Posts Tagged ‘aquatic yoga’

Aqua Yoga: Go With the Flow

May 28, 2009

This new fad – anti-gravity yoga has me a bit stumped. Participants precariously hang from the ceiling in harnesses while simulating yoga poses. In my opinion they would be far better off trying aquatic yoga. By taking your practice to a warm pool you’ll reap even greater benefits by “off-loading” your musculo-skeletal system while performing yoga postures.

While the buoyancy of the water allows you to increase your range of motion, it also creates an unstable environment where your core and posture are constantly challenged. As a result, the water fosters both flexibility but also stability. Furthermore, for those for whom land-based yoga is prohibitive due to arthritis or injuries, the water offers a wonderful alternative.

My favorite yoga flow sequence involves using a noodle in the shallow end to simulate camel pose, child’s pose, head-to-knee pose, gentle spinal twist  and even upward dog. Other postures that lend themselves beautifully to the water without the aid of a noodle include:  triangle pose, extended angle, eagle pose, dancer’s pose, half moon and tree pose. 

As summer approaches, try taking some of your yoga postures out of the studio and into the pool!

Be Well (and Namaste),

Carolyn

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Anti-Gravity Training? Just Head to Your Nearest Swimming Pool

November 22, 2008

The other day I was reading an article on a trendy new yoga method called “Anti-Gravity Yoga.  Have you heard of it? Participants perform various postures while hanging from suspended hammock-like “yoga wings” anchored to the ceiling of the studio.  Apparently, you have to be pretty strong to maintain many of the postures, and with participants hanging and swinging from the ceiling there is the potential danger of mid-air collisions. Plus, there’s considerable risk of falling out of the hammock “wings” on to a hard-wood floor! 

Anti-gravity training is nothing new, folks.  And if you ask me, a safer, much more effective way to “throw gravity out the window” is to head to your nearest swimming pool for some anti-gravity exercise – including aqua yoga and aqua Pilates and “Ai Chi” – a form of Tai Chi developed specifically for performing in warm water.

No need to hang upside-down –  the buoyancy of the water naturally offsets gravity. In waist-deep water you are about 50% of your body weight, at chest-depth you’re 35%. In deep water you’re weightless and you can literally “off-load” your entire musculo-skeletal system by wearing a flotation belt or using a noodle. Buoyancy also increases range of motion of joints and muscles, further facilitating movement. Moreover, if you exercise in a warm pool (86 F or warmer), you’ll experience even greater ability to stretch your muscles by increasing circulation.

For more information on anti-gravity training, please visit my website at www.bewellcoaching.com. You might also check out these two short videos for specific information on the benefits of aquatic therapy and training: 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnG17QjJxrs&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzdHxnTj7EU&feature=related

Be Well,

Carolyn