8 Inversion Swing Exercises that Will Strengthen Your Yoga Practice

Therapeutic inversion swings provide a variety of benefits, including the stimulation of the cardiovascular and lymphatic systems, increased oxygenation of the brain, and improved body alignment. An inversion swing is also the ultimate prop for going into supported and deeper versions of your favorite yoga poses, exploring variations that defy gravity! Begin by holding the poses for 1 – 2 minutes while engaging ujjayi breath, over time increasing the hold for up to 5 minutes. Beginners are highly encouraged to work with an inversion swing therapist or other certified spotter.

Shoulders

1. Inverted Prasarita Padottanasana C (Wide-Legged Forward Fold Pose) with Hands Clasped

Standing behind the swing, climb in with one leg and then the other. Holding the sides of the swing, pull the bottom of the swing up to just below the hips and let your hands slid down as you drop your upper body back. Both feet will wrap around the sides of the swing. Keep your feet flexed to lock them into place. Once the legs feel secure, release your hands and bring the fingers and palms together behind the back. Allow gravity to pull gently on the arms and hands, releasing towards the ground.

 

2. Ardha Uttanasana (Half Forward Fold Pose) with Arms Lifted

Standing in front of the swing, grab the bottom sides of the swing with the fingers facing down. Bring the upper body forward while retaining a firm grip on the swing and the arms straight. As the shoulders open and the chest drops down, move into a v-shape with the legs straight.

 

 Chest

3. Standing Heart Opener

Standing in front of the swing, bring your arms back and through the sides so that the bottom of the swing is nestled  below your shoulder blades. Spread the arms wide and and let the head and neck lengthen back, feeling a deep stretch radiate across the chest, shoulders and arms.

4. Double Assisted Inverted Heart Opener

After climbing into the swing, dropping back, and locking your legs into place, have your spotter place their hands directly below your shoulder blades and push your chest forward. Maintain a straight back while you stretch your arms up and  forward. 

Back

5. Inverted Eka Pada Dhanurasana (One-Legged Bow Pose)

After climbing into the swing, dropping back, and locking your legs into place, release one leg and bend your knee to bring the foot behind you to clasp the top of  it with both hands. Press your foot into your hands as you arch back. Repeat on the opposite leg.

6. Inverted Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)

After climbing into the swing, dropping back, and locking your legs into place, release each foot back towards the corresponding hand, grasping the outside of each ankle and pressing the ankles out into the hands.

 

Psoas

7. Natarajasana (Dancer’s Pose)

Standing in front of the swing on one leg, bend your other leg back to place the top of the foot in the swing. Bring your arms above your head and release the hands back to grab the top of the swing. Deepen the pose by sliding the hands down the sides of the swing and arching the head back towards your foot.

Repeat on the opposite leg.

8. Navasana (Boat Pose)

After climbing into the swing and moving it to just below your hips, allow the upper body to release back and the legs to come up to form a v-shape. An additional swing below the occiput is a great way to support the neck so that you can focus on keeping your back straight and psoas muscles engaged.

Photos taken with gratitude by Jack Greene at the Aum Dome in Encinitas, CA. Big thanks to Maura Rassman.

Maura Rassman, M.A., B.S. holds degrees in Biology and Education. She is a leading trainer, workshop facilitator, yoga instructor and integrative body worker in Encinitas, California with over 15 years experience.  With a background as a biologist, acrobat and massage therapist, Maura integrates healing traditions from around the world into a powerful unique system. She is the creator of the Aum Dome, a sacred garden space in Encinitas, where she holds her trainings and sees her clients.  Her dome is also the home of 15 yoga inversion swings which she uses in her therapy sessions and trainings. You can learn more by visiting her website: maurarassman.com

 Cozy Luminary Michelle is featured in the Virgo Eco Tank and Leo Foldover Pants.


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