Give water yoga a go this summer
These days, yoga classes can be found practically anywhere. Whether it’s in an airport, the office, a museum or even a bar, yoga has been fully integrated into the Western world and all kinds of variations on the practice are starting to pop everywhere.
If you’re keen on beer yoga, cannabis yoga (yes, this is a thing) or our personal favorite, puppy yoga, you might also really enjoy water yoga. We think it’s so much fun and highly beneficial to the practice. You might even find yourself getting hooked!
It’s important to note that water yoga is not the same as SUP (stand up paddleboard) yoga. While SUP yoga is done on a paddleboard, aqua yoga is practiced in a swimming pool and the two have very different effects.
Here are 5 reasons to give water yoga a go
1. It’s Therapeutic
We can’t be the only ones who find ourselves feeling our very best while soaking in a hot bath or floating on our backs in a swimming pool, right? There’s something about being surrounded by water that’s inherently relaxing. Even being near to water can help us feel calmer and more creative.
The meditative state that comes from being immersed in water is second to none, and we’re sure you’ll find any stresses from the day lessening the second you enter the pool.
2. Low Impact
Aqua yoga is a fantastic way to practice yoga if you are after something low impact, perhaps if you struggle with joint issues or muscular pain. Swimming is a great form of physiotherapy due to its low stress on the joints, and aqua yoga has similar effects. While yoga is a great way to avoid or recover from injury, aqua yoga provides even more relief for tired muscles. Poses that might be too difficult to do with injuries are made accessible thanks to the buoyancy of the water.
However, don’t let this fool you into thinking this isn’t a challenge. In fact, water yoga provides a whole new set of challenges which you might not get from a standard yoga class. Balancing can be more difficult due to the movement of the water, however, once you find that sweet balancing spot, you’ll probably find you can hold the postures a lot longer.
Water yoga also opens up a whole new world of different postures as yogis often find they feel more confident knowing they won’t fall and hurt themselves. Warrior III and Bow Pose are great ones to try in the water. While difficult postures on the mat can seem miles out of reach for many, in a pool they are much more achievable – as there’s no chance of falling to the ground with a crash – just a splash!
3. Increased Range of Motion
Aqua yogis are often surprised to find themselves sinking deeper into postures when they are in the water than they would on a mat-based class. While we would urge you to recognize your limits in order to avoid injury and overexertion, those of you who want to work on your flexibility may find a water yoga class suits you better.
First, the pool is warm which instantly increases your range of motion. If you’ve ever been to a hot yoga class, the effects are similar. You will find yourself able to get deeper into your poses. Bodies are also more relaxed in the water, so tension in the body releases quicker, enabling you to fully immerse yourself in your stretches.
4. It’s More Inclusive
Sadly, many people are turned off by yoga for fear of looking awkward or believing that everyone else will be better than them. People who are injured, pregnant, or elderly may struggle in a mat-based class. Water yoga is the perfect alternative as it allows more freedom to move around. You can use a wall in the pool to stabilize yourself and it’s generally easier on the body. When you’re in the water, up to 90% of your body weight is supported.
Unlike many yoga classes, aqua yoga doesn’t always have to be serious, and often people find themselves able to laugh at their mishaps. Furthermore, you can be safe in the knowledge that no one is looking underwater at your wonky tree pose.
5. Savasana is Even Better
While Savasana in your usual yoga class is pretty dreamy, it can be even more relaxing in a pool. During water yoga, Savasana is practiced on a pool noodle. If you’ve never experienced Savasana on a pool noodle, you are in for a serious treat! Allowing yourself to shut off from the world, focus on your breathing and appreciate the sensation of floating on the water without a care is one of the reasons aqua yoga is so special. Give it a try and tell us what you think!