Yoga In A Pool?
Aqua Yoga Moves Spines in All Directions
In an Aqua Yoga class, as in all Yoga classes, spinal movement is an important class design element to consider. Our spines are capable of being in neutral, flexion, extension, rotation and lateral flexion, and we want our Aqua Yoga practice to explore each of these positions. It is important to move the spine in all directions because movement creates space between the vertebrae, allowing nutrition to come into the spine, and movement in every direction keeps the spine flexible in all directions.
Aqua Yoga Improves Athletic Performance on Land
While there certainly is a time to push hard and exert our maximal effort (such as during a track meet or any competitive event), there are also times when we can benefit from allow more ease and softness into the body. If we can learn to let our breath flow naturally, yet correctly, and learn to allow our muscles to completely relax to create our best flexibility, we can improve our athletic performance.
Yoga creates muscles that are extended and long rather than compacted and contracted. Yoga can be used to strengthen weaker opposing muscles that are not used in other sports. Sports such as tennis, golf, and baseball can create muscular imbalances that Aqua Yoga can correct over time.
Preventing, and Recovering from, Athletic Injuries
Water is anti-gravity, which presents an unique environment for movement through a range of motion against resistance. Land-based movements present little opportunity for improving muscle tone. Since water is greater than 800 psi, ANY movement in water, even if performed slowly, will present a total musculo-tendinous workout. Open and close your hand now and compare to opening your hand in water. Water can enhance muscle tone and coordination, which can either prevent a sports-based injury, or, allow a safe space for slow movements that can strengthen surrounding and supportive muscles.
Other Benefits of Aqua Yoga When You Are on Land
1) Improved respiratory capacity through balanced breathing
2) Improved posture and self-image
3) Sustained calmness and feeling of being in control of one’s emotions
4) Swelling and edema may be markedly reduced
Mike Menkes is a former physiotherapist from Florida with 25 years of clinical experience in injury assessment and therapy using simple hands-on techniques. Mike is also a nutritional and alternative health writer and consultant. He has a 40-year-old daughter, 18-year-old son and a 4-year-old granddaughter. Mike will be 84, in 20 years
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