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Water Yoga from the YogaFit Forum Board.

One of the more active subjects on the YogaFit Forum board, was a inquiry that I had made back in July of 2007.  I’ve listed some of the comments that I made, and kept flow sequences that other people contributed.

07-03-2007, 05:25 PM
Hi there,
I need some “moving” water YogaFit moves.

I’m thinking chair pose with YogaFit Butt Ball (or water ball), and moving across the pool, with football-er arms, up on toes, then on flat feet, forwards and backwards.

Maybe a flowing Five pointed star, to simulate jumping jacks (trying to give the moves yoga names)

Figure eight arms in water with the yogaButt ball (or again the water ball), keeping the arms underneath the water, moving forwards and backwards, then move the arms in the opposite direction.

Any other moves to avoid cold water shock???

Thank you! Gaileee

07-18-2007, 07:23 AM
Hi, well here’s what I came up with. It may be a bit, and after I teach the class, I betcha I’ve left off a lot of what is on this list…

  • SunGod to Mnt (Sidestep) xross pool – rep
  • Meditative walk w/ breath – rep
  • Meditative walk w xross ski arms/legs –  rep
  • Yoga Jump Jacks – Inhale/Exhale
  • Lateral Flexion
  • Chest Expansion
  • Hamstring & Quadriceps Yoga stretch
  • Chair, Twisting Chair, Balanced Chair
  • Tai Chi – Rocking Horse or arm slaps
  • Prayer hands – Twist R, then L
  • Cat/Cow
  • SunGod -Twist R, then L
  • Warrior Archer – R, then L
  •  Tai Chi – Pendulum
  • Sun Salutations: Backbend, Flamingo, Warrior 1, Mountain, Cobra, Right Knee to Chest
  • Backbend, Flamingo, Warrior 1, Mountain, Cobra, Left Knee to Chest
  •  Tai Chi – Arm Slaps
  • SunGod to Mnt (Sidestep) xross pool – rep
  •  Eagle w/arms – R side, Dancer
  •  Eagle – L side, then Dancer
  • Tai Chi – Arm Slaps
  • Side Lateral flexion
  • Balance Series: Flamingo, Pigeon, Arm Wraps. Flamingo, Pigeon, Arm Wraps
  • Meditative Walk –  xross Pool
  • Standing Series 1: Warrior 1, Reverse Warrior, Side Angle. Warrior 1, Reverse Warrior, Side Angle. Arm Wraps
  • Standing series 2: Warrior 2, Reverse Warrior to Side Angle. Warrior 2, Reverse Warrior, Side Angle. Arm Wraps
  • Sun Salutations: Inhale – Backbend, Exhale – Flamingo, Inhale – Warrior 1, Exhale – Cobra, Inhale – Knee to Chest, Exhale – Center with Breath. Repeat on other side.
  • Balance Series 2: Spinal Balance to StarFish, repeat.
  • Sunflowers
  • Standing Big Toe Hold
  • Tree
  • Figure 8 Flowers
  • Cat/Cow
  • Camel (hands on backs of thighs)
  • Childs Pose
  • Standing Series 3: Flamingo, Warrior 1, Warrior 2, Reverse Warrior, Warrior 2, Warrior 1, Flamingo. Camel, Childs Pose
  • Standing Series 3: Flamingo, Warrior 1, Warrior 2, Reverse Warrior, Warrior 2, Warrior 1, Flamingo. Camel, Childs Pose
  • Standing Series 4: StarFish, Warrior 1, Twisted Warrior, Extended Side Angle, Warrior 2, Triangle.
  • Standing Series 4: StarFish, Warrior 1, Twisted Warrior, Extended Side Angle, Warrior 2, Triangle. And Release
  • Suspended Series: Suspended Triangle to Reverse Warrior, Pivot, Suspended Triangle to Reverse Warrior, Pivot, Suspended Triangle to Reverse Warrior.
  • SunGod, then lift heels, SunGod Flow then lift heels.
  • Mountain to Candle Stick, Childs pose, repeat
  • Modified Pigeon
  • Chair, balanced chair, twist chair repeat.
  • Monkey, Cat/Cow
  • Wall Pilates: Plie Squat – make it pretty, Overhead arms stretch, Leg Circle Front, Leg Circle Back, Leg Straight Front, Leg Straight Back, Leg Straight Front Up on Toes- Hold, Leg Straight Back Up on Toes  Hold. Repeat other side.
  • Face Wall Pilates: Plank 10 X, then repeat.
  • Face Wall Pilates: Knee to Chest, Rotate Hip out to side for Fire Hydrant, then out. Repeat 5 x, then Repeat other Side.
  • Stretch Series: Dancer, Hamstring, Triceps, Xross Chest. Repeat on other side.
  • Neck Series: (side to side, chest & sky)
  • Shoulder Series: (Shrug both, singles, chest expansion)
  • Relaxation Noodles: under neck and bent knees, breath softly in/out, and you are done!


