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Step off of the Mat for a Refreshing Yoga Experience

Step Off of Your Mat and into the Pool…

Yoga/asana has been taking on many forms in recent years, but one of the newest and most exciting is Aqua Yoga.

This style of yoga was pioneered by swami, author and yoga teacher, Camella Nair. She wanted to bring the healing benefits of yoga to those that could not practice traditionally on the mat. She has written a book, “Aqua Kriya Yoga” and developed an Aqua Kriya Yoga Teacher Certification Program. The program is so extensive that it is accredited through Yoga Alliance and APFA.

This leading edge program has brought the healing qualities of yoga to those who steered away from it because of their discomfort or inability to stand or even sit. Camella has reached out to that demographic who could or would never make their way to a mat. She works with cancer and stroke survivors, bodies that are overweight, pregnant moms, arthritis sufferers, and even those that are wheelchair bound, to name a few. If they have difficulty standing in the pool, there is always the edge to hold onto, or she just has them bring their walkers in. She has worked several years with one student in particular, Anne, who is in a wheelchair. Anne is now certified to be an Aqua Kriya Yoga Instructor and teaches from the side of the pool. How inspiring is that?

The Aqua Kriya Yoga students find that in the pool, they are lighter in weight, providing ease to the joints & muscles, which also benefit from the elasticity gained from the warm water. Students who were challenged with balance find that they can balance beautifully, supported by the water. The body has to breathe differently when supported by water and that helps improve the respiratory system. Apart from the physical aspects, there is a huge benefit to allowing those who sometime feel on the outside to be part of a community. Being part of a class brings them into contact with others and builds friendships and connections.

Take note, experienced yogi(ini)s find this to be a valuable asset to their practice. Because the warm water invites muscles and joints to open, seasoned practitioners can get deeper into poses and approach poses that they may have found challenging. That is then topped off with the soothing qualities of the water, and a much more meaningful introspective practice is a result.

As for the Aqua Kriya Yoga Teacher Certification Program, yoga teachers find new doors of opportunity opening. Their classroom is now the pool. They come into contact with a wider range of students with various abilities that help the wise teacher craft his/her knowledge to higher levels. Teachers also benefit from the increase of income possibilities; single or group Aqua Yoga sessions, special events or workshops and retreats, just to name a few. Camella is curently writing level 2 training which is more specific to individual diverse populations.

So many have benefitted from this practice, both teachers and students. While practicing these elements, students learn to become less anxious, less tense, and more open to acceptance, to letting go, and finding peace within themselves. Teachers learn to step out of the confines of their mats and open to broader demographics, enrich their knowledge of the body functions, see the impact of their service, and earn more income.

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