- Upon rising and before breakfast to energize and stretch out the body.
- Before meals to stimulate digestion.
- Before going to bed for a more restful sleep.
- After travel to recover from jet-lag and adjust to time-zone changes
- After long periods of sitting or standing.
- Any time you want to feel refreshed and decompressed!
For how long should one invert?
Most benefits can be experienced after only a couple of minutes of inverting but the general rule is that you can remain in an inversion for as long as you are comfortable. For the beginner it might be wise to start with shorter durations that can be increased over time.
Can one experience discomfort during an inversion?
It is normal to initially experience some pressure in the head. Generally this passes in a few seconds. If it is bothersome, pressing your palms into the crown of the head while inverted will instantly remove this unpleasant sensation. If pressure is felt in the lower back or pelvic region, this is an indication that the fabric of the yoga swing has been placed too high on the spine and needs adjustment.
Mild dizziness or light-headedness may be experienced when exiting the pose. This sensation is a reaction to the blood pressure having dropped during inversion and will pass in a few seconds. Be sure to come up slowly and sit still in the sling for a few breaths until blood pressure has stabilized before getting out of the aerial swing.
Other symptoms such as nausea can be avoided by not eating anything heavy 2- 4 hours before inverting and not drinking 15 minutes before.
In many cases partial inversions at a lower setting with head and shoulders resting on the floor will help prepare the beginner in a more comfortable manner for full suspended inversions.
Please note: If any sharp pain or intense dizziness is felt, exit the pose immediately and speak with a health practitioner before attempting again.
How does the YogiGym® compare to other inversion products?
Gravity boots: The YogiGym® suspension/aerial system supports the body’s weight from the hips and thighs, as opposed to the ankles, providing more support and allowing for full decompression of the spine without risking injury due to straining or overstretching the delicate joints of the ankles and knees.
Inversion table: Unlike inversion tables which offer static inversions, the YogiGym® yoga trapeze allows for a wide variety of movement while being upside down. Many of the benefits of inverting are derived from oscillation and fluidity of motion. And as with the Gravity Boots, the weight is secured at the ankles which limits decompression of the spine and may be harmful to the delicate knee and ankle joints.
Iyengar Suspension Ropes: Ropes can cut and pinch the skin. The generous cushion support of the YogiGym®’s foam insert offers a much more comfortable inversion experience. This apparatus can also be difficult to get in and out of for some without the added support of handles.
Anti-Gravity Hammocks: Anti-Gravity hammocks once hung, cannot be readjusted easily. The 14 height settings of the YogiGym® ropes makes it a much more customizable apparatus that provides for a wider variety of poses and exercises. The fabric of the Anti-Gravity hammocks consist of a stretchy poly knit fabric that can constrict circulation and result in bruising where as the breathable parachute material and generous foam cushion support of the YogiGym® yoga swing offers a much more comfortable inversion experience. In addition, the YogiGym®’s handles offer added stability and weight off-loading capabilities making it a far more versatile, user friendly and, safer exercise tool.
Is it OK to invert during menstruation?
This is a very controversial topic as many yoga teachers have been taught by their teachers that inverting during menstruation is unsafe, yet no medical explanation as to why this is so has been provided. As long as the practitioner is comfortable in doing so, there is no reason why they shouldn’t. In fact, in many circumstances inverting may help relieve discomfort caused by bloating and mild cramping.
Can inversions cause a stroke?
No. A 1983 study published by a Dr. Goldman reported that inverting caused increased blood and internal eye pressure, creating a scare. However, two years after his original study, Dr. Goldman reversed his initial evaluation, stating: “New research shows that you are at no more of a stroke risk hanging upside-down than if you are exercising right-side-up.”
How does inverting affect high blood pressure?
This same study found that the body has mechanisms that prevent damage while inverting and in fact, oscillating up and down caused some patients’ blood pressure to even drop slightly. Experienced inverters also showed slower heart rates while inverted than when upright. It is important to note that results were based on patients in generally good health, so please take note of contra-indications and seek a doctor’s approval beforehand.
Can inversions be performed during pregnancy?
Every pregnancy is different. Generally speaking, after the first trimester most of the postures can be safely performed if the client is in good physical shape and used to the suspension aerial equipment. During the third trimester, any form of forward bending, spinal twisting or full inversions are best avoided but there are many other postures than can be of great help to relieve back pain, build strength and open the hips. Again, it depends on your physical conditon and we recommend that you have the prior consent of your doctor.
Are there any reasons not to invert?
If you have been diagnosed with or are experiencing the symptoms of any of the following conditions, do not invert without your doctors approval.
- Ear, eye sinus disorders or infections in the head
- Recent surgery or trauma to any internal organs
- Broken or fractured bones in the hip/torso area
- Recent head/brain injury or trauma
- Heart and/or circulatory disorders
- Severe spinal cord trauma
- Fused vertebrae
- Extreme obesity
- Cancer of the bone
- Detached retina
*It is strongly recommended to seek qualified medical advice before engaging in any new exercise program, inversion or otherwise.