What is Water Yoga? Regular yoga, without that pesky gravity! Familiar yoga poses or stances done in the shallow end of the pool.
Water’s natural buoyancy makes it easier to stretch into position, and reduces any risk of falling or twisted ankles.
Only standing poses are used for aqua yoga, you shouldn’t try underwater breath holding poses, which could be dangerous.
Here’s a collection of six water yoga poses you can do in the pool. Make it more fun by inviting friends and family!
TREE: With one foot placed firmly on the inside of the opposite knee, bring your hands together, and hold balanced on one leg. Hold the pose while breathe deeply for 5 cycles, and then slowly return to a standing position. Switch legs and repeat. Can modify with hands above head.
LUNGE: With rear foot turned sideways, and front foot pointed forward, move slowly into a lunge position, so your front thigh is parallel to the floor. Reach up and out with arms to stretch the spine. Breathe deeply 5 times, and return to a standing position. Switch legs and repeat.
HAND TO TOE: Raise your foot and grab your toes, then extend your foot to the front, or out to one side. Try to keep the leg straight, while balancing on one foot. Hold the position for 5 deep breaths and return to a standing position. Switch legs and repeat. Can modify with bending head to foot.
CHAIR: Keeping your feet parallel and flat on the floor, sit the hips down, and reach forward with your fingertips, keeping the spine straight. Hold the pose for 10 breaths and slowly return to a standing position. Beginners can start by holding onto the pool edge. Modify with more or less distance between the feet.
WARRIOR: A good pose for most major muscle groups, and is a low-difficulty pose. Step forward into a lunge, with both feet facing forward. Reach fingers to the sky as you sink forward onto your front foot. Hold for 5 breaths and return to a standing position. Switch legs and repeat. Can modify with arms kept parallel to floor.
BIG STEP: Place your front foot above the water level or at the height that is comfortable for you. Turn your back foot sideways and lean back while keeping your arms straight. Sink slowly towards the wall and breathe 5 times deeply and return to a starting position. Switch legs and repeat. Modify with arms kept parallel to floor.
TIP: Pool noodles are great for support and balance, especially if you are new to yoga, but also help when learning advanced poses.
Turn your pool into a yoga studio this summer, and enjoy the many health benefits of water yoga, in your own pool! Invite a friend or two for safety and for company!
InTheSwim Staff Blogger