Yoga is an exercise that is truly great for anyone in any shape. You can get into the yoga pose that not only fits your fitness level and you can modify a yoga pose so you can feel the workout, but not suffer an injury. If you’re new to yoga, look for a yoga instructor that offers gentle or beginner yoga. This instructor will show you ways to modify stretches to your level of fitness; you can always move into more challenging poses and hold them longer once you’ve built your strength.
Why do yoga and swimming pools and water just go together? Yoga is a relaxation exercise. Yoga helps work the body while relaxing the mind. When you add the meditative powers of yoga with the calming aspects of a swimming pool or other body of water, you are amping up the benefits of yoga and water.
The joy, beauty and meditative benefit of water yoga gives you a way to practice this ancient exercise without risk of injury that may occur if you’re a novice trying to hold poses. Having access to a swimming pool helps practice yoga in the water and that is a way to reap yoga’s benefits and add in the healing power of water.
Swimming Pool Yoga Is Great For Everyone
Being in the pool allows the buoyancy of the water to alleviate potential stress on muscles or joints. Just because you’re not running the risk of injury doesn’t mean you’re not getting a great workout — you are. In fact, when you’re doing yoga in the pool or if you’re swimming laps the resistance of the water gives you a better, more cardiovascular healthy workout all while cushioning your muscles and joints.
How can you possibly do yoga in the pool?
We knew you were going to ask that! You may not be able to do all the poses — Downward Facing Dog would definitely be a challenge! — but there are other poses that are enhanced by being in the water.
The Boat Pose
Grab pool noodles for this pose. Place the noodles lengthwise on either side of you and stretch your legs out in front of your body.
- Push the noodles down in the water.
- Engage your core
- Lift your legs while using your arms to push down on the pool noodles.
The goal is to get into your body into a “v” pose. The water supports your legs and your core keeps your upper body steady.
Hand To Toe Pose
Ask any yoga practitioner and he or she will tell you this is a challenging pose! When you’re in the water, though it is still a challenge, but water buoyancy keeps your extended leg afloat.
- Stand by the side of the pool and hold onto the side to stabilize yourself
- Lift your outer leg up
- Bend your knee toward your chest
- Grab your big toe and straighten your leg as far as you can. If you can’t fully extend your leg — no worries — with practice you will become flexible enough to do so
- After you feel steady, rotate your leg out to the side, while still holding your toe
- Switch sides and perform the same action
Stop if you feel any discomfort or pain.
Warrior II is a classic pose. It is easier to hold this pose in the water than when on dry.
To perform this pose:
- Stand with your feet, hip-distance apart
- Turn your right foot so it’s facing forward
- Lift your arms out of the water so they are perpendicular with your body
- Keep arms at shoulder height
- Lean toward your right, and bend your right knee (doesn’t bend beyond your toes)
- Sink your hips into the water
- Attempt to get your right thigh parallel to the floor of the pool
- Engage your core
- Breathe slowly through the pose
- Hold for a count of ten then switch sides
Try this pose to be more free-flowing by letting your arms float around you in the water.
Final Yoga Pose
This is the final pose in each session of a yoga practice. Savasana is the “resting pose.” The Savasana returns your mind and body to the present and eases your back into life following the class.
To do a Savasana in the swimming pool,”
- Lie back
- Float in the water
- Use a pool noodle to help you stay afloat. Hold it under your arms, across your chest, to keep your head out of the water
- Lie in the water, floating until you are relaxed and ready to stop your yoga practice.
- Flutter your arms to stay afloat
Practicing yoga in the pool before you begin your day or as a way to relax and unwind from your day is a wonderful way to ease into, or out of, the day. Even though yoga is a slow, measured set of movements it is a workout that renews and calms your mind, body and spirit
Yoga Is For Everyone
Aqua yoga is ideal for anyone in any shape. It is a good way to ease into exercise from a sedentary lifestyle. Practicing yoga in the water allows your body to continue to heal when you’re working on a slow-flowing exercise routine. Some people want to do yoga, but find the poses difficult to hold. Those people find that in pool yoga is easier. If you have ever wanted to practice yoga, look for a water or aqua yoga class or practice at home by trying some of the poses we’ve mentioned.