Have You Tried Hot Tub Yoga?
Hot tubs and yoga are both known for their relaxation and health benefits ... which might explain why they go together so well! Have you tried hot tub yoga yet? If not, give it a try and see how combining two of your favorite activities can take your relaxing session to the next level.
Why practice yoga in a hot tub?
Whether you’re an experienced yogi or brand new to the practice, the heat and buoyancy of the water in your hot tub will make it easier to reach and hold positions. You already know the importance of stretching and warming up your muscles before doing any type of exercise. And nothing is quicker at warming up muscles than moist heat, as your hot tub provides. It penetrates deep into your muscles, making them pliable and increasing your flexibility … and making you less prone to injury.
In your hot tub, the buoyancy of the water also supports you as you move into different positions. Not only are all of your movements in the water low impact for your joints, but you’ll find you can perform some asanas (aka yoga poses) you usually struggle to do.
There’s another reason hot tubs and yoga were made for each other: Hot tubs, like yoga, relieve stress and anxiety, plus promote total relaxation. Doing both practices together is taking your daily ritual to the next relaxing level. Your mind, spirit, and body can only benefit!
Which yoga positions are best for the hot tub?
Many asanas can be done in your hot tub. At first, especially if you’re new to yoga, we recommend practicing poses with the jets off. Once you adjust to how it feels to move into different yoga positions with the buoyancy of the water supporting you, turn on the jets for an invigorating experience. Here are some poses to get you started.
Seated Staff Pose
Sitting on the edge of your seat, place both feet on the bench or seat across from you. Keep your feet together, but your knees can be slightly bent if needed. Keep your spine straight. Raise your arms above your head and inhale. As you exhale, lower your arms and look down, stretching your fingers to reach your toes. Modify this stretch as needed. Instead of your toes, touch your knees or shins. Or, for a deeper hamstring stretch, flex your toes downward.
Like the Seated Staff Pose, this pose begins by sitting with your sit bones on the edge of your seat. Place your hands on the seat behind you, about shoulder-width apart, to brace yourself. Then bend your knees and lift both legs so that your lower legs are parallel to the ground. If you’re comfortable there, extend your legs straight and inhale. Then, as you exhale, bend your knees and bring them back to the last position. Thanks to buoyancy, Boat Pose is much easier to do in your hot tub than it is seated on the ground — but it’s still just as effective for your core!
Sit up straight and ground your feet to the floor of the hot tub. Keep your breathing even and deep. Stretch your arms out in front of you, cross your right arm over your left, and then bend both arms and hug yourself. With your hands on opposite shoulders, gently twist side to side. Relax your shoulders. Stretch your neck. On an exhale, when you’re ready, center yourself and bring your arms down. Repeat, stretching your arms out again and this time crossing your left arm over your right.
Start in Mountain Pose. Reach both arms over your head and press your palms together. Keeping your feet planted, stretch to the right, bending as far as is comfortable. Hold your position for a few breaths, then return to center. Repeat, bending to the left this time.
Standing Tree Pose
Standing in your hot tub, shift your weight to your right leg, making sure to keep your hips straight forward and level. Raise your left foot and turn your knee outwards. If you notice your hip is jutting out on your right leg, focus on planting your right heel firmly into the ground. That should help you keep your hips in place. Slide your left heel up the inside of your right leg. If you’re a beginner, rest it on your shin, or you can even rest it on your ankle with your left toes still on the floor. More advanced yogis may be able to raise their heel all the way to the top of their thigh. Don’t rest it right on the knee, though, as that might put pressure on your knee.
Placing your palms together in front of you can help you maintain balance. From there, try to stretch your arms above your head, fingers spread apart, and open up, reaching for the sky. Hold the pose for a few breaths and then lower your arms back to center, palms in front of you. Swing your left knee forward and then lower it to the floor. Repeat, switching so that you raise your right foot and your left leg is grounded.
Now that you’re armed with a few poses to try, don’t wait another day to experience the pure relaxation that is hot tub yoga! You’ll leave your spa feeling limber and strong, both physically and mentally.
No hot tub of your own? What are you waiting for! At Orange County Pools & Spas, we have an amazing selection of hot tubs to fit every backyard and budget. Contact us — we’d love to help you find just the right spa to take your yoga practice to the next level!