Vinyasa, Hatha, Ashtanga, Iyengar, Bikram, Kundalini; hot yoga, water-board yoga, pole yoga, holy yoga…how about hot tub yoga?
Warm water and the fluid stretching of yoga seem like a natural match; the buoyancy and heat of the hot tub facilitates increased body temperature as well as dilated blood vessels, resulting in warmed up muscles. These warmed up muscles are primed to stretch.
An added bonus; the warmth of the tub, in conjunction with your yoga stretches will release endorphins, so you emerge feeling wonderfully reinvigorated.
While “hot tub yoga” will benefit anyone, it is especially beneficial for seniors suffering from those aches and pains that occur as we age. Stretching in hot water is also good for athletes; it helps remove lactic acid that builds up after a strenuous work-out.
Hot tub yoga doesn’t have to be a solo act; get a partner and unwind together. It’s a great way to reconnect and bond at the end (or beginning) of a hectic day.
Infographic by Swim University shows some yoga poses that are doable in a hot tub:
Susan Atkinson, of tubyoga.com suggests these poses: seated twist, seated forward bend, camel, cobra, side plank, toe balance, garland pose, boat pose and seated pigeon. She says that “Neck, shoulders, back, core, hips and legs can all be addressed in your session. Keep it simple and pleasurable.”
Make your hot tub yoga experience even more enjoyable by adding aromatherapy to your experience. There are spa and hot tub additives developed specifically for this or you can use a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Use the oil in its pure form; avoid anything that has been added to a “carrier” (soy, coconut, almond, jojoba, olive) oil. 8-10 drops should do it. The heat and steam from the hot tub will help to disperse it. Some specific scents and their reported benefits: lemon is said to stimulate the mind and calm the emotions; peppermint treat muscle and head- aches; geranium is an anti-depressant, clary sage and lavender are both good for insomnia.
For a complete guide to hot tub yoga, check out the conveniently waterproof “Hot Tub Yoga Book”.