09-04-2007, 12:18 PM
I realize I’m a couple months behind on this topic, but in 2 weeks I”ll be starting a water yoga class at my gym. YEAH! I’ve been practicing in my backyard pool at home (wonder what my neighbors think?) I’ve enjoyed the additional balance challenge from the moving water when in Eagle pose.

Here’s my water version of sun salutations:
– Down dog – legs on pool wall, toes up
– Lunge – one foot back placing toes on pool floor
– Up dog – both toes on pool floor, pressing pelvis forward and chest up
– Lunge
– Childs pose – knees on pool wall both toes off floor

Would love to hear how your class is going, what you’ve found works and doesn’t work? For corpse pose I’ve been putting one noodle behind my back and one noodle under my feet. Very relaxing!
Could you elaborate a little more on when you say meditative walk? Are you using different breathing techniques?
Finally, what about noise in the pool area? Our pool will still be open to anyone who wants to swim so I can’t guarantee a quiet, peaceful area. Has that been an issue for you?

Hope your class has gone well. Thanks for any tips you can offer!


03-14-2008, 01:13 PM
Hi everybody!  Anyone currently teaching water yoga? Or planning to, in the summer?

How long do you think a water yoga class should be?

What are your challenges?

Thank you for your participation! Gaileee

03-14-2008, 04:45 PM
This is the first I’ve ever heard about water yoga. What a cool idea. I could see doing something like this at my Y. Most all of my students that come for my seniors/chair  yoga class take water aerobics 2-3 days a week. That would make for an interesting marriage of both. I think they would love it.

Gaileee, I read through your sequences. I’m not sure what some of them mean. Can you describe some of the poses you list? Like flamingo and warrior archer. Not sure what those would be.

And just to help me visualize, are you doing most of these against the wall, in the shallows, or what? I’m confusing myself trying to picture how some of this would work out. Is there a website I could look at perhaps to get a better idea?

Thanks for introducing me to the idea!

03-14-2008, 07:26 PM
o Flamingo one legged, hands on the behind, “spirit fingers”

o Warrior Archer, In Warrior 1 but hands parallel to the floor, then bring back one hand, as if you were getting ready to pull the bow….we use archer in Level 4, but it is seated.

All in the water, participant goes where they are comfortable with their own balance, maybe really shallow end, or a bit higher. It is really nice in a heated therapy pool!


p.s. You might be able to check out the aqua yoga videos.

03-15-2008, 01:33 PM
So Ms. Jennifer,

Do you have an example of a sample class that you’d be willing to share?

I use all of my transformational language, so it sounds a lot like land yoga.

Isn’t that just a funny term….land yoga?


03-15-2008, 01:37 PM
In response to the original question, yes I teach water yoga.

I’ve been teaching water therapy classes and water  yoga for about three years now, and my students love the


03-15-2008, 07:54 PM
I did some research and found a few photos of water yoga and then came across the site. Great information there. I might order a video just to study up on it more.

This whole concept of water  yoga just blows my mind, but it makes total sense. How did it originate? Does anyone know? Do you have to use a lot of props (ie, the noodles?)

It’s just a fantastic idea. As you all were saying, you get the additional support of the water, the movement of the water adding to the challenge and sensation of the poses. I can just imagine (or can I!?) how the poses would feel in water. I’ll have to try it out this summer for sure. Thanks for bringing the topic back to light.

03-23-2008, 04:45 PM
Just to let you know, there is a great book out there called “Aqua Kriya Yoga” by Camella Nair. It can be found at
I’ve been taking yoga classes from Camella for years and she has evolved part of her practice to Aqua Yoga. I did a training with her in Oct. I expected that this would be a class that would help me reach more seniors and people with limited abilities. This book and training were excellent for that.
But the biggest and best surprise was the enjoyment that I got out of the class. Personally, it was one of the most relaxing practices I have ever had. There is something very magical about the freedom found in being in the water and flowing through poses.
Camella also gives great pose and class ideas in her book.
Hope you find it helpful.

Took me awhile to answer, but here you go: (of course everything is with face out of the water)

Starting away from the wall, chest deep water –

Lateral raises
Standing cat/cow
Chest expansion
Lateral raises
Chest expansion

Chair to Mountain flow (once we get a good rhythm I have them come out of chair up on to their toes)
Standing camel
Forward fold

Spinal twists – inhale palms up, exhale left hand back twist, inhale palms up, exhale right hand back twist

Standing next to the wall:

Right hand on wall, right foot on floor w/ heel against wall –
Warrior 2 – flowing the back hand thru the water (like a bow and arrow)
Exalted warrior
Side angle (flow exalted warrior and side angle a few times)
Revolved triangle

Both hands on wall:
Right leg back calf stretch

** Switch and do all on other side

Moving back away from wall (or staying by wall if prefer):
Beginning on right side:
Warrior 1
Warrior 3
Warrior 1
Swing back leg forward and hold underneath
Bring leg back, with knee bent (modified dancer)
Knee up in front, gently open hip
Grab toes and extend leg
Cross leg over to standing pigeon

** Repeat on left side

( now this sounds really quick, but I’ll actually flow thru each leg 3 times beginning with easiest modifications and building up to full poses)

Coming back to the wall :

Both hands on wall, right leg up on wall with heel flat,hands behind back, exhale forward. Switch to left leg.
Both hands on wall,both legs up on wall, heels flat if possible. Pull chest in to wall, push hips back.
Keeping hands and feet on wall, spread legs wide for wide leg straddle split. Inhale release right hand and look back, exhale hand to wall, inhale release left hand back, exhale hand to wall. Repeat a few times.

