Friday, May 08, 2009

The Healing Power of Water

I slept like a baby last night. It was a sound and untroubled sleep that let me wake up feeling refreshed and relatively painfree.

Now why might that be? Was it because I had spent the evening at choir rehearsal singing feel-good music? Or because it had finally stopped raining? Or because I’m being extra careful about caffeine?

It was actually because I discovered the wonder of water yoga yesterday. My class was conducted in a relatively small oval-shaped heated indoor pool at the yoga ashram which runs our CSA. There were 6 students in the class and the teacher, Lakshmi, a soft-spoken woman with gentle blue eyes. Just looking at her face puts me into a peaceful state.

We did many of the standard yoga poses, which were adapted for use in the water. In some instances we used a “noodle” to keep our heads above water. In “baby” pose, we actually curled over the noodle with faces in the water to just float, much as a baby would in utero.

It was a real workout for legs, shoulders, abs, you name it. Everyone quickly realized that the water actually allows you to go deeper into many of the poses. Today I have a good feeling of soreness in much of my body.

Shavasana, or final relaxation pose, was done floating on two noodles in the shape of a cross with a small white floatation circle under our heads. It was such a delicious feeling of being suspended in the water that I wished it would never end.

When I walked out of class, my hip felt better than it had in a long time. But in addition to being totally relaxed physically, I had taken on a much-needed mental calm that purged my mind of recent stress.

I ask myself how I was so lucky to find out about this class and think such things may not always be just by chance. Starting down this current CSA road has led me to many wonderful discoveries.

I sent a message of thanks to Lakshmi today and got this reply: With natural "healing", wonders never cease. The water is so very special.

And indeed it is.


Blogger bulletholes said...

Water can be a tough thing to get used to.
Remember the kids that always had to pinch their nose whenever they got around water?
I used to feel sorry for them.
I think they were more scred than anything, probably from the memory of a water-up-the-nose experience.

4:11 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Water yoga sounds incredible. I've shied away from yoga in general (based on advice from my PT) but I love anything aquatic. I'm more at home there than on dry land and far less likely to hurt myself.

5:48 PM  
Blogger Fire Byrd said...

Sounds blissful, and just what you needed.

4:16 AM  
Blogger Kellyann Brown said...

water yoga sounds like the best of both worlds, I wonder if there is something like that around here...

3:45 PM  
Blogger Becky said...

Water Yoga sounds so great right now! We have water aerobics in my local health club, but they focus on more high impact workouts. It's a shame too... because I am sure that I would absolutely love water yoga. Just this past month I was going through a really hard time with depression and fear of the economy. I contribute Yoga and a great book titled, "Liquid Mirror" to my healing.

2:28 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

So glad you have this avenue available! We have it here and I am addicted!

12:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, Barbara, thank you for sharing this detailed description! I felt my body start to float just reading your words. It sounds absolutely lovely, and perfect for you physically and mentally. I'm going to see if water yoga classes are offered in my area, to add to my Iyengar/hatha-style practice.

I believe that the essential elements of air, water, earth, etc. are healing in and of themselves, and I can't imagine anything more soothing and transporting than floating and being supported by water in Savasana. Wow!!!


7:02 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

All -- I just realized I hadn't answered any of your wonderful comments.

Bulletholes -- I'm one of those nose pinchers. But we're going to work on that for the underwater poses!

Welcome Becky and thanks for the book suggestion.

This is every bit as good as it sounds. I can't wait till Thursday when I get to do it again!

11:55 PM  

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