Heat Combined with Buoyancy Can Deliver a Highly-Effective Stretch
Last month, in honor of American Heart Month and in an effort to improve overall wellness and protect myself against heart disease, I enrolled in a series of yoga classes. I have read that perhaps one of the most studied areas of the health benefits of yoga is its effect on heart disease. “Studies have found that yoga practice lowers the resting heart rate, increases endurance, and can improve your maximum uptake of oxygen during exercise—all reflections of improved aerobic conditioning.” –Yoga Journal.
I must say, I have enjoyed the benefits of yoga more than anticipated. Mental calmness, stress reduction and flexibility are among the many benefits I have received since practicing this gentle form of fitness.
Have any blog readers out there tried water yoga? While performing yoga poses in water, the water can act as resistance and its buoyant nature can support you, keeping pressure off of your joints. I recently read a post on yogajournal.com from LucyB, a contributor who has performed modified yoga poses in a hot tub with success.“A hot tub, we discovered, lends itself more readily to some poses than others. Frog, Upward Dog, Chair, Table, Tree: these were successes, easier in water than in air. And rarely has my Eagle perched so confidently.”
Combining yoga stretches in warm water is a stimulating, tension-free form of hot tub stress relief ideal for people with arthritis, back injuries and those who are overweight. The American Council on Exercise suggests a hot tub soak as a great way to improve stretching. Warming your muscles in hot water elevates temperatures enough to make the body more receptive to stretching, allowing one to stretch further. By improving the quality of your stretching, hot tubs can improve your flexibility and range of motion.
Like hot tubs, the ultimate goal of yoga is to reach complete peacefulness of body and mind, helping you relax and manage stress and anxiety.