Aqua Yoga

The power of water is undeniable, and its greatness and value were always known to man. Its benefits were used from the ancient times – both Greeks and Romans not only bathed but also engaged in water exercises. Water might also be the best place to practice yoga since it allows our body to move further than anything possible on land. It is also supportive and makes exercises easy and enjoyable.

Aqua yoga is a low impact exercise which combines yoga, swimming, and breathing relaxation. A good ratio of activity would be to split it into three equally long parts. Usually, this is an individual practice, but you can also work with a partner who could help you to stretch deeper. You can choose to practice at the beach or in the pool, according to your possibilities and preferences.

Aqua yoga combines benefits from both, yoga and swimming. In water, the body can move more freely, and with the release of gravity, it can stretch even further than in regular practice.

In yoga part of the class, water would ideally be at the chest level – but anything between hips and shoulders is acceptable. You mostly do standing poses; for example, warrior poses are a good choice. Regardless, like in regular yoga, you can always play and explore variations of classic poses, in this case, modifying it for water practice. You can also always utilize the help of floating. The breathing and stretchings are the same as in classical yoga, but practice in water allows you a greater elongation of the muscles and a wider range of motion. 

Swimming should be a part of every aquatic exercise since its many benefits complement everything you do in the water. 

  • It is known to strengthen the immune system and help with many conditions. It can, for example, help with breathing diseases, such as asthma, since it improves lung capacity. 
  • It works the whole body rather than focusing on one muscle or part of the body at the same time, and it improves both, your strength and range of motion. 
  • Furthermore, it allows us to work on deeper tissues and muscles simultaneously. 

The best technique to complement a yoga practice is the breaststroke. In this technique, arms open our chest and stretch the upper body. The swimming is done in a slow, controlled motion, and we should try to disturb the water as little as possible.

At the end of the practice, do some breathing exercises while you allow your body to float freely on the water. We try to relax without losing consciousness of our body. If you find it hard to relax, use some floating props. In aqua breathing, your exhalation should be twice the length of your inhalation. You can also play a bit and exhale underwater through the mouth.

At the end of the exercise, you should do floating relaxation on the back, instead of savasana (corpse pose). Try to give up any tension and just allow the water to hold you.

Health benefits of aqua yoga include: 

  • Pain relief from arthritis
  • Increase of muscle relaxation and strength
  • Better breathing
  • Improvement of endurance
  • Body detoxication
  • Also works on the nervous system to calm and stimulate it at the same time.