Ask anyone who practices yoga and they will tell you it is an exercise that clears the mind and body while stretching it, relaxing the body and getting them in tune with the nuances of their body. If you’re just starting out with yoga, you may want to consider water yoga. The joys, benefits and beauty of water yoga allows you to undertake this ancient practice without the shaking muscles and sore joints that may come if you’re a novice and are trying to hold the posts for any length of time.
If you have access to a swimming pool you may find that practicing yoga in the water is a way to reap the benefits without any of the aches and stressors you may experience on land.
The Joys, Benefits And Beauty Of Water Yoga
When you’re in the swimming pool, the buoyancy of the water removes any potential stress or strain on your muscles or joints. That doesn’t mean that a pool workout is without benefit — quite the opposite! When you’re doing yoga in the water or swimming laps, the resistance of the water amps up your workout benefits all while cushioning your muscles and joints.
The water will also help you remain upright when you’re practicing your yoga poses — again another benefit of water yoga!
What kind of yoga poses can you practice in your swimming pool?
Anyone who practices yoga knows that Warrior II is a classic pose, but we can tell you from experience it is much easier to hold this pose when you’re in the water than when you’re on dry land.
How can you do Warrior II on land?
- Stand with your feet, hip distance apart
- Turn your right foot out so it’s facing forward
- Lift your arms out of the water so they are perpendicular with your body
- Keep your arms shoulder height
- Now lean toward your right, bend your right knee (make sure it doesn’t bend beyond your toes)
- Sink your hips into the water; try to get your right thigh parallel to the floor of the pool
- Engage your core
- Breathe slowly through the pose
This classic dry-land pose will feel much easier to achieve when you’re in the water. To do it, step your feet hip-distance apart and turn your right foot out so it’s facing forward. Lift your arms up so they’re perpendicular to your body, around shoulder-weight. Lean toward your right, bending your right knee but ensuring that it doesn’t go beyond your toes. Sink your hips into the water, aiming to get your right thigh parallel to the pool floor. Engage your core and continue to breathe.
Try this pose with a more flowing feel by releaseing your arms from a rigid post and let them flow like water around you.
With this pose you will want to grab some pool noodles to help you. Plase the noodles lengthwise on either side of you. Stretch your legs out in front of you.
Push the noodles down into the water. Engage your core and lift your legs while your arms continue to push down on the pool noodles. Your goal is to get into a “v” pose, if possible. The water will support your legs. Your core will help keep your upper body steady.
Hand to toe pose
If you’re on land, this is difficult to do because it requires a lot of flexibility. In the pool, the water’s buoyancy will keep your extended leg afloat. To do this pose:
- Stand by the side of the pool
- Hold onto it to stabilize yourself
- Lift your outer leg up
- Bend your knee toward your chest
- Grab your big toe and straighten your leg as much as you can
- After you feel steady enough, rotate your leg out as far as you can
- Stop if you begin to feel discomfort or pain.
- Switch sides and do the same with your other leg
When you practice yoga, the final pose is a “resting pose.” The Savasana helps return your mind and body to the present and works as a relaxing way to ease yourself back into life after the yoga class.
To do a Savasana in the swimming pool, lie back and float in the water. You can use a pool noodle to help you stay afloat. Lie in the water, floating until you are relaxed and ready to stop your yoga poses.
Being in and around water, for many people is a way to relax from the stresses of the day. Practicing yoga in a swimming pool before you begin your day is a practice that many people find ideal. They get in a workout and are ready to face the day with a renewed vigor and calmness of mind, body and spirit.
Yoga For Everyone
Aqua yoga as it’s sometimes called, is ideal for anyone who is out of shape or who may be suffering an injury. Practicing yoga in the water allows your body to continue to heal while you’re able to work on a slow flowing exercise routine that will heal body and mind. Some people, frankly, want to do yoga, but find the poses extremely difficult to hold for any length of time. Doing yoga in the water is easier for most and if you’ve always wanted to try yoga, look for a water or aqua yoga class in a pool near you or practice some of the poses we mentioned above!