontal positions. When in doubt, consult your doctor to be sure.

If you have never spent time in an inverted (upside down) position, it is best to start slowly with only 10 to 20 minutes at a time, once or twice daily. The most important thing is to listen to your body and to not cross any boundaries; when you do not feel comfortable, sit up straight and rest with closed eyes. You may also lie down in the hammock area, with your feet in suspenders.

Beginners may best start at a mild angle, with or without stretched legs. Have the swing only about 12-18 cm (about 5-7 inches) above the ground while you sit in it, for the first few minutes. After that, try to hang in a 30-45 degree angle, when the swing is about 25-30 cm (about 10-12 inches) above the floor. In this position your body will experience mild contractions in your muscles and joints, while the circulation is stimulated, more oxygen rich blood is pumped towards your brain and the organs are returned to their natural position.

This is quite normal and is even good for you. It shows you that the blood flow towards the brain has increased, including the flow to the hair, eyes and skin. The feeling of pressure usually decreases over time, as you get used to the upside down position. A good way to familiarize yourself with the inverted position is to alternate between inverted and not inverted. You may also try mild rhythmic movements to get more comfortable in the inverted position.

Some people find that regular use of the yoga swing in inverted position lowers the frequency or the intensity of their migraine. However, this is a very personal experience and may differ among people. It is not advisable to use the yoga swing while you are in the middle of a migraine attack, as it might aggravate your migraine.

Inversion therapy is a natural method in which we work with gravity. This means that the amount of downward pressure on the separate body parts is exactly right.

Lower back · Calm stretching exercises help you to relieve the pressure on the spine, help move the muscles in this area and the tissue in the lower back region. While partially inverted, you may move your knees slowly from left to right or turn the pelvic area forwards and backwards. In addition, a light back stretching exercise may be done by placing your hands on the floor behind your head and push your body away from the floor in an arching movement. This is a backward back stretch exercise and a preparation for the Scorpion Yoga position (Vrschikasana).

Upper back · Many people have upper back issues due to stress and muscle tension. The best you can do for this type of pain to a total relaxation while you are completely inverted. As with the other positions, deep breathing techniques may provide relief. Doing exercises together with a yoga partner while in the Yoga Swing may also be relaxing; for instance neck and shoulder rubs. Movement during inversion is also very relaxing. You can roll your shoulders forwards and backwards, or stretch your arms upwards to lengthen your upper back muscles.

Neck · Movement is beneficial here too. For instance, you can try to move your head from left to right very slowly. Having a partner massage the base of your skull and the back of the neck can also be quite relaxing. If you prefer, you may stretch in a more powerful way by letting your arms rest against the base of the skull. Don’t pull, just add the weight of your arms to the existing gravity pull.

Abdomen · Strong muscles in your abdominal region help to support your back and therefore are a positive influence on the lower back region. Strong abdominal muscles are the key to good posture. Be sure to only exercise your core muscles and not do any exercises which pull the spine.

There may be several causes for this.

1. You did too much, too fast. If you are new at this, your body will not be used to the feeling yet. Doing it too often and too fast may cause your back to be sensitive. Give it time and take it easy.

2. You came back to a sitting position too fast. While you are inverted, your vertebrae have the chance to separate a little, thus relieving the pressure on the discs and on the nerves in the spinal column. If you return too quickly, there may be too much pressure on these nerves, causing a slight pain. Better is to return in phases; a bit more every few minutes and to relax a little when you reach the horizontal position.

Remember: stop inverting if you feel extreme pain, or any pain whatsoever in the yoga swing, until you have consulted a physician.

People with very high blood pressure should not invert. However, inversion therapy may also relax and lower your heart rate and blood pressure. There are doctors that have prescribed inversion therapy to help with high blood pressure. In all cases, you should consult a medical professional if you have any doubts.

The inversion may cause the vertebrae to separate slightly, relieving the pressure on the discs. The act of separation could trigger a natural ‘suction power’, thus putting the moved disc back in its proper position. The biggest benefit may be the improved flow and detoxification of the discs in question and the surrounding areas. Medical specialists have agreed that the best chance to sort out a moved disc is to alternate the pressure on the discs. Experience tells us that you should invert three or more times every day, in short sessions, in an angle that is most comfortable to you. Please mind your personal limitations! This is not a matter of ‘sucking it up’ and gritting your teeth.