Below yoga sequence should be used as a guide by yoga teachers to create their own yoga class plans
Yoga Sequence for Swimmers: Aqua Yoga Sequence
The use of yoga poses in different forms after modifications, for different purposes is quickly growing, and Aqua Yoga is one such form. ‘Aqua’ commonly refers to water, thus giving Aqua Yoga the definition of ‘yoga that is practiced in water.’
The practice of yoga poses inside a swimming pool helps in a lot of ways. This form of yoga is proven to be beneficial to people from different walks of life- swimmers, kids, the elderly, pregnant women or even injured people. Aqua yoga helps one feel flexible in the water as no extra stress due to the stretch around the joints is felt. This further increases the range of motion in the water.
The Yoga Sequence for Swimmers given below is for someone who has done yoga before. It can be taught to both newbies and regular swimmers and can be practiced just before swimming, both outside and inside the water. Using the wall for support during the initial stages of learning to swim would help to understand the body and connect with the force of water.
Yoga Sequence for Swimmers: Aqua Yoga Sequence: Yoga Poses, Cues, Steps, and Breathing instructions
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The regular practice of Surya Namaskar for swimmers on the yoga mat along with the other exercises as a routine must be encouraged for a good overall toning of the muscles. The sequence will be first followed outside the water in one round and the same will be done inside the water using the wall support if required.
A. Here, standing just outside the pool, stand with feet together taking a few breaths.
B. Inhale and raise the left leg taking it parallel to the floor, while placing the hands on the hips
C. Standing here in Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana, strengthen the thighs, while balancing the leg stretching it straight in front of you. Remain here for 6 breaths (~1 minute).
D. Release to repeat with the other leg and remain for 6 breaths (~1 minute).
E. This pose is great for the legs and opening of the muscles here at the hamstrings and the quadriceps helps to keep the entire leg relaxed while swimming causing lesser injury.
A. Practice this pose inside the water while holding the wall for better support.
B. If one is confident, then avoid the water and maintain balance while practicing this pose in the water to hold for 6 breaths.
A. Release and stand with feet apart where the right foot is at 90 degrees and the left foot turned inwards at 45 degrees.
B. While standing here with feet apart, more than hip distance, inhale and raise the arms above your head and hold the right wrist with your left hand to go into Sky Archer Pose.
C. A great pose for the lower sides of the back and the chest. The extending of the arms along with the neck here is good for BACK STROKE swimming. An overall stretch felt both at the lower part of the body and at the upper part.
D. Stay here for about 6 breaths and watch for the stretch in the entire right side of the body.
E. Release to repeat with the other side.
A. Practice this pose in the water, resting the front foot toes on the wall at the depth of the pool.
B. Stay here in the pool in this posture for 6 breaths if possible. Make sure the feet are firm and the practice is done at the shallow end of the pool.
C. The body may begin to float taking you away from the posture and the wall. It just requires some practice of using the body carefully in the water.
D. Hence one could use the hand on the wall for support.
A. After the practice of Sky Archer Pose, exhale and bring the left arm behind to be placed on the back of the left knee and the right arm stretched above your head to go into Reverse Triangle Pose.
B. Stay here in this deep stretch for about 4 breaths making sure the balance is right. Don't put too much pressure on the knees while standing in this pose.
C. Release to repeat the other side and to hold for 4 breaths.
A. Practice this pose in water, while placing the foot close to the wall at the depth and if not confident, then hold the wall in front of you while stretching the other arm above your head.
B. Stay for at least 2 breaths to begin with and then gradually go into 4 breaths.
C. Release and repeat with the other foot feeling the stretch at the left side of the body while in the pose.
A. What better way to bring this pose into this sequence and as the name suggests Diver's Pose.
B. Release from Dekasana and come to stand with feet together.
C. Inhale and go on your toes to balance the body and as you slowly exhale, go forward with the torso aiming to reach the floor with the face here.
D. Balance the body carefully here, and mastering this pose here is of great advantage as this pose will teach you how to keep the body light as a feather.
E. Remain here balancing the body on the toes, for about 8 breaths or what makes it comfortable.
A. Practice this pose placing the back against the wall in the water.
B. Inhale and go on your toes while holding the wall from behind. Exhale and bring the face into the water to continue standing in Diver's Pose.
C. The feeling of the body in the water will help you here to understand your body better. Putting the face inside the water here, start slow breathing and watch the bubbles forming under water as you exhale.
D. A great pose to be practiced inside the water to improve the fear of water and gain confidence with the body and the breathing in water.
E. Release to repeat this pose again till you have understood the movement of the breath and the body control in the water.
A. Ending the sequence to come to relax completely is SAVASANA.
B. While in water, throw the body on the surface of the water and let the body float as long as you have control over your breathing. This pose Savasana or Corpse Pose is best used here, giving credit to the name CORPSE, and allowing the body to look like one on the surface of the water.
C. A great pose to be done after the swimming session is over to just relax the body and stay calm with the breathing.
D. This pose requires a lot of practice to remain on the surface of the water, else one would start sinking, and all the water would go into the ears and nose. Hence one could do this holding the wall with your hand from behind while allowing the rest of the body to float.