This is the first post in a series of yoga exercises to do in the water.
Summer is a great time to dip into pool exercise so why not try something new this year? YOGA H20…aka water yoga.
Water is a great medium for exercise due to the natural resistance, buoyancy and support it offers your movements and exercises. When you think of water exercise why limit yourself to a few strokes or flutter kicks? The water can be great for building all sorts of mind and muscle control. For those with bone and joint limitations like osteoarthritis or osteoporosis the water may offer a wonderful way to float into yoga postures or poses while relieving the fear of falling. Whether in the shallow end, holding the poolside or with the assistance of a floatation device, Yoga H20 may be the perfect way to practice and perfect many traditional poses/asanas. You can also perform the more fluid Yoga movements with a greater sense of control and relaxation. Besides all these benefits it can be extremely soothing on a hot summer day!
Asana to purify and strengthen
An asana is simply defined as a pose for purify and strengthen the body. These poses require control and focus of both the body and the mind. When holding a yoga asana, make sure you can breathe slowly and deeply. Go to your edge in the posture, holding where you feel a good stretch without pain, strain or fatigue. Below are a few specific poses that really work well in a pool.
- Wear aqua shoes to gain greater control and stability.
- Keep your breathing active, inhaling and exhaling through your nose. Deep breathing is central to yoga practice.
- All yoga moves and positions require maintaining a strong core by bracing your body in neutral position, with your back neither arched nor rounded.
Warm up with the H20 Sun Salutation
- Start Position: Stand tall in hip deep water with both hands supported on the edge of the pool.
- Inhale- and reach one or both arms up overhead lifting your chest towards the sun while keeping the abdominals contracted and core stable
- Exhale- and place your hands back on the edge of the pool as you round your back up towards the sun; draw your navel towards your spine.
- Inhale- as you flatten your spine parallel to the water, hinging forward at the hips and lift your head and chest slightly; keeping your hands firmly placed on the pool edge and your legs as straight as possible.
- Exhale- and round the spine towards the sun
- Inhale- as you return the spine to a neutral position and unhinge at the hips to begin the series of movement again starting with the arms reaching overhead.
- Repeat the sequence 8 to 12 times
- Limbers and draws circulation to the spine hips and shoulders
- Increases the core temperature of the body
- Prepares the mind and body for the poses to follow
Follow the H20 Sun Salutation warm up with some poolside friendly poses in my next post.