Why Trapeze Yoga?


Traditional Yoga vs. the Yoga Trapeze

In order to have well-balanced, comprehensive strength in our bodies, we must use training that includes pushing, holding and pulling. Mat yoga offers an incredibly balanced practice, utilizing all muscle and skeletal systems in harmony with one another, which is one reason traditional yoga has become so popular.

The one movement that is missing from traditional yoga is a “pull” motion. There are no dumbbells and nothing to hold onto, so yogis who only use yoga as a form of fitness may have weaker wrists, shoulders and grip strength. This is why it is not uncommon for yoga students to suffer from wrist, shoulder, upper back and neck pain. It’s most often due to underdeveloped strength – rather than poor alignment that is often cited as the cause.

The Yoga Trapeze, used in conjunction with traditional mat yoga, offers a truly comprehensive fitness modality. It allows pulling, pushing, holding, twisting, bending, and more! It is different than traditional mat yoga because it demands a great deal of upper body and core strength for even the most basic movements. It also allows for deeper, passive back bends that can be held for longer periods of time.

Benefits of the Yoga Trapeze

The Yoga Trapeze offers many benefits that can be categorized in three basic ways.

1.     It offers an additional resource to add-on to what you’d usually get in a mat session by building strength in the posterior chain and the upper body.

2.     It serves as a tool to modify, deepen or enhance traditional yoga poses that can be either less accessible or trickier on the mat.

3.     It can be utilized as a tool for spinal traction using your own body weight. Traction is important for all spines, healthy or healing, because it allows the bones of the spine to separate. This releases muscle tension and allows room for fluid and nutrient circulation in the vertebral disks – creating the optimal environment for healing.

Regularly reported benefits:

o   Instant traction on the spine

o   Relief of back pain

o   Core strength development

o   Deeper backbends and more open shoulders

o   Upper body strength development

Inversion therapy benefits:

o   Increase range of motion

o   Reduce herniated disk pain for stage 1 herniations

o   Add 1-2 mm space in L4/L5 and L5/S1 vertebrae

o   Alleviate lordosis

o   Calms activity in spinal muscles

History of the Yoga Trapeze

The Yoga Trapeze wasn’t the first yoga inversion tool. Iyengar introduced his students to various forms of inversion tools such as ropes, yoga chairs, straps and other improvised versions of yoga slings.

Lukas Rockwood, YOGABODY founder, created the Yoga Trapeze in 2004 while he was living in Thailand. He was frustrated by the quality of early models, so he took three years to create a studio-quality device now known as the Yoga Trapeze.

Who Should Not Use the Yoga Trapeze for Inversions?

o   Pregnant women

o   People with stage 2 herniated disks

o   People with cardiovascular disease

o   People with Hypertension

o   People with Glaucoma

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Does the Yoga Trapeze have a weight limit?

A: Yes, up to 300 lbs. While it can support more, it is not recommended.

Q:  What if I feel dizzy or nauseous when I invert?

A: This is common for new students, but alleviates quickly after only a few sessions. Minimize this by avoiding eating before class and avoiding caffeine.

Q: Is this like aerial yoga or suspension trainers?

A: The Yoga Trapeze is unique as it offers both a sling and handles, and is very accessible for beginners. Aerial yoga tends to be more advanced and the number of poses a beginning student can do may be more limited. The Yoga Trapeze with the sling removed can be used like a suspension trainer, as it is nearly identical in functionality.

Q: Is it possible to hurt your back on the Yoga Trapeze?

A: Yes, it is possible to hurt your back doing any physical activity at all. Inversion therapy itself is aggressive, which is what makes it effective. Treat the activity with respect, err on the side of caution, and take it slowly.

Q: Do people ever fall out of the Yoga Trapeze?

A: Yes, it has happened, but it is very rare. As long as you’re following the instructions going back and coming up, the Yoga Trapeze is very safe and stable. Also, you’re rarely more than an arm’s length from the floor.

Q: How long is too long to stay upside down?

A: This really depends on your comfort level – it’s more a question your comfort and your practice.

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