Water yoga is low impact and gentle on the muscles and joints, making it perfect for the elderly, pregnant women and people with injuries or chronic conditions. Additionally, the buoyancy of the water cushions falls and makes certain postures, like handstands, safer than on land. With a little creativity, almost any land asana will translate to water. However, there are some poses that lend themselves to water already.
Floating Forward Bend
In shallow water, hold on to the edge of the pool and place the soles of the feet against the side of the pool, with your knees bent. Slowly straighten your legs and rest your torso on your thighs. Hold the pose for 10 seconds. Repeat three times.
Stand in chest-deep water approximately one foot from the edge of the pool. Lean forward until your navel touches the wall of the pool. Arch your back and hold the pose for 10 seconds. Repeat three times.
Floating Boat Pose
Float on your back in the shallow end of the pool. Engage your abs, point your toes and hinge at the hips so that your toes and head are both out of the water. Extend your arms toward your toes and hold the pose for 10 seconds. Repeat three times.
Floating Half Bow Pose
Float on your back in the shallow end of the pool. Extend your right arm overhead and bend your left leg into the water. Grab your left ankle with your left hand, engage your abs and open your chest. If you begin to roll to the right, extend your right arm sideways to stabilize. Hold the pose for 10 seconds and alternate to the other leg. Repeat three times on each leg.
Float on your stomach in chest-deep water. Draw in your knees and dive, placing your palms flat on the bottom of the pool. Straighten your arms and extend your legs into a handstand. Hold the pose for as long as you can, or five seconds, whichever comes first. The water may pull you over, and that is perfectly alright. Just be sure to do this pose away from other people and from the edge of the pool.
Stand in waist-deep water with your feet hip-width apart. Bring your hands to your chest in prayer position, bend your knees and lower your upper body until your thighs are parallel to the bottom of the pool. Extend your hands overhead and hold the pose for 10 seconds.
Alert the lifeguard before performing this pose. Float on your back in the water with your arms relaxed at your sides. Hold this pose for as long as you want.