I know it bucks the trend in water. What’s wrong with duck feet?
Well for starters it tends to flatten the spine and potentially compromise disk health. Nourishing and energizing back bends can seem a nightmare with that condition as a starting point in yoga therapy. The "should be" natural curves in the spine and spongy cartilage which is beautifully engineered to help cope with the stresses and shocks, can send unfriendly messages to the nerves.
(It’s not easy sustaining inner body length and stability on dry ground)
Herniation of the disks may be one of the reason that doctors recommend yoga to their patients in the first place. As a disk bulges or is ruptured, it weakens the disks and starts to literally ‘get on our nerves ‘as they lose fluid and dry up.
L5/S1 tend to take a lot of the stress and can weaken as they are bear lots of weight. Pain and loss of flexibility may result.
Parallel feet increases lumbar curve and activates muscles that need to work in order to sustain the position.
Grounding the femur bones or pressing them back should be an action that students of all abilities can understand and experience with childlike wonder as they physically press the thigh bones back with their fingers and feel the immediate action of better posture.
In the water, we love to visualize the tail bone anchoring down towards the bottom of the pool.
Because the buoyancy of the water tends to untuck the sit bones and although this helps with femur grounding, can stunt the depth of the sacrum. In the water, cultivating curve is almost ‘dumb luck.’ Finding curve is initially the most important factor. When we have established that, we can cultivate and sustain inner body length.
A bit like a duck preening itself.
Aqua Therapy is really helping in situations when when people go ‘too far’ with their body on land. According to Linda Huey and Dr. Klapper of ‘Heal your Knees” and “Heal your Hips,” she sees major athletes, stunt men in Hollywood and big league players cross training and not just rehabilitating in the water. Maybe our thin, bendy and young yoga practitioners need to take stock!
Gravity is a great karma yogi. Aqua Yoga just maybe the antidote of wisdom
One of the observations of diverse student’s abilities in the water is that they can actually lunge with good organization, sustain inner body length, understand verbal ques and work on their hip flexors.
All in Virabhadrasana 1.”
Heck, in the water, there is even the potential to raise the front foot!
Not many people could do that on land and ‘live’ to tell the tale.
Inner body lengthening and awareness are really necessary to perform twists and back bends which can be a part of yoga therapy for posterior herniation. Again plug feet down and the buoyancy of the water can help you with the rest if you are aware.
Awareness becomes so much more accessible in the water largely due to the increase proprioception of the waters viscosity.
Back extensions can become a reality and available to the stiffest bodies with integrity in the water.
(oops, snapped this before he corrected the right foot position and plugged it down but kudos if you spotted it)
Bye Bye Ducky………..I choose to fly xx
Camella has pioneered Aqua Kriya Yoga for more than 18 years and trains teacher of all levels in Accessible Aqua Yoga and Aqua Yoga Specialty. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or website www.aquakriyayoga.com