Water Yoga and Its Surprising Benefits
Do you often find yourself trying too hard to balance a pose? Does pain in your joints or hips is stopping you from exercise? Well, no more excuses because Water Yoga comes to your rescue.
Water Yoga (also known as Aqua Yoga or Pool Yoga) is a form of practice in which asanas are performed in water. Water Yoga can be performed in a pool or natural water of a beach or a lake. This form works on the principals of yoga including asanas, mindfulness and breathing techniques (Pranayama) in the water. This yoga has therapeutic and healing effects on the mind, body, and spirit.
It is gentle and low impact activity and is perfect for people who are not able to practice it on mat due to any injury or disease or joint pain to improve on their flexibility and strength. The scientific reason behind is that water takes the pressure of weight from the joints, and hence the body bears less weight when in water, the muscles are relaxed, and they have the ability to be stretched with less chance of injury.
Benefits of Water Yoga
Water yoga is for all age and all body types. Here are some surprising benefits of water yoga for you to know.
Help Find Balance
The sole purpose of the majority of individuals including athletes, who enroll for water yoga, is to find body balance. The buoyancy of water takes the weight off joints which makes balancing asanas or holding postures feel much easier. Performing these holding postures in water is more comfortable and regular practice can give you confidence the next time you try it on the mat.
As water yoga is low intensity and gentle on the body, it is a great alternative to exercises that put stress on joints and muscles. It is beneficial in healing muscle stiffness and body pain post-surgery. Many people benefit from Aqua Yoga like people who have arthritis, knee replacement, hip replacement, anxiety, depression, post- surgery, prenatal, postnatal, muscle dystrophy, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, etc.
Water pressure allows the body to move and stretch in ways you can’t do it on the land surface. When different asanas are performed in water, it gives the bodies a gentle massage which helps reducing muscle tension and stress. Performing Water Yoga regularly improves flexibility, lengthens muscles and tones our organs.
Although Water Yoga is light on the body when it is mixed with asanas like Vasisthasana or side plank, Trikonasana or Triangle Pose which are much easier on land due to gravity. Performing these in water engages hand and core muscles to maintain the pose which in turn helps strengthens the pelvic floor and core muscle.
Relaxing and Rejuvenating
Water Yoga has calming effects on mental, emotional and spiritual levels. It serves as a peaceful escape. For example, savasana, also called the ‘corpse pose’ is super relaxing and rejuvenating. In savasana, you lie on your back over water with foam noodles under your knees and head and float. This calms the nervous system, release stress and improves sleep. Isn’t that amazing?
Make sure your instructor is both a yoga teacher and a certified aquatic trainer by a recognized organization.
Pregnant women or people with chronic ailments should avoid performing full-range poses.
If you experience any pain or injury inform your instructor in advance.
Are you planning to try water yoga? Or have you tried water yoga ever? How was the experience? Let us know in the comments section below.