Summer is in full swing and that means long, hot days and balmy nights. It can be a difficult time to cool down other than air conditioning, which may not be to everyone’s taste. Being in the pool can be a welcome relief for the family, and a relaxing time floating or splashing around. Typically, studio or gym yoga class numbers are lower during the summer months with family vacations and the demands of kids home from school.
A fun and holistic approach to integrating yoga into the hot summer days is by combining yoga and pool time together. If you haven’t heard of Aqua Kriya Yoga, this innovative new approach does exactly this. The main desire was to bring yoga to those who have difficulty with strength, flexibility and balance on a yoga mat, physical limitations, recovering from injury, or have high stress or concentration issues.
With some adaptations, yogis who rely on teaching yoga as a source of income can take their own practice from an air conditioned studio into the swimming pool and increase their student base, as well as, think off of the yoga mat.
Here are some suggestions:
- Invite an Aqua Yoga teacher to your pool to teach a class for you and your friends while the kids take a rest indoors watching a movie.
- Teach a fun Aqua Yoga kids class to give moms time off.
- Gather a circle of women for a full moon gathering in the pool or hot tub. Some gentle stretching and especially hip openers can be done here very effectively. You might consider some chanting, too, and maybe even a meditation.
- If you have your own pool and have a regular yoga practice, you might try and see how many poses you can translate into a pool setting.
- Try floating with a foam noodle under the knees and one under the lower shoulder blades. A sort of aqua savasana. The vibration or shabda under the water is very quieting to the nervous system.
- Play a game of “show and translate” with the kids and/or friends. Simply demonstrate a yoga pose on land and then ask the other team or the rest of the people to try and articulate the same pose in the water. (Can be an individual or team game.)
- If you are a yoga teacher, consider offering private or small classes for small groups in their homes over the summer months.
- Have Aqua Yoga as part of a special event or retreat: Outdoor Yoga, Full Moon Yoga, Solstice Celebration, etc.
- As a teacher, put together several vinyasas (only 2-3 poses) then let the students in the water interpret them into a soft, flowy dance.
- Consider becoming certified in Aqua Kriya Yoga this summer. A teacher certification weekend is happening July 27 & 28 in Atlanta. See website for details and registration: www.aquakriyayoga.com
Camella Nair, E-RYT & PRYT, was born and raised in Bedford, England. At the age of 17, she began attending yoga classes with her mother. She moved to the United States in 1995, when her firstborn son was only 8 weeks old. It was then that she began to deepen her spiritual practice as she became a mother and housewife. She found the teachings she craved in a formal lineage when she began her studies with the Temple of Kriya Yoga in Chicago. It was a few years after the birth of her second son that she obtained her Yoga Teachers Certification. As her studies deepened, she was formally initiated as a disciple in the Kriya lineage by her guru, Swami Enoch Dasa Giri, and then went on to study and become ordained as a Swami in the Kriya Seminary. The Kriya lineage she has been ordained into has an unbroken line of teachers that impart the mystical teachings of yoga in the oral tradition. Kriya is a conscious, volitional, engaged spiritual action that is based upon self-discipline and self-study. She is one of the few women priests in the Kriya lineage formally teaching. In 2011, she completed the higher seminary level of study. Check out her new book, Aqua Kriya Yoga, or her teacher training program.