Lotus Guide: I’ve been using your Yoga Swing now for more than three years and it has really helped me in many ways, but what exactly is it about the Omni Gym or Yoga Swing that’s turning the world upside down? What problems does it solve or what solutions does it provide?
Sharon Cardenas: Consisting simply of a fabric sling with multiple handles and foot stirrups, the Omni Gym or Yoga Swing is an incredibly multifunctional, comfortable, and effective solution to health and fitness for the home or office, although its most important and impressive function is for the prevention and self-treatment of back and neck pain. It’s great for rehabilitation of various musculoskeletal injuries. Suitable for all ages and all body types, it’s also a versatile and fun tool for aerial yoga, aerial Pilates, aerial dance, suspension fitness training, and it can serve as your personal home gym and therapy center. It’s also considered to be anti-aging as hanging upside down helps reverse effects of gravity and stimulate the circulatory, endocrine, digestive, respiratory, nervous, and immune systems.
SC: There is no training needed to be able to use the Yoga Swing and Omni Gym for home use. Simple and easy stretching where absolutely no work or strength is required at all by the user is achieved with the simple combination of body weight, force of gravity, and the swing as prop. This is one of the most rapid ways to achieve effective stretches, mobilizations, and spinal decompression. We also offer instructional DVDs and pose posters for sale.
LG: How does Omni Gym compare to other devices in self-treatment of neck or back pain?
SC: The self-treatment and prevention of neck and back pain is the Yoga Swing’s most important and impressive function. All of the devices are pretty much a one-trick pony when it comes to back care, but with the Omni Gym you can perform spinal decompression, pelvic traction, inversion therapy, range of motion, strength training, and automanipulation of one’s own spine—all at the same time if you wish! There is no other known device that allows you to accomplish this. This allows one to quickly regain structural and postural alignment, walk taller, and sit straighter. Effective spinal decompression has been the missing key element for total health and healing of back and neck problems as long as mankind has walked upright on two legs. And this is only possible when the practitioner can hang from his or her waist with head and shoulders floating freely in the air. Spinal decompression and pelvic traction via hanging upside down is one of the best forms of prevention and self-treatment of spine problems available. Stretching and decompression coupled with strength training is the key to maintain any gains made.
LG: Is it effective for fitness training? Isn’t it just for yoga?
SC: The Yoga Swing and Omni Gym are ideal for any level of fitness training, whether for the novice, the injured, the yogi, the bodybuilder, professional fighter, or martial artist in competitive training. The unique and unparalleled combination of a swing system, the force of gravity, and one’s own body weight gives one an unlimited variety of maneuvers and sequences to perform and train with. It is great for core, upper body, and balance work. You can have bodybuilders, MMA fighters, and high-level martial artists sweating and puffing in just five minutes on the swing.
LG: How does it differ from regular yoga taught at health clubs or studios?
SC: With the swing one may be partially grounded with one or more body parts supported by the floor, or totally aerial bound with zero floor contact. As the ultimate yoga prop, the swing has a distinct advantage of giving the user completely unique stretches and strengthening maneuvers that are impossible otherwise in any other form of grounded yoga. So the intention is not to replace one’s yoga practice but to allow the yogi to take his existing practice to a whole new level never experienced before, for the simple reason that many maneuvers were completely impossible before without such a prop as this.
The most obvious example of this is simple inversion, which has been touted as beneficial by yogis for centuries. The primary problem with inversion done in traditional yoga is that it is usually done with either shoulder stands or headstands, and both of these maneuvers create even greater compression forces on the spine and other joints. On the contrary, with the Yoga Swing or the Omni Gym, one can achieve inversion therapy with pure spinal decompression, which is a huge advantage.
LG: For inversion therapy, how does it differ from other devices on the market? In what ways is it superior?
SC: Gravity boots and inversion tables do not allow for pure spinal decompression, as they hang the user from the small ankle joints, which is less effective. This tends to not only overstretch, and we can, the small ligaments of the ankle joint but also to limit the range of motion of the spine. It also limits the amounts and quality of the back strengthening exercises that may be performed when one is hanging from the ankle joints.
For more information visit www.YogaSwings.com.