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Learn How to Jump Into the Latest Exercise Trend: Aquatic Yoga

Posted by Twin Towers on February 9, 2017

TT Minyette Jan 2017.jpgBy Minyette Burke, Wellness Specialist at The Connection at Twin Towers

As aquatic exercise continues to get results and grow in popularity with seniors, more fitness instructors are integrating land movements into the water. Therefore, it’s no surprise to see Aquatic Yoga class participation doubling during the past year at Twin Towers Senior Living Community.


Water helps hold us up and removes pressure from the joints. As an Aquatic Yoga instructor at The Connection at Twin Towers in Cincinnati, I have seen participants gain confidence that they can do yoga as fully as possible when they are in the water and get relief from pressure on the joints.

Benefits of Aquatic Yoga After 50

Aquatic yoga, just like land yoga, is one of the best medicines for the body. It’s a total mind-body workout that has been around for more than 5,000 years
 Aquatic yoga is specifically good for joint comfort as its benefits can lead to less pain and greater ease performing normal daily activities.

The Importance of Breathing in Yoga

As you practice yoga, try to stay in a rhythm of breathing with your movements to keep that mind-body connection. Focus on inhaling when the body opens and exhaling when the body closes. It’s ok if you inhale when a movement calls to exhale; eventually, it will come naturally. 

Proper breathing techniques, whether during aquatic yoga or with regular breathing exercises, can lower stress and improve your overall health. 

Get more exercise and healthy eating tips with your free guide, Achieving Whole-Person Wellness, right here!

Four Aquatic Yoga Poses to Begin With

The starting position for all movements is the Mountain Pose. Begin with a neutral stance–stand tall, feet shoulder width apart, shoulders over hips, over knees and over ankles. Head facing forward, chin parallel to pool floor, knees soft, feet facing out and forward. Core muscles engaged.


Minyette’s Expert Tip: If assistance is needed to maintain balance and proper position, hold on to side of the pool or hold hands out at sides, whichever is needed.

yoga tree pose
1.
 Tree Pose
 


  1. In Mountain Pose, shift weight to left foot.
  2. On exhale bring right knee up.
  3. On inhale turn right knee out.
  4. On exhale, place right foot on left ankle where it is comfortable. Focus on how position feels; push foot into leg and leg into food to find stability.
  5. On inhale, bring arms into prayer, pressing palms into each other, keeping core muscles engaged, pay attention to how your body feels. Lengthen your body by rooting feet into pool floor and lifting crown of head up toward the ceiling.
  6. Stay in position through 4-6 breaths.
  7. Exhale arms down.
  8. Inhale right knee back to front.
  9. Exhale right leg back to starting position.
  10. Repeat with left leg.


Minyette’s Expert Tip: Focus on finding YOUR tree pose; all of our trees are different, even if they are the same tree. Find TT Star Pose resized.jpg
what works for you.


2. Star Pose 

  1. In Mountain Pose, inhale as legs open as wide as comfortable.
  2. On exhale pulling tailbone forward and down.
  3. Inhale arms to shoulder height, relaxing shoulders, stretching fingertips toward sides of pool, lifting crown of head up to ceiling, and stretching body out.
  4. Stay in position through 4–6 breaths.
  5. Exhale arms down.
  6. Inhale legs back to starting position.

Minyette’s Expert Tip: When you lift your arms up, look across at them to be certain they are at shoulder height. 

TT Warrior Pose edited.jpg3. Warrior Pose 

  1. In Mountain Pose, on exhale, pull right leg back behind, pull hips forward, adjust yourself to feel stable in position. Take several breaths as you adjust to stabilize your body. Right foot is at about a 45-degree angle.
  2. On inhale, pull knee over left ankle, push knee out toward little toe, engage core muscles.
  3. Take several breaths as you adjust to stabilize your body.
  4. Inhale arms up overhead, reach fingertips, gaze is straight ahead.
  5. Stay in position through 4-6 breaths.
  6. Exhale arms down.
  7. Inhale body back to starting position.
  8. Repeat with left leg.

Minyette’s Expert Tip: If you hunch your shoulders when your arms are up, push them back and down close to ears.

TT Chair Pose resized.jpg4. Chair Pose 

  1. In Mountain Pose, on the inhale, bring arms up, reach fingertips to ceiling. Arms can also be lowered to chest pressing hands together in front in prayer.
  2. On exhale sit, pay attention to knees because they may try to buckle in, pull them out toward pinky toe. Bringing tailbone in, pulling forward and pointing down toward floor of pool, core muscles engaged and keeping back straight.
  3. Hold position for 4-6 breaths.
  4. Inhale yourself up, bringing arms down, returning to starting position.


If assistance is needed to maintain balance and proper position in any of the poses, hold on to the side of the pool, or hold hands out at sides. Always work within your own range of motion, and if something hurts, stop immediately.


If you have been doing yoga on land and want to do something new, give Aquatic Yoga a try. Some classes work up to a goal pose while others work on traditional poses. Ask questions and find the class that’s best for you! 

Check out the full schedule of aquatic classes available at Twin Towers. 

The Connection at Twin Towers is a fitness center, aquatic center, and integrative therapy center with a full schedule of classes to help you live a healthy lifestyle. The Connection serves adults 50 years and older and welcomes non-residents from the surrounding community to become members and enjoy the benefits and services. 

To get more information on The Connection and Twin Towers Senior Living Community in Cincinnati, contact us at Twin Towers today! 513-719-3510

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Topics: Twin Towers Community News, Senior Health and Fitness

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