How Aqua Yoga Boosts Lung Health
Practicing yoga has many benefits, from strengthening the core to increasing a person’s cardiovascular ability. And as a result of its popularity, aqua yoga has also emerged where one practices yoga poses while being partially or fully submerged in water.
Here on Aqua Kriya Yoga we advocate it for those wanting to increase the intensity of their yoga practice through the added drag of water. Among the benefits of this exercise, water-based activities such as these greatly improve lung health through the intensity of some of the poses and the increasing importance that is placed on breathing techniques.
Aqua yoga for beginners starts with breathing exercises at the shallow end of the pool, where one’s feet are firmly planted on the floor. Chelsey Hamilton shared her experience trying out aqua and wrote that being submerged in water instantly makes you feel calmer. This makes it easier to keep one’s breathing leveled even during more difficult poses. While breathing is easier in this setting, your balance becomes much more difficult. This is why in aqua yoga the poses are modified to keep one’s head above water, another technique for keeping your breathing level.
Aqua yoga improves lung capacity. Yoga Travel Tree advises that the worst thing to do in aqua is to hold your breath. It’s important to know how to breathe out even when you’re underwater. Once you’re more comfortable doing that, the next step is controlling your exhalation. When you’re not used to it, you’ll exhale heavily. But when you master the breathing techniques, aqua yoga helps you breathe out in controlled exhalations above or below water. This helps you to effectively use all the space in your lungs, giving it the capacity to hold more volume in the long run.
Another version of aqua yoga requires you to balance on a floating mat. This makes your body work harder to stay afloat. Prevention shared Amy Schlinger’s of trying this more advanced aqua yoga. She said that the session keeps every muscle in your body engaged. When the intensity of the workout rises, you’re more prone to being out of breath. The challenge is to control your breathing while maintaining balance and trying not to fall off the mat.
There are additional benefits from being in the water, too for people looking to take up aqua yoga. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advocates water-based exercises for beating chronic diseases. They are especially good for people who suffer from heart and lung problems because being in water allows them to do a lot more exercise than being on land. Furthermore, when you learn to expand your lungs through water-based activities, your capacity for other physical activities increases. This type of exercise is ideal for those with chronic illnesses that make land-based training difficult. A post by Maryville University states that chronic illnesses are on the rise in the United States</a> with an estimated 164 million American’s predicted to be affected by 2025. Exercise is now seen as one of the most effective ways to combat chronic disease and prevent the chance of developing conditions like respiratory diseases. This is why more people should take up water-based exercises, as it helps you get into the habit of exercising in low-impact settings and may even save you money in healthcare costs in the long run. Beating a chronic disease has never been so much fun with new and trendy activities like aqua yoga. If you feel your lungs could do with a workout, give aqua yoga a try.
Article written for the exclusive use of aquakriyayoga.com
By Clara Rose