Tuesday, July 23

Water Yoga | Indian Acres Swim Club

What?! I can do yoga during the sweaty months of July and August in the water? For $5?!
Sign. Me. Up!

LOCATION: Indian Acres Swim Club is a family-oriented swim club in the Lincolnshire neighborhood with four pools of varying depths. Normally you would need a membership to go in, but they offer drop-in classes to non-members. Score!
STUDIO: An outdoor pool (the lap pool, so it's shallow + all at the same depth) with blue skies and greenery around the outer fence. Pretty great. I've hear at the earlier classes (I went to a 7pm class) it can be more rowdy with kids. Free parking. Cash only.     
CLASS DESCRIPTION:  Aqua exercise has been a popular way of staying fit for years. Generally more low-impact than land-based aerobics, water classes have most of the fat-burning and endurance-building benefits that you get from other forms of aerobic activity. 
INSTRUCTOR: Jessica Nolen, a Champaign-Urbana native who works as a Licensed Massage Therapist and Reiki Master Teacher and Practitioner. A University of Illinois graduate, she lived in Berkeley, Calif., and Hawaii before returning here. She is passionate about yoga practice and teaching — in home and at Green Yoga Spa in Urbana.
CONTACT: Indian Acres Swim Club

I so love getting to know more and more of the yoga community—recently my yoga gal pals introduced me to Jessica at the Yoga in the Park last weekend. And they told me she taught water yoga... hold the phone, I can do yoga in the pool? 

So you can imagine how excited I was tonight, to try water yoga. When you arrive it is a bit awkward—it's late enough in the day there is no one at the front to check you in. There isn't a waiver form—and if Jessica didn't happen to be in front of me when wandered through the ladies room to get to the pool I would have probably just left and gone home. But don't! Look for an instructor grabbing a pile of pool noodles and laying out her mat (she stays out of the pool). Then, if you're not a member, you give your money to the instructor and hop on in the pool! 

Jessica started us up with a little bit of warming up—swaying in the water, kicking our legs up in the back, moving the water around with our arms. Then it was like a regular yoga class (short of laying down on our mat... or a mat at all, for that matter). We did warrior one into warrior three. We moved in and out of goddess pose + dancer pose. 
Goddess Pose
Dancer Pose

Then we took our practice to the pool edge for some more warrior poses into triangle. It was amazing working through all these balancing poses and being challenged by the movement of the water! You couldn't help but giggle a little bit and then go back into some major drishti work (the practice of drishti is a gazing technique that develops concentration). We still ended in savasana, floating around on a noodle in complete bliss. I cannot wait to go back for more classes. What a wonderful way to experience a gentle class. 

Jessica, thank you so much for a lovely experience. Namaste.

If you want to learn more about Jessica and (bonus!) support her effort to win a yoga teacher training scholarship, please go to this link and like/share. I'll be honest, I think it's unfortunate that the studio offering this scholarship is basing it on popularity of your facebook post—but I also want to support Jessica + see her win this because she really does deserve it. *heart*

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