You have heard of yoga classes. You’ve heard of aquatics classes, too. But you may not have heard about what happens when you put the two things together: aqua yoga! Wondering what’s involved in this refreshing new fitness trend, and what you stand to gain from adding it to your workout routine? Here’s a closer look at all things aqua yoga.
What Is Aqua Yoga?
When you hear the word “yoga,” you probably picture a serene studio setting. In fact, water is probably the last thing that comes to mind. But when you stop and think about it, water isn’t that unlikely a setting for a yoga session. Why? Because it’s actually one of the most calming environments you can find. Can you think of anything more soothing or restorative than floating in a pool?
Says Yogapedia of this type of exercise, in which many of the usual asanas are adapted to the water: “Aqua yoga adapts the postures and principles of yoga, including breathing and mindfulness, to an aquatic environment. It is said to be a particularly relaxing, soothing and restorative form of yoga due to the effect on the body of being in water.”
In addition to using the wall as a substitute for the floor for poses like plank, cobra, and chaturanga, aqua yoga may also incorporate props, such as noodles and kickboards. (Already sold? Sign Up for an Aquatic Session at Brick Bodies today.)
Blissful Benefits Abound
Aqua yoga feels good, but it does much more than that. Read on for a roundup of six reasons why you should give aqua yoga a try.
1. It is extremely accessible.
While many forms of yoga are suitable for people of all ages and abilities, aqua yoga takes accessibility to all new levels. If you have a low range of motion, joint pain, or other physical limitations which prevent you from practicing yoga on the mat, the pool is a welcoming alternative.
2. You’ll get an amazing stretch.
Because your body can relax more in the pool, you can expect a better stretch during asanas. Contends new aqua yoga fan Chelsey Hamilton for Health.com: “It wasn’t much different from a regular yoga class—except I felt more flexible in the water. I noticed that I was able to sink deeper into Warrior II than ever before.”
3. Your mind will relax along with your body.
Continues Hamilton: “It has never been easy for me to slip into a meditative state. But floating and focusing on those natural sounds really helped. When savasana was over, I felt more peaceful and refreshed than I had in a long time.”
4. You’ll learn to balance better.
Just because aqua yoga feels more relaxed both physically and mentally doesn’t mean you’re not getting a workout. In fact, you may be challenging your body more than you would be on land. Says Aqua yoga instructor Blythe Knapp, “I believe aqua yoga is the most incredible balance training that exists right now. In the water, there is a constant yet changing motion against you that triggers the body’s reflexive reactions.”
5. You’ll forget all about your swimsuit anxiety.
Let’s face it. Most of us aren’t exactly excited about the prospect of shimmying into a swimsuit and working out in it in the company of others. But that’s the thing about aqua yoga. Once you’re in the class, submerged, and moving smoothly through the asanas, you’ll forget all about your self-consciousness and learn to truly let go.
6. Your land-based yoga practice will also improve.
If you routinely practice yoga, there may be some tougher poses you’re hesitant to try on land. However, in the water, there’s no risk of falling and hurting yourself — meaning those elusive asanas are now within reach.
Whether you’re a lifelong yoga enthusiast or you’re completely new to this popular mind-body workout, aqua yoga is a blissful and beneficial addition to any exercise routine. Your brain and body will thank you for it! Sign up for a trial pass at Brick Bodies today to start discovering aqua yoga and a breadth and depth of other programming aimed at helping you live your best, healthiest life.