In spite of the fact that the number of people practicing yoga in America has increased 50% in the past 4 years, there are still many people who think that they have to be thin, bendy and young to practice Yoga. The yoga and aquatic therapy world can offer a safe place to begin to develop self-awareness which can lead to life-style improvements in the practice of Aqua Yoga.
Offering Aqua Yoga may open the doors to people wanting to teach and help other people in this accessible yoga format. Yoga is after all more of a methodology to move Prana in a balanced way rather than attaining a pretzel type pose.
These video clips introduce some movements that are relatively simple but can bring a beginner into present moment by connecting, breath, body and mind.
Results from many studies are showing that yoga practices enhance muscular strength and body flexibility, promote and improve respiratory and cardiovascular function, promote recovery from and treatment of addiction, reduce stress, anxiety, depression and chronic pain, improve sleep patterns and enhance overall well-being and quality of life. Even with just 1 class per week.
Om to that!
(Please note that our mermaid should ideally should be wearing pool shoes as she has diabetes)
Getting some movement in hip from a secure location near a wall can help reduce fear of being in the water for some.
Pressing hands into the bench our mermaid can open her chest and draw scapula down the back and start to engage the glutes. Increased proprioception of a weaker left side due post stoke can allow her to start pressing down more through her left foot to straighten the leg more.
Extension while strengthening supporting leg and hip in this flow keeps our mermaid engaged in conscious action. The root of the verb of action in yoga is Kri. This is the stem of the term Kriya Yoga. It should be a benchmark in personal practice that allows an individual to adapt poses to them personally.
Kelpasana or Seaweed pose is a rhythmical movement that engages the whole body. Rotational movement in the spine can also help with disk health and ease lower back pain generally. Increasing speed and movement can increase load and demand deeper breathing for respiratory health.
Scooter or Skateboard flow for LE loading. Increase speed and power as appropriate. Cardio challenge in the water may be more accessible and typically we can expect to burn double the calories in the water whilst the water helps take load off lower extremity joints.
Tadasana or Mountain pose. Mystically its about us learning how to stand on our own, recognize what needs to be done and then taking conscious action, or Kriya.
Press thigh bones back. Palms up with arms out will ignite muscular action in legs and back body. Don't forget to breathe.
Not taking ourselves so seriously we can laugh at this challenge for brain and body connection whilst the water just holds us up.
Water dog is a super pose for the water environment. Using a step can reduce any shoulder or wrist concerns and with hips pressed back we can access the hamstrings. Lifting chest cultivates more Uddiyana Bandha which is a technical Yoga term that brings inner body lengthening.
Our mermaid continues to get into her body consciously and in so doing is making her feel more comfortable in her body.
If you are interested in teaching Aqua Yoga, my travels will take me far and wide in 2020 as I continue to share my passion in supporting more Accessible Yoga and train teachers. Aquatic professionals as well as yoga teachers and therapists have a huge audience that may just need to get into the water to yield greater benefits.
Follow me on facebook at aqua kriya yoga or aqua yoga therapy or camella nair
Camella can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org for hosting teacher training opportunities.