Moves To Inner Peace Series: Swimming

Swimming can be a fun summer activity and a great way to exercise. Here are a few of the benefits you can get from making swimming a regular part of your weekly routine.

Studies show that 2/3 of Americans are afraid of open bodies of water while 37% are unable to swim at all. Are you in this category? If so, fear not – we’ve included a meditation at the end of the article to get you back in the water so that you, too, can enjoy these wonderful health benefits of swimming!

Body:

  • Improves strength and muscle definition throughout your entire body
  • Increases bone mineral density and femoral bone weight
  • Maintains and improves flexibility
  • Decreases inflammation
  • Burns as many as or more calories than running
  • Increases aerobic fitness and decreases asthma morbidity for people who are asthmatic
  • Swimming in seawater hydrates your skin, improves your circulation and your immune system, and detoxifies and promotes new cell growth for your skin
  • Helps children develop better math skills, master language development, and improve fine motor skills faster
  • Decreases death rate: swimmers have a 50% lower death rate than people who are sedentary, runners or walkers
  • Promotes anti-aging as studies show it gives you a biological age 20 years younger than your real age
  • Is a life-saving skill
  • Helps your body to use oxygen more efficiently, thus improving your lung function
  • Increases your endurance, which improves your performance in other aerobic activities
  • Helps you develop the deep core stabilizing muscles in your core and lower back
  • Is a good activity for the elderly and people with dementia and Alzheimer’s

Mind:

  • Improves blood flow to the brain by up to 14%, and helps to emit new brain cells, making you smarter
  • Helps you to feel calmer by blocking out some of the sensory information that bombards us on land
  • Reduces depression
  • The magnesium in seawater relaxes your muscles, helps induce sleep and reduces stress
  • May assist in increased memory capacity through the stimulation of the vagus nerve
  • Reduces anxiety

Spirit:

  • It helps to heal the Swadhisthana (Sacral Chakra)- this allows us to let go and feel change and transformation in our body and spirit
  • Water is representative of cleansing, renewal, transformation, and rebirth of the soul, which is why it is believed to be significant in many religious groups (Hindus, Jews, Christians.
  • Water is also portrayed as a destroyer, thus destroying the negative aspects of ego and self
  • Being made up of over 60% water, swimming helps us reconnect to self and recharge our energy
  • Water conducts energy and is very transmutable; use it to transform your energy and aura from negative/neutral to positive

With all these wonderful benefits in mind it is time to release any fears you might have concerning swimming.

If aquaphobia is keeping you from reaping these benefits try using this meditation daily for 7-21 days before signing up for your first class.

Meditation:

  • Sit in lotus pose, easy pose or in a chair with your spine straight
  • Place your hands in Abhaya Mudra
  • Breathe from your diaphragm
  • Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth
  • Continue breathing until you feel your muscles begin to relax
  • Now that you are relaxed imagine yourself by the ocean
  • Smile
  • See yourself approaching the water
  • See yourself dipping your toes in
  • Bring to mind 3 or 4 of the benefits you want to achieve from swimming
  • Now visualize yourself entering the water with confidence
  • Focus on the benefits
  • Feel the water on your skin
  • Smile
  • Feel yourself immersed in the water protected as you were in the womb
  • Breathe and exhale, making the sound “ahhhh” (like you would make when you sit after standing for hours)
  • See yourself moving gracefully and skillfully in the water
  • Have fun with the imagery; make it your own
  • Stay as long as you need to, but don’t exhaust yourself
  • When you feel ready, visualize yourself coming out of the water
  • Feel the benefits in your body that you just received from your swimming session
  • Smile and say thank you
  • Breathe making the “ahhhh” sound again as you exhale
  • Imagine yourself ending your swim with something you feel would be the perfect close to such a treat
  • When you are ready, open your eyes
  • Breathe and say “ahhhhhh”
  • Smile and congratulate yourself on a job well done

“To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don't grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float.” - Alan Watts

Articles published by Basmati.com are no substitute for medical advice. Please consult your health care provider before beginning any new regimen. For more information, please visit our disclaimer page here.

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