Bored with your daily yoga routine? Well, there is a way to add some fun to it! While yoga is usually typically practised on a mat, you can also do it in the water. Surprised? Performing yoga in water is known as aqua yoga. A yoga expert, claims that the buoyancy and resistance provided by the water make it an ideal environment to practice yoga poses that improves flexibility, strength and overall relaxation.
Yoga expert Himalayan Siddhaa Akshar, founder of Akshar Yoga Research and Development Centre says, “As we are made up of 70 percent water, water yoga or aqua yoga can be extremely beneficial for us. This is a low-impact workout that benefits both mind and body.”
Here are 7 health benefits of aqua yoga
- Aqua yoga can help calm your body because water has a healing effect on the senses.
- By increasing overall body movement, it helps improve flexibility and mobility.
- Water yoga can be useful in improving the breathing pattern and it reduces tiredness.
- It can also be helpful in detoxifying the body.
- It helps heal sleep-related issues such as insomnia as it soothes the nervous system, calms the mind, and relieves stress.
- It also eases anxiety and other mental health problem.
- Practicing water yoga helps enhance muscle strength, toning, and blood circulation.
Who can do aqua yoga?
The buoyancy of water lessens strain on joints, offsets some of your body weight, and makes aqua yoga an ideal choice for beginners aiming to enhance fitness, elderly individuals dealing with mobility problems, pregnant women, those who are overweight, and individuals managing arthritis or low bone density.
Aqua yoga poses
Here are 5 aqua yoga poses that can be done in water to boost your overall health:
1. Mountain pose (Tadasana)
Mountain pose in water improves posture, strengthens the legs, and promotes relaxation. To practice this pose in water, stand in chest-deep water with your feet hip-width apart. Engage your core and distribute your weight evenly on both feet. Imagine your body extending upward, aligning your spine with the natural buoyancy of the water. With every inhale, feel the water’s support lifting you gently, and with every exhale, allow any tension to release.
2. Vrikshasana (Tree pose)
Vrikshasana is all about enhancing balance, stability, and muscle strength.
To perform it, stand in waist-deep water and bring one foot to rest against the opposite inner thigh. Balancing one leg in the water adds an element of resistance, engaging the muscles even more. The water’s resistance challenges your core, legs, and overall body coordination. Find a focal point to maintain balance while enjoying the soothing qualities of the water around you.
3. Utkatasana (Chair pose)
Utkatasana is a great way to work your lower body muscles and build strength. In the water, this pose becomes a dynamic exercise for your legs and core. Stand in shoulder-deep water and sink into a squat position, as if sitting back into an imaginary chair. Engage your core, keep your back straight, and extend your arms forward or upward. The water provides natural resistance, intensifying the workout for your quadriceps, glutes, and core.
Also read: Water workout: 7 pool exercises to burn calories and lose weight
4. Floating padmasana (Lotus pose)
Floating padmasana enhances flexibility in the hips and knees. Begin by sitting in chest-deep water and cross your legs into the lotus position. As you release your weight onto the water’s surface, allow your body to naturally float. This pose encourages relaxation, mindfulness, and deep breathing. The water’s buoyancy eases joint pressure, making it an ideal pose for soothing discomfort.
5. Water downward dog pose
This pose offers an excellent stretch for the entire body. Begin in a plank position with your hands on the pool’s edge and your body aligned. Push your hips upward and backward, forming an inverted V shape. The water’s buoyancy assists in elongating the spine and opening up the shoulders and hamstrings. This pose enhances flexibility, relieves tension, and promotes better posture.
Aqua yoga is a fun way to add a little twist to your regular yoga practice. So try it now!