Along with more traditional forms of yoga, there are plenty of creative ways yogis have found to enhance their yoga experience: goat yoga, dog yoga or “doga”, aerial yoga in carabiners, acrobatic yoga, tantrum yoga (yes, you read that right) where you throw an adult temper tantrum, and so much more. We think the best variation of all is hot tub yoga!
One of the most popular forms of yoga is hot yoga. Typically used with the Bikram form of yoga, hot yoga is performed in a hot and humid studio, set at 105 degrees with 40 percent humidity.
There a many benefits to hot yoga, including detoxification, better circulation, more flexibility, and a stronger immune system.
You know a good place to try hot yoga? In your own backyard with your hot tub!
Hot tub yoga is where exercise and hydrotherapy meet in the middle. With the added buoyancy of the water, you’ll improve your balance and be less prone to injury. Medical experts agree that the use of warm water to relax and heal muscles, plus a good sweat to release toxins, promotes a strong immune system.
Here are some yoga positions to try in your hot tub!
Warm-up your hot tub yoga session with a flowing spinal twist. Sitting up straight on one of the hot tub bench seats and breathing deeply and evenly. Ground your feet to the floor of the tub. Stretch both arms out in front of you, then cross your right arm over your left. Bending both arms, hug yourself by reaching your hands to touch opposite shoulders. Relax your shoulders, and gently twist from side to side. Give your neck a little, gentle stretch by rolling your head from side to side, then front to back, then in a full circle if you wish. On an exhale, bring yourself back to center, relaxing and letting the water flow over you. When you are ready, stretch your arms out again, cross the left over the right, and repeat the exercise.
In a seated position, cross your right leg over your left, keeping your left foot planted firmly on the tub floor. Place your right hand behind you on the bench seat, then reach your left hand over your right thigh. Reach your left hand up to lengthen your spine and slowly twist to the right and look over your right shoulder. Hold this position for three breaths. On an exhale, face forward, uncross your right leg and repeat the other way.
Move to a standing position and plant your feet firmly on the tub floor about two feet away from the wall. Lay your forearms flat against the wall and grip the edge. Stretch upward by arching your head gently back over your shoulders and pushing against the wall of the tub, straightening your arms. Then rise onto your toes and hold your breath 10-15 seconds. Exhale when you release the stretch, lowering yourself back to the wall of the tub, rest, and repeat.
Move into Mountain pose with your feet hip-width apart and planted firmly on the floor, arms at your sides. Ground yourself for a moment if you have to. Then spread your feet wide apart, turn to face your left. Then turn your right foot to point 90 degrees toward what would be the tip of your yoga mat, and your left foot inward at 45 degrees. As you do, twist your pelvis in the same direction of your right foot, and press your weight into your left heel.
Inhale, and then on the exhale, bend your right knee over your right ankle until your shin is perpendicular to the tub floor. Stretch your arms out in front of you, reaching your fingers out, then lift your arms above your head, keeping your shoulders down. Hold for one minute, breathing deeply and evenly, feeling the warm water flow around you. You can also add Warrior II to this routine by twisting at your core to your left, stretching your right arm in front and your left arm behind, holding them parallel to the water. Then release and repeat in the opposite direction.
Half Moon (a.k.a. Standing Side Stretch)
Return to Mountain pose and ground yourself. Then, keeping your shoulders down away from your ears, reach both your arms up over your head, pressing your palms firmly together. Keeping your feet planted on the floor of the tub and your hips firm, bend in your core to the right. Stretch as far as you can without hurting yourself. Inhale and exhale a few times, holding your position as the water flows around your waist. Then return to center on an exhale. Repeat, but bend and stretch to the left.
Wind down your hot tub yoga session by sitting down on a bench seat and laying back against the jets. Close your eyes and breathe deeply and evenly, inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. Focus on how good the warm water feels flowing around you. Relax your freshly stretched and exercised muscles.
At SpaExpo in Austin, we’ve got a great selection of hot tubs that are perfect for hot yoga. Schedule a test soak with us and do a few yoga poses to see which hot tub fits you best. You can even step up your hot yoga game by having a “Soak and Sweat” detoxification session by pairing your favorite Hot Spring spa with a Finnleo Sauna.