Archive for category Aqua Yoga
Aqua yoga for pregnant women refers to the yogic exercises and movements which are performed in the environment of water with the intention of deriving the maximum therapeutic advantages related to stretching. Since it is conducted in the medium of water, aqua yoga is a perfect combination of yoga and swimming and hence promotes good health and fitness in a natural and all-encompassing manner.
Although aqua yoga can be practiced by swimmers and non swimmers alike, a swimming qualification is definitely an advantage since it implies one’s comfort level in the water medium. It is but natural that an individual who has been swimming prior to pregnancy is more likely to settle down faster after having enrolled for aqua yoga as compared to an expecting mother who has never been close to the water prior to having enrolled for this course.
Aqua yoga for pregnant women entails performance of classical yoga postures while sitting in water and since water is likely to provide resistance to body movement, the asanas are performed through a combination of slow stretching, breathing and relaxation. Any individual, after having descended into water feels virtually weightless and the same holds true for the expecting mother as well who is able to accomplish difficult asanas without bearing too much strain or sustaining any kind of injury.
Aqua yoga for pregnant women is a further development of the concept of yoga for pregnant women as there are many women who find it difficult to perform yoga in normal classes but are able to relax and exercise easily while in water. The direct benefits accrued from this form of yoga can be classified as being mental as well as physical and while the former includes deep relaxation, connecting with the growing baby and accepting all the changes with calmness, the latter entails enjoyment of a gravity free environment, strengthening of spinal and abdominal muscles, prepare for birth and facilitate the opening of the pelvis.
A course of aqua yoga for pregnant women is inclusive of swimming, yoga movements, breathing exercises, relaxation and preparation of birth. Swimming is considered as being the best exercise for pregnant women and when performed as a part of yoga, the expecting mothers are taught the adaptations of the swimming strokes which are particularly meant for accommodating the baby and changes in the body. Yoga movements entail performing simple yoga poses in water which is particularly enjoyable since it involves deep stretching of weightless bodies.
Relaxation during aqua yoga for pregnant women is accomplished by floating in the water which also helps to establish the connection between mother and the baby since the baby is suspended within the mother in the amniotic fluid as well. Water as a medium serves as an ideal preparation for delivery since it facilitates complete exploration and ultimate expulsion of all the fears attached to labor pains.
A common belief linked to pregnancy which is prevalent all over the world without any exceptions is that the mental and physical health of the baby is completely dependent on the mental and physical health of the expecting mother. It is owing to this reason that many women resort to yoga for pregnant women to ensure not only their good health but the health of the forthcoming baby as well. Yoga or aqua yoga for pregnant women helps the expecting mother to cope up with the hormonal changes, weight gain, aches and discomfort and hence is vouched for by many women who have undergone this spiritual experience during their pregnancy.
In order to derive maximum benefit from aqua yoga for pregnant women, the expecting mother is recommended to adhere to the following guidelines:
- While performing aqua yoga, one must ensure that the water level is above the waist and just short of the shoulder height so that free movement and toning of joints and muscles for acquiring flexibility is facilitated.
- For performance of yogic asanas in water, one needs to be gentle and patient on the body in the beginning and avoid over stretching at all costs.
- Aqua yoga for pregnant women is an exercise which should be performed on a regular basis either by enrolling for classes or indulging in self learning through CDs’ and DVDs’.
- Although the best location to perform aqua yoga is a swimming pool, one might practice at home as well in a bath tub and keep the necessary accessories at a handy distance.
- Some of the props which aid in performing aqua yoga are foam noodles and floats because apart from providing support they can be used for relaxation as well.
- Meditation forms an important aspect of aqua yoga for pregnant women and is usually performed at the conclusion of the session. A noteworthy point in this regard is that while indulging in meditation the expecting mother must not hesitate in sitting in a particular manner which may be different from the normal yogic pose.
- Feeling comfortable is the utmost priority while practicing aqua yoga for pregnant women and therefore one should only indulge in yogic asanas to the point till which one is comfortable and not beyond that.
- The course of aqua yoga should comprise of yogic asanas which strengthen the back muscles and cause the abdominal muscles and the thighs to stretch.
- It is equally imperative for the expecting mother to be able to hold the pelvis in the appropriate position while performing aqua yoga and this would facilitate the posture adjustments during pregnancy.
- The quality of props chosen for aqua yoga is worthy of consideration and good quality props are undoubtedly recommended since the comfort level of usage offered by them is higher.