Approaching my six year mark as a yoga teacher my heart soars over the endless continuing ed opportunities to learn more, go deeper, and serve my students better. I love it.
Lately, I’ve been immersing myself into the study of aqua yoga, using videos, books, and my own body. While getting into a bathing suit is one of my least favorite things, I am willing to do it, for the benefit of my students. It’s been so rewarding to be able help those who can’t “do yoga” traditionally, move into a beautiful practice in the water.
And by “those,” I mostly mean, my guinea pig, er… husband Todd aka Hot Toddy. He loves when I call him that (not really). But I only do it on line. I don’t walk around the house referring to him as Hot Toddy. That would be weird. Or would it?
Anyway, in his younger days, HT tore both ACLs playing sports and had surgery on each. His knees are stiff as can be, and very sensitive to weather. There are good days and bad days for those knobby suckers which have scars that look like zippers down the front of each one (see photo above). So much of what we do in a typical yoga practice, even a gentle one, is out of reach for him. And it bugs me because I know yoga is so good for him.
In the water it is different. A pose, like dragon that is not typically accessible to him without pure misery is now right there, using the pool stairs. Standing facing the steps, he places the right foot flat onto a stair, his hands press flat on the step inside the right foot. The left leg is straight, ball of foot on pool floor. Voila! He can even turn out onto the outside edge of his right foot, opening the right hip.
Child’s pose on land is miserable for him, but with knees bent, shins pressing on the wall of the pool, arms straight on out, palms flat on the pavers, a variation he can take is born, no problem. He’s been able to do complete, full practices with no pain, and he feels great afterward.
There is something so special about shavasana, one noodle around the neck, arms resting on top of it, and noodle under the knees, floating in the water. I cradle my love’s sweet bald head and guide him to relax his body, part by part, then give him a kiss and let him float away. BTW, he is the only student I will ever kiss before/during shavasana. Well, maybe my kids.
Do you know, that when I was in nursing school twenty + years ago, HT let me practice IV starts on him? That’s the kind of guy he is. He is a constant support, always willing to help me learn and grow, always wanting what is best for me. I feel much better about subjecting him to yoga, than I did about stabbing him with a needle repeatedly.
Anyway….if you live locally and know anyone that might benefit from trying yoga in the pool, have them call me. I’m really excited about bringing this to private clients who are seeking more freedom and movement in their bodies.
This breath in.
This breath out.