Susy Douch tries a new style of water based yoga in the warm waters of the RUH’s hydrotherapy pool

The new year can often feel like a time for fresh ventures and experiences and in light of this, I was happy to accept the opportunity to attend a trial Aqua Yoga session run by Swimcentral.

The one hour class was held at the hydrotherapy pool in the brand new Brownsword Building of the Royal United Hospital. The building is easily accessible and, being new, is clean and well appointed. There are spacious changing facilities with all amenities including large lockers and showers. The pool itself is spacious with three depths of 1m, 1.2m and 1.4m to suit all. The water temperature is 35°, making it more like a warm bath.

Our teacher was Mirella, an experienced and friendly instructor, who has developed progressive sequences to suit all ages and abilities. I regularly attend yoga classes so was familiar with many of the poses but was not sure how the usual yoga practice would translate to a water-based class. Our class of 12 consisted of a range of ages, men and women, experienced, rusty and novice yogis. For those with limited abilities or recovering from injury, this is a perfect activity as the water supports and aids movement, although admittedly, it did pose some challenges with the slight water movement!

The class flowed gently through a series of basic yoga poses enabling gentle stretching through the body. In addition, the use of flotation noodles aided a small number of reclining positions as well as the relaxation at the end of the class. There is no need to submerge yourself under the water at any stage so even less water-confident individuals would find the class suitable.

The hour sped by and although I didn’t feel as though I had done anything particularly strenuous, it was an enjoyable and relaxing experience with a few laughs along the way as we tried not to bump in to each other or to keep upright! If you are interested in trying something new with a friendly teacher, then why not consider signing up for the course?

Aqua Yoga runs for on Tuesdays from 28 January to 3 March in the Hydrotherapy Pool at the RUH, £75 for 5 classes (no class on 14 February). Further information about the course, and other classes run by Swimcentral are available at www.swimcentral.org.uk