Using noodles behind back:

Cross one leg over (pigeon) , switch legs
Butterfly feet laying back against noodle
Cross ankles, push feet back and hips forward. Let gravity lengthen the spine down.

Find most comfortable position for shavasanna – Jennifer
Hope this all makes sense. I’ll be glad to answer any questions, but please be patient. I leave for Boston MBF next week and am swamped right now at home and work.

08-03-2008, 08:22 AM
I also teach up on the deck. Like the other poster said, that way they can see what I’m doing with my feet. And definately you’ll need a chair!
Keep in mind though, when teaching from the deck – whether it’s water yoga or water aerobics – you’re going to get hotter and more tired faster. So the mantra is “cue don’t do”. Cue the poses, demonstrate the poses, but you don’t have to flow thru every pose as often as your members. Oh, and remember your members have the resistance of the water, so they will be moving slower than you in flowing poses.
I’ll be starting my water yoga class back in about a month. The kids go back to school in a week and we’ll start again. The noise of the pool makes it just not worth it to try and have class when school is out.
Good luck!


08-05-2008, 09:52 PM
In working up my water  yoga sequence today, I decided to throw in a flowing balance that I use in my “land” class all the time. It’s a great warm-up and is a moving balance flow.

Starting from chair, you inhale as you rise somewhat out of chair and lift the right leg at an angle behind you, toes pointed and off the floor, as you bring your arms down and back behind you at an angle for airplane arms. I’m calling this balanced airplane. And on the exhale, you sink back down into your chair pose, then alternate to other side; flow several times with breath. It helps to keep a forward angle of the torso to transition more smoothly (as opposed to standing up almost vertical then finding that balanced airplane pose), but it’s great for the core, the quads, the glutes.

If my balanced airplane description isn’t clear, it’s like a modified Warrior 3, not as deep.

Just thought I’d share for those looking for something new/different. I’m really looking forward to my water yoga class. Although, I walked through the pool area today and boy, was it muggy and hot in there! I see now why one of the posters said “cue don’t do” so you won’t wear yourself out too quick!

05-08-2009, 09:50 PM
I love reading all your responses and seeing what wonderful creative ideas everyone has! This is truly great. Keep up the good work everyone:)


05-27-2009, 05:15 PM
This is a good question that I have had issues with myself! I am not currently teaching my water  yoga class but I can answer your question. It is very rare to have the entire room to myself because often times there is someone else teaching in the main pool (I teach in a smaller therapy pool.) There is either people swimming laps, an aerobics class in the deep end, or even sometimes a noisy swim practice with noisy kids! But, sometimes it’s peaceful and quiet.

I’m assuming you teach on deck? Obviously, it’s much harder to project your voice on deck than it is if you’re in the water. I personally did not use music during class (unless we were the only ones there) because 1) there were other classes going on and 2) the music competes with your voice to be heard. I haven’t used a water mic, is it basically a waterproof microphone? That sounds great! I will have to ask for one when I teach the class again.

Finally, to answer your question, personally, I just learned to project my voice very loudly. But I also learned that after a few classes I didn’t always need to say each thing that we were doing, I could say shortened versions and they knew what to do. If you are on deck and they can see what you’re doing, this could work for you. Secondly, after about 3-6 classes (depending on the students) of teaching from the deck, if you are not teaching anything new, you can teach from the water. I have always found that people enjoy having you with them much more than up on deck. And you can always combine the two after a few classes, staying mostly in the water and just coming up on deck to teach new movements/poses.

I know I answered way more than what you asked but I hope it all helps!

06-09-2009, 08:45 AM
Great suggestion to check out water  yoga videos. Thanks, sometimes when we are thinking to hard, back off and scroll down the page. Thanks, Gail. You have the neatest ideas. Like minded people, got to love it. 😮 Jeanie


01-10-2010, 05:39 PM
“Bumping this thread into the New Year!”

Just wanted to pass along some helpful info:

I did my certification for becoming a water yoga instructor with the NWFA (National Water Fitness Association). Like YogaFit, many facilities across the US host trainings. You study for the training intensely ahead of time, on the day of the training you 1) take an exam on the info you studied then 2) teach a sample class to a group. If you study hard it’s easy. And you learn from others attending. Check out the website for more info or for a training in your area: (

By Yoga with Gail Pickens-Barger

YOGA WITH GAIL | Ease Chronic Pain + Increase Mobility
phone: (409)-727-3177 | email: |

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