Over the holiday, a family member of ours was gifted a table. But not just any old table, an inversion table.

Um, what the heck is that, you ask?

An inversion table is a contraption that you lean against, strap yourself into and push back using your body weight until you're upside down. You remain that way for five to ten minutes and afterwards, slowly push your body forward to return to an upright position.

Um, why the heck would I ever do that, you ask?

Well, turns out, it’s extremely beneficial. Here's why:

It can alleviate back pain This is by far the number one benefit. Inversion can help reduce stress on your back by relieving pressure on the vertebrae and ligaments. Without the pull of gravity, your spine has a chance to reset. It can also help with pain from scoliosis or your sciatic nerve (but please see a doctor before attempting to treat more severe cases of discomfort).

It can improve flexibility By flipping your body, you promote circulation to areas that don’t typically get increased blood flow. This move can also reduce fatigue, improve your joint health and help you sleep better.

It’s easier than trying to master a headstand Inversion is the reason why headstands are such a crucial part of the yoga practice (it all makes sense now). But, in case being a yogi isn't in your plan for 2015, an inversion table allows you to get the same benefits without the difficult classes.

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