Fluid Movements, Peaceful Mind

Embrace the harmony of Aqua Yoga, a 55-minute class blending yoga's gentle poses with the therapeutic qualities of water. Suitable for all levels, this class enhances balance, flexibility, and muscular stability in the soothing embrace of warm water. Experience improved mobility and mental calm as you flow through poses, supported by the water's buoyancy. Aqua Yoga at PARADISE is a serene journey, perfect for those seeking a low-impact, yet effective path to wellness. <for more info>

About Our Aqua Yoga Workout

Aqua Yoga is a form of yoga that is done in water. It is a great way to do a variation of your regular yoga practice.

The general assumption is you are going to get your hair wet. When I first heard about doing yoga in a pool my mind went to a down dog drowning pose.  As a person who hates to get their head wet, I’m not a swimmer, I imagined that this would be torture for me.  

Thankfully, that’s not what happened.  My logical mind told me that there’s no way anyone would attend an Aqua Yoga class if their head were under water.  So I decided to learn how to teach a water yoga class for my clients at Paradise.  

What I found was a truly enjoyable experience.  Drowning and being tortured weren’t a part of the practice at all.  In reality it was a fun, floaty, comfortable yoga workout with none of the imagined pains.  After years of teaching yoga on land, this felt like a gentle massage, with water helping to hold me up, and I didn’t have gravity pushing my body to a crash. 

If you want to try Aqua Yoga I highly recommend finding a class, having an instructor is the way ideal to get started.  But, there really are not enough water yoga teachers and you may find it difficult to attend a class near you.  So, here’s what you need to do yoga in your own pool.  

Before beginning your practice, you’re going to want to make sure you are comfortable in the water.  Turn up the heat to about 90 f, or put on insulated swim wear or a wetsuit in cold temperatures.  If the pool is outdoors remember your sunglasses, a protective hat, and wear sun screen.  (Our pools at Paradise are indoors plus we heat them to 92 f.)  Have a water bottle poolside for when you get thirsty. And finally, get into your pool at about waist deep to chest deep.  All poses described here are done at this depth. 

Now try this simple routine. You can follow it using just your body and the support of the water:

1. **Warm-up**: Begin by warming up your body. You can do this by walking in the pool, changing directions, backwards, lsideways,  using longer and longer strides.  Be sure you are using your whole foot with each step.  Walk and slowly swing your arms back and forth, in and out, front and back, explore big moves that just feel right. Be aware of your breath flowing comfortably, in & out slowly through your nose; ribcage to belly expanding as you inhale; core engaging you exhale. Breath cycles done like this will flow continuously, connected to your mental focus and connected to your body’s movement. Do this for about five minutes or until you feel warmed up.

2. **Mountain Pose (Tadasana)**: Stand straight, feet hip-width apart and neutral in their alignment with your knees. Let your arms relax by your sides, they might be floating on the surface of the water. Soften your knees, feel your weight equal on both legs. Focusing your eyes on something stable in front of you may help your balance. Feel your feet on the floor, create a tripod balance at your heel, ball of the foot above your big toe, and the ball of the foot above your little toe. To increase your stability lift your toes, root your tripod feet—lifting the arches— wiggle them, then set your toes down wide on the pool floor. Maintain this pose for about 3 to 5 breath cycles.  Mountain Pose is your home base, you may return to this pose at any point in a yoga workout.

3. **Tree Pose (Vrikshasana)**: Starting from Mountain Pose, put your weight to your right foot. Bend your left knee, pivot at your hip to turn it outward, and place the sole of your left foot anywhere on the inside of your right leg except pressing on the knee. You can use the pool wall for balance if needed. Feel your right foot’s tripod balance on the pool floor. Arms can reach overhead to build up your balance challenge.  Hold for 3-5 breath cycles, then switch sides by returning to Mountain Pose, weight on your left foot, pivot your right knee outward, etc.  Ideally you have the same balance, strength, and range of motion on the other side.

(Return to Mountain Pose to transition to the next move.) 

4. **Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II)**: Stand with your feet wide apart. Turn your right foot out to the side and bend your right knee. Stretch out your arms so they're parallel to your legs, one reaching forward, one reaching back in a T shape. Turn your head to look over your right hand. Hold for 3-5 breath cycles. Then switch sides by going to Mountain Pose, stepping wide, repeating everything on your left side.  Create symmetry between both sides as you find your footing.

(Return to Mountain Pose to transition to the next move.) 

5. **Chair Pose (Utkatasana)**: In a standing position, imagine sitting back into a chair. Find a depth that allows you to have both feet on the floor. Keep your knees over your ankles, and float your arms out wide in a T position.  To increase challenge raise your arms overhead, draw your shoulder blades into your ribcage, away from your ears. The water will help support you in this pose. Hold for 3-5 breath cycles.

(Return to Mountain Pose to transition to the next move.) 

6. **Corpse Pose (Shavasana)**: Finally, your “cool down” is a balance of relaxation and meditation. By simply floating on your back, taking in the sensation of the water against your skin, and breathing deeply.  If you are not comfortable floating, like me, you can use the pool wall or the pool stairs and be relaxed onto them. (Use small noodles under your body if you like but they are not needed.) Do this for about five to ten minutes or until you feel ready to stand up, flex your toes & fingers, and stretch your body.

Safety is paramount, and you should only attempt these poses if you are comfortable in the water. Practice within your level, but you knew that already.  A yoga practice is NEVER supposed to be “no pain no gain”.  Instead it is a safe exploration of self-actualization. It's so very important to respect your body's limits and not push into any poses that cause discomfort, pain, or an inability to breathe easily.

Remember, the goal of Aqua Yoga, like traditional yoga, is not only physical conditioning but also mental relaxation and mindfulness. Enjoy the soothing effect of the water and the gentle, low-impact workout it provides.

We would love to see you in our Aqua Yoga at Paradise.  Call our front desk to check for space availability and schedule your classes.  775-883-4434 ext 0