Parallels between
Swimming & Yoga

  • Swimming and yoga facilitate an adaption in our body to use oxygen more efficiently.
  • This adaption means we learn better 'tidal volume' (the amount of air moving in and out of our lungs during relaxed breathing). You learn to take more air with every breath and expel more carbon dioxide with every exhalation.
  • Swimming and yoga can lower your resting heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Higher levels of moisture in the air in Hot Yoga and swimming pool environments means it's easier to breathe and particularly beneficial to those with asthma.
  • Swimming and yoga increases flexibility and strength. Water is 800 times more dense than air, providing more resistance. The water supports you to make larger movements with your arms and legs. You stretch further with every stroke and glide, elongating the body, opening up the joints. Yoga serves you to have a deep connection to the muscle tissue, encouraging it to relax and stretch, maintains flexibility in the joints and improves posture. Besides increased flexibility, those who commit to yoga find themselves stronger and more capable.
  • In both swimming and yoga, the basic practical principles of breath is the same; you breathe in, and look up. You breathe out, and look down.
  • Both disciplines claim to have anti-aging effect, according to traditional age markers like muscle mass blood pressure and lung function (long-term study on science of swimming by Indiana University)
  • Swimming and yoga uses every muscle in your body. It is about extending and contracting from the tips of your fingers to the end of your toes.
  • Swimming and yoga is about balance, stabilisation, alignment and using your core strength (deep muscles in your lower back and your bandhas) to stabilise yourself.
Backward Stretch in a Aqua Yoga Class Session
  • Swimming and yoga is the relationship that is built between the body, the mind and the breath.
  • Swimming and yoga demand that the senses are withdrawn and the awareness is pulled inward.
  • Swimming and yoga increases the blood flow to the brain. Pressure of water on your chest cavity can increase blood flow to brain by 14. Relaxation in both disciplines helps circulation, movement brings more oxygen to cells. Twisting in some yoga poses increases blood flow to specific organs and inversions reverse blood flow from the lower body to the brain and heart.
  • Swimming and yoga are both "immersive" providing, involving, or characterised by deep absorption or immersion in something.
  • Swimming and yoga are fun, playful and liberating disciplines. Both ignite childhood memories of playfully learning about the body, how it moves and what it can achieve; just think handstands, splashing, reaching to the sky, gliding underwater, performing a crab, retrieving objects under water, holding your toes, floating...
  • Both disciplines can be adventurous and can be taken with you wherever you go, beaches, holiday pools, rivers, lakes, woodlands and parks...
  • Swimming and yoga have deeply de-stressing and meditative capabilities. Can alleviate depression and boost mental health.
  • In yoga studios and swimming pools, phones are banned and both environments demand you switch off from external stimuli.
  • Swimming and yoga is for every body and everybody. Our participation can be adapted for every ability, size and desire.
  • Gentle on the joints, forgiving of injuries and other physical limitations, and deeply relaxing, swimming and yoga, when practiced together, unite their strengths, making for a more balanced athlete.