When talking about attaining a healthy body and wellness of mind & soul, do you often feel it to be boring and most importantly tiring & all sweaty kind of thing? Then Aquatic Yoga may be an interesting fitness activity you can try for. I was introduced to this kind of Yoga recently at NIMBA Nature Cure Village located near Mehsana, Gujarat. I was here for Wellness Bloggers Meet organized by an internationally acclaimed Indian Magazine named Ayurved Sutra. NIMBA is a holistic resort which has naturopathy as the core principle. So there you have a fixed type of food that is given to eat, therapies given on consultation with doctors and a marvelous ambiance set amidst greenery!
What is Aquatic Yoga?
Aquatic Yoga commonly called in short as Aqua Yoga is done in Water. Here water acts as your Yoga mat! So it may be done in a swimming pool or in shallow water on a beach. It is a low impact yogic kriya that best suits aging people, pregnant women (on doctor’s advice only), people with injuries or chronic conditions and off course for those people who love being in the water.
The Human body is made of about 72% water so well yeah water is very crucial for us. While performing aquatic yoga, water supports the body by taking off the weight and helping out to make the different asanas with great ease due to its buoyant nature. In addition to this getting drenched in the water itself is such an excellent stress buster, pain reliever, and mood up-lifter!
Advantages of Aqua Yoga:
There are numerous benefits of Aquatic Yoga few of them are:
De-stressed Body, Mind & Soul
Reinvigorates positive energy.
Improves Muscle strength and tones it thereby reducing muscular cramps.
It is a great Cardiovascular workout.
Improves sleep pattern.
So now sharing some of the super Easy Water Yoga Asanas or poses learned at NIMBA:
#1. Tadasana (Palm Tree Pose):
Stand erect with legs slightly apart. Raise the hand from sides slowly above the head. Interlock the fingers and turn the hand so that palm is facing the sky. Look in front. With a deep breath stretch the arms to the fullest so that elbows are not bending. Meanwhile, raise the heels so that the weight of the body comes on toes and now walk with normal breathing. First in front then backward. Bring down the heels and arms by slowly breathing out.
#2. Hasta Uttanasana (Raised Arm Pose):
This asana helps in digestion and toning abdomen muscles.
Stand erect and raise both the hands above the head. Take a deep breath in and now bend from the upper half of body and head backward so that they are stretched. Breathe out while coming back to original position.
#3. Veer Bhadrasana (The Warrior Pose-II):
This asana improves body balance and relaxes the shoulder muscles.
Keep distance between both the legs. Now breathe in and bend your one leg from knee and stretching your arms open wide along the shoulder parallel to the water. Hold in the same position for a while and now when coming back to center breathe out. Do it with another leg as well for at least ten counts.
#4. Utkatasana (The Chair Pose):
While standing in waist-deep water keep feet slightly apart. Bend your knees so that your body goes down in water a little and thighs are parallel to the bottom of the pool. Raise your hands overhead or in front and hold the pose for a count of 10.
This asana is helpful in strengthening arms, legs and thigh muscles. Also good for Knee.
#5. Ardha Chandra Chapasana (Sugar Cane Pose):
This pose benefits legs especially thigh area and also the hip portion.
Take a deep breath and put your weight on your front foot so as to balance your body on it. Now the other leg let it float and then with the same side hand as of the back leg hold the leg. So as to form a kind of Half Moon Pose. Hold to a count of 10 and then breathe out with the release of leg at the back. Do it with another leg also.
#6. Vrikshasana (Tree Pose):
This aquatic yoga pose is great for practicing balance. This is just not the physical exercise but it involves a lot of concentration for the body to balance correctly.
For attaining this pose inhale and stretch arms overhead and join together so as to form a prayerful hand or a namaste gesture. At the same time, lift one foot up and rest it on the other leg’s inside area of the thigh. Hold this pose for a count of ten with normal breathing. While coming back to normal pose exhale.
#7. Shavasana (Floating on Back Pose):
This pose is very helpful in relaxing body, mind & soul.
Those people who love floating will definitely enjoy in this pose but yes please inform the lifeguard or coach before doing this pose, just in case.
Apart from these simple yoga poses there are other simple, fun & almost effortless workouts that you can perform in pool like
Walking from end to end of the pool.
Cycling – By resting your hands on one edge of pool and then by taking support from them do cycling with legs. First backward and then forward.
Forming Balancing Poses
Elbow & Hip Rotation – While you are still in chair pose for maximum benefit.
I bet anyone trying Aqua Yoga would fall in love with this effortless form of having a fit body. Perhaps after a session or two one might just end up love struck as I am and eagerly wait to float around the next free moment in the day and make it a part of everyday routine.
Feature Photo Credit: Pradeep Chamaria (Exatraveller.wordpress.com)