Aqua Yoga Stretch

Tuesday, July 02 2019


If you are anything like me, you spend hours on choreography, changing cardio and strength segments frequently. And then when it comes to the final stretch you go on autopilot and teach the same Jurassic stretches you have been using for years. Good news! Help is here. Rescue that tired stretch routine with a flowing flexibility finale of yoga stretches.

And no, you don’t need to travel to the Kripalu Center and study under a yogi master for six months. When I first started incorporating some mind and body programming in my classes, I felt slightly fraudulent. I didn’t have any background or training in yoga. And then I participated in some yoga training, learning yoga poses and I thought, “Huh, these look familiar.” Many of the yoga poses were very similar to stretches I had been teaching in group fitness for 20 years.

My “go to” stretch for calves has always been standing in lunge position with the back heel pressed toward the floor. Well, go you can raise both arms over your head and call it a Warrior I. Standing on one leg with the other leg crossed in Figure 4 position has always been a stretch that I used for hips and glutes. Now I call it Eye of the Needle pose. While performing a wide side lunge to stretch the inner thigh, I now extend my arms to my sides and call it a Warrior II. Does standing with arms overhead and torso performing a side bend to stretch lats and obliques sound familiar? You are so doing a Crescent Moon.

Now this is in no way invalidating the importance of yoga training. If you are going to be teaching a yoga class than you should be properly trained and certified to do so. But if you are just adding a few yoga poses into your final stretch, I personally think some basic education, a video or two, and some Google searching will be more than sufficient. If you have not introduced any yoga into your aquatic fitness classes than the final stretch is quite frankly the BEST place to introduce it. When you don’t know a lot about something, teaching a little of it is a good idea. And the students are accustomed to moving slowly in the final stretch and so yoga fits perfectly here.

Transforming your final stretch into a flowing finale of yoga flexibility is a great way to shake of the doldrums in the last five minutes of your class. Students will benefit from a more focused mind & body approach to flexibility with special attention to breathe. Pick some soothing music and treat your students to a tranquil, flowing yoga stretch routine.

Need help? I got you covered. The Aqua Yoga Stretch video was just posted on the Fitmotivation website on January 12. This 18-minute video wastes no time getting to the point. It features 13 yoga poses that stretch all of the major muscle groups. Aqua Yoga Stretch shows all poses demonstrated on deck and then flowed together in the pool for a flexibility finale. Notes detailing the execution of the poses also accompany the video. This video is the second video featured in the Fitmotivation Academy. That means it also includes an extended educational handout and an online quiz for 2.0 AEA CECs.

Looking to reinvent your cool down AND your final stretch? Consider watching both Cool Core Choreography and Aqua Yoga Stretch and you’ll have fresh material for the last 15 minutes of your aqua classes. You can watch both these videos and several other videos for as low as $14.95 a month. There is no commitment. Cancel anytime.

Stay tuned to the Fitmotivation website. Each month 2-3 videos will be posted. Subscribe to the newsletter and once a month you will be emailed video previews of the latest videos to post.


Author: Mark Grevelding is the founder of Fitmotivation. He is also a training specialist and consultant with the Aquatic Exercise Association’s (AEA). Mark has been active in the fitness industry for 22 years as a group fitness instructor, personal trainer, international presenter and a continuing education provider for AEA, AFAA & ACE.