Get the most from your soak!
There’s nothing like a hot soak in your spa/hot tub! Hydrotherapy, as it’s called, increases our circulation and warms up our joints and muscles for both mental & physical relaxation. Add to this some easy yoga stretches and you have an awesome therapeutic combo!
Many of us suffer from issues of the back, shoulders, neck, and hips. Flexibility can help to alleviate many of these issues, but where to start if your muscles are more like a steel girder than a rubber band? The answer: your hot tub or spa. The warmth of the water nicely prepares our connective tissue for stretching. The added bonus is the “feel good” factor, which helps to stay motivated to continue practicing.
Stretching in your hot tub can be done by yourself, or partner up for assisted stretching. Athletes can benefit from post-exercise stretches in the hot tub as it aids in the removal of lactic acid build-up in the muscles for less soreness and pain after a work-out. Seniors will appreciate the easing of stiff joints and tight muscles after a practice. The Arthritis foundation recommends exercise in the water for compromised joints.
Busy? Stressed? Overwhelmed? End your day with a soak and some stretches in a relaxed environment that promotes relaxation. After practicing you may find yourself feeling calmer, less stress & anxiety, more able to appreciate life! Added bonus: You’ll sleep like a baby after!
Hamstring Stretch is great for your low back! Using a strap or band of some kind will help if you can’t hold your foot. Place it around one foot, and extend that leg straight (or as straight as you can). Then bend your knee to your chest. Repeat 3 x’s and then stay extended straight. Sit up tall & 3 breaths here! If you want to increase the stretch, flex your foot. Release and repeat on the other leg.
Shoulder and Upper Arm Stretch- This is great for tight shoulders and upper back! Lift one arm overhead and bend that elbow so your hand is behind you on your upper back. With your free hand hold your elbow tip and gently pull your elbow toward the center of your head. Now here’s the good part. Gently lean your head back into the support of your cradled arm. Ahhh!!! Feel the stretch & 3 deep breaths! Release and other side.
Don’t have a hot tub? Try these stretches in your bathtub or even a hot shower! For more information about stretching in your tub see: http://www.tubyoga.com.
Susan Atkinson is a local yoga instructor and creator of the new DVD “Hot Tub Yoga Therapy & Massage- for Individuals or Partners”
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Love taking a hot bath?
For those of us who do, this accessible form of hydrotherapy is an invitation to relax, unwind & renew.
Hot water raises our body temperature which dilates our blood vessels and improves circulation. This heat also releases endorphins (a natural chemical that makes you feel good). The warmth can relieve minor aches and pains (especially if you add Epsom salts), relieve headaches, strengthen our immune system and improve sleep. Muscle tension as well as psychological stress seem to melt away as we enjoy the present moment.