Yes, bathtub (or hot tub) yoga is real! Although some poses are obviously too dangerous to mix with slippery porcelain, you can still execute many seated moves to reap both physical and spiritual benefits. So light a few candles, pour some fragrant salts into the tub, and indulge in this great way to start or end your day.
Warm water yoga can be done at the spa or at home, and accommodate a range of fitness levels. Those suffering from conditions involving joint pain and lower back pain may find bathtub yoga more manageable than the traditional kind.
Warm water reduces painful inflammation, which in turn boosts circulation. At the same time, being submersed eases the pressure that natural gravity exerts on our joints and muscles. In addition, water offers support to our bodies as we move into and hold yoga poses, in a similar way that a brace would.
As for seated yoga itself, the moves are well-known for their ability to help you tone muscles — especially the abs– while also improving digestion and decreasing back pain.
Setting Up the Space
It’s not complicated to prepare for bathtub or hot tub yoga. If you’re working on it at the spa, you’ll need to follow their policy in terms of temperature and when can be put in the hot tub. At home, make sure the water is pleasantly warm but not hotter than your body temperature.
Epsom salt baths provide extra achiness relief, as well as a magnesium infusion. Your favorite essential oils and a few candles add scent and a soothing atmosphere.
Essentially, any sitting or reclining yoga pose you normally do — if it doesn’t require much in the way of sideways extension, or lowering your head below the waterline — will work in the bathtub. (For hot tubs, some standing poses may also work, but having a spotter is helpful.)
Once you’re in the tub, begin with your favorite seated poses, whether it be half lord of the fishes, full boat, or cow face. Move on to new ones as you master the familiar ones, and try to keep each bathtub yoga session to about 20 minutes.