Just add water: three aqua yoga poses for older adults
With warmer weather on the way, pools are opening to offer a retreat from the heat. If you and your friends are looking for a new way to enjoy the cool water this summer, you should give aqua yoga a try!
Why is that? Yoga postures can be held for much longer and to greater effect while in water because water negates gravity's heavy force. So, immerse yourself in soothing water for some yoga, and then tell your grandchildren about your expertise in this new trend!
Here are three aqua yoga postures to get you started:
1. First, simply lean back, let the water lift you and float on your back. Water is buoyant, and nothing could be more soothing than a pleasant float! Every yoga class on earth begins with you lying on your back, so you might as well do the same thing (and to much greater effect) while in water!
Let the water support you. Feel each ripple loosen your muscles, soften your skin and empower your heart. Trust the water. Become one with it. This is yoga.
2. Next, extend your arms behind your head and draw your heel upward along your other leg.
On land, this yoga posture is performed from a standing position and is called the "tree pose." Performing it in the water, while lying on your back and fully supported, you'll feel more like the breeze surrounding the tree.
No gravity will weigh down your arms. No wobbly leg will uproot your balance. Your arms can grow longer and longer, your breath stronger and stronger. Most importantly, in water, your heart has room to feel vast like an ocean.
3. Now, stand on the pool bottom and lift up your leg behind you. Lean forward and bend the other knee.
When much of your body weight is supported by surrounding water, blood is able to flow more easily to and through your legs. You might struggle to perform this posture on earth, but will likely be able to hold it for many minutes while in water. Your legs will be thankful and less swollen if you do this in water.
Charlie Higgins is affectionately known at many Holiday Retirement communities as "Yoga Charlie." Charlie a graduate of Reed College and a certified yoga instructor. Charlie specializes in yoga for retirees and he teaches at a number of Holiday communities in the Portland, Oregon area. His classes focus on range-of-motion, peripheral awareness, balance and breathing. As a guest author for Holiday Retirement, Charlie is excited to share fun, safe and easy tips for senior health & wellness. Explore more exercises by Charlie. or visit his website: www.samdhyayoga.com.