Red Mountain Resort & Spa (Utah)
Yoga in the water! Explore your body, mind and spirit in a supported liquid environment and allow your body to relax into postures while the mind floats. Slow your heart rate, lower the level of your stress hormones, increase flexibility, lower blood pressure and connect into the relaxation response of your nervous system. The water is an amazing tool to induce inner peace and well-being.
Begin by standing in chest deep water. Walk forward pulling both arms back to propel your body forward through the water as you walk (like a breast stroke) then do the opposite...walk backward pushing your arms forward to propel you back through the water as you walk. (2-5 minutes)
To continue the warm up, stand with your legs wider than shoulder width and extend both arms out in front about shoulder width apart. Begin twisting from right to left pushing the water with the palms of the hands; this is a Spine Twist variation. Your heel will lift as you twist from side to side. (2-5 minutes)
The following exercises are executed with a Foam Pool Noodle that can be purchased in the kids' section of any discount store for $2-$4.
Place the noodle under one ankle and move into Head-to-Knee Pose by allowing the noodle to float to the surface of the water. Anchor into the foot, engage the abdominals and lengthen the spine. Scull the arms through the water as you find this pose to help balance you. For a balance challenge try to hold your arm still as you reach towards the noodle.
Big Toe Pose
Allow the noodle to float to the side in a turned out position (a variation of Big Toe Pose). Holding your arms in a letter T shape, scull the water as you find this pose. Sculling will help to balance you in the pose. For a balance challenge try to hold your arms still.
Move into Dancer's Pose by bending your knee (knee cap points to the pool floor) and placing the noodle on the front of the ankle (the top of the foot will hold the noodle in place.) Allow your arms to scull water for balance. For a challenge reach back and hold the noodle with same hand (right hand to right side of the noodle). For the most advanced option reach back with both hands and hold the noodle on the right and left side of the ankle.
Leg Cradle Pose
Place the noodle across the shoulder blades and under the armpits (the noodle tips will float in front of you). Move into Leg Cradle Pose by crossing the right ankle over the left leg just above the knee, begin to float back bringing both legs as close to the chest as possible. Scull the arms through the water as you find this pose. This will help to balance you. For a balance challenge try pulling the legs closer to the body with your hands as you hold the pose.
Be sure to repeat all of the above poses using the other leg.
Place the noodle across the chest and under the armpits (the noodle tips will float behind you). Move into Bow Pose by leaning forward on to the chest and floating flexed knees up behind you. Begin to lift the chest and reach your hands back towards the hips and sides of your thighs. This will put you into a back extension. Continue lengthening the spine, flexing the ankles and spreading the toes as you hold this pose. Also, maintain the knees and ankles at hip width.
Finish with standing Corpse Pose. Stand in a comfortable position with the arms at your sides and the palms facing forward. Practice deep breathing and relaxed meditation to create a sense of ease and complete clarity for the moment.