So, you have a new yoga swing. Exciting! But before you start doing your inversions with it, make sure you know how to install it first.
Yoga swing is only fun and games until you fall because your swing was installed incorrectly. Yes, it can happen. And yes, I’ve seen someone fall from a yoga swing. So, before you flow using your new yoga swing, make sure you know how to hang a yoga swing properly and all the safety measures you need to follow. Here it goes.
What’s a Yoga Swing?
A yoga swing, or sometimes referred to as a yoga hammock, is a swing you use to suspend yourself up in the air while doing asanas. It is used in aerial yoga, anti-gravity yoga, and other practices such as circus acrobatics, gymnastics, and Pilates.
The history of a yoga swing is still a gray area. Photos from as early as 3000 BCE show yogis practicing yoga inversions with the use of ropes. B.K.S Iyengar also uses ropes and blankets to improvise and help get into inversions. But it was only in 2001 when a modern yoga swing was seen in the United States.
Antonio ‘Tone’ Cardenas, a physical therapist, was first seen in the United States to use a tool similar to the ropes used by ancient yogis and Iyengar. In 2001, it went by the name “yoga swing” and now “omni gym.” However, Cardenas doesn’t claim he invented the yoga swing. Instead, he says he looks at inversion therapy as an effective way for spine decompression.
After two years, Gravotonics Yoga Swing and Exercise System came to light in Bali, Indonesia. After that, the trend started getting popular until Lucas Rockwood designed his Yoga Trapeze tool in 2004.
What are the Benefits of a Yoga Swing?
A yoga swing is not just a fun way to practice asanas. It comes with benefits to your health, which are as follows.
Improves Your Back Health
Cardenas started using a yoga swing to decompress the spine, and it makes sense. A yoga swing takes away the gravitational pressure off the spine and increases the space between each vertebra. In short, it stretches the spine.
Enhances Your Flexibility
Scientific studies show practicing yoga asanas on the mat is an excellent way to improve your flexibility. But practicing these on a yoga swing is a whole other level of improving your flexibility. Because you’re not resisting gravity when you’re up in the air, you have more space and can move more freely. So, with the support of a yoga swing, you improve your flexibility.
Moves Your Body in a New Way
When you’re practicing yoga on the mat, gravity limits your movement. Inversions are scary because you could fall. With a yoga swing, you can feel supported, especially during inversions. The yoga swing is there to catch you.
It’s Low Impact But Great Cardio
A study shows that aerial yoga, or yoga with a swing, is excellent cardio.
One of the researchers in the study Lance Dalleck, Ph.D., an assistant professor of exercise and sport science at Western State Colorado University says, “At the outset of the study, we didn’t necessarily anticipate that the physiological responses to aerial yoga would align with those of other, more traditional forms of cardio exercises, like cycling and swimming”.
Improves Core Strength
When you move from one pose to another, you have to be stable. Stability in these yoga poses, whether in a yoga hammock or swing, requires engaging the core. Engaging the core challenges it and improves its strength. The more you practice aerial yoga, the more your core strength improves.
Proprioception is your ability to know where you are in space. This sensory skill gets more intense when you’re up in the air using a swing. Since you are not on the ground, you need to be aware of where the parts of your body are in space. Doing this challenges your awareness and improves it.
How to Install a Yoga Swing Safely
You are going to be putting all your weight on a yoga swing. No matter how light or strong you are, if it’s not properly installed, you are going to fall. So, before you hang it, check for a number of safety factors.
Where to Hang
You’re going to hang a yoga swing for it to work. But you cannot hang it anywhere you want to. You have three options on where to hang it: door frame, ceiling, and a swing stand. Wherever you choose, make sure it is sturdy enough and can hold 1000 kg.
Make sure there’s enough space for you to move around where you hang your yoga swing. Ensure you have at least two meters in height to hang it and a two-meter space on each side you’re going to swing around.
Quality of Your Yoga Swing
It’s essential to know how to hang it, but it’s also crucial to have a high-quality yoga swing first. So, before you buy a yoga hammock or trapeze, check for reviews about its durability and quality.
Before you attempt to install, make sure you have all the equipment you need. By doing this, you avoid installing it incompletely, forgetting that it’s not done yet, and using it.
When it comes to hanging a yoga swing, you have a few setups to choose from. The equipment you need is based on your setup.
Hanging your yoga swing on the ceiling is very convenient and affordable. Just make sure to find a part of the ceiling or a ceiling beam that is sturdy. If you’re going to do this setup, you will only need some ceiling hooks.
How to Install on a Ceiling
Here’s what you need:
- a pen
- a measuring tape
- a step ladder
- a hammer drill
- a wrench
- two ceiling hooks
- expanding concrete holes
Follow these instructions:
- Measure a 70-cm straight line and mark each endpoint. These points are where you will be installing the hooks.
- Then, drill in the marks to make pilot holes the same size as your bolts. Afterward, slide the bolts, and tighten and expand them.
- Now, fix the plate to the ceiling using a wrench.
- Finally, knot the ropes of your yoga swing on each hook.
Doorframe Pullup Bar and Screws
If you want to install your yoga swing easily, you can install it using a door frame pullup bar or a door mount bar and some screws. This setup is more suitable if you have limited space in your house.
How to Install a Yoga Swing Door Frame Pullup or Door Mount Bar
A door mount bar comes with instructions on how to install it in the doorframe. Follow the manual that comes with it. Then, find the rope on each end of your yoga swing and make it a noose knot. Make sure there is at least one meter of space between each knot. Then, pull very tightly.
Freestanding Yoga Swing Stand
If you plan on practicing yoga with your yoga swing indoors and outdoors, the easiest way to do that is to get a freestanding yoga swing stand. The stand is the only thing you need.
How to Install a Yoga Swing on a Freestanding Yoga Swing Stand
The way to install a yoga swing on a freestanding yoga swing stand is the same as installing it on a pullup/door mount bar or an exposed beam.
Installing the yoga swing on an exposed beam at home or a studio is also convenient. Again, you don’t need a bar or a stand for this.
How to Install on an Exposed Beam
Here’s what you need:
- a tape measure
- adjustment straps if required
- a ladder, if needed
Follow these instructions:
- Measure at least one meter of space on your exposed beam. Mark each endpoint so you don’t forget. Wrap the ends of the strap of your yoga swing on the exposed beam.
- Bring the other end inside the loop and pull tight. Do this with the other strap. Make sure there is at least one meter of space between each end of the swing strap.
Do’s and Don’ts of Hanging a Yoga Swing
When it comes to practicing aerial yoga, safety is essential. Here are the do’s and don’ts when installing a yoga swing and practicing aerial yoga.
- Do find a space that is secure and will allow you to move around without getting hurt.
- Do invest in durable and high-quality yoga swing and mounting equipment.
- Don’t install a yoga swing yourself if you are not sure what you are doing. Instead, find a professional who can do it for you.
- Don’t rush to install your yoga trapeze. If you don’t have the right tools, equipment, or professional to do it, better wait.
A yoga swing is a tool you can use to take the benefits of yoga to a whole new level. However, make sure that before you try it, everything is securely installed so you can avoid accidents and injuries.