Yoga for Swimming?
by Terry Laughlin

Posted on October 22nd, 2009

We recently added the Yoga for Swimming and More DVD  to the shopping section of the TI web site. This is the first DVD we have featured that teaches something other than swimming. If you’ve noticed, you may have wondered why.

Susan Jacque began planning this DVD at my encouragement. I had begun practicing yoga myself in 1993, at age 42,hoping for an antidote to aging-related aches and twinges I’d begun to notice in my mid-30s.  I noticed that I felt better after each class than I had before it and within weeks began to feel more healthful overall.

Before long I also noticed that it strongly complemented a new way of teaching swimming I had begun just a few years earlier, when I founded Total Immersion, in the way it promoted mindfulness, attentive repetition and good use of the body. The overall design of many TI drill sequences has been strongly influenced by what I learned through yoga practice.

When I first attended one of Susan’s classes at a health club that shared space with our New Paltz Swim Studio, I was struck by two things I’d not noticed in other yoga classes:

(1) While her teaching was faithful to yoga principles it was more accessible to yoga newbies, even in the names she had given to various postures — like “sciatica stretch;” and

(2) She had adapted many of the basic movements in ways that resembled and reinforced swimming movements that I had not seen before. I described it to her as “bilateral accommodation.”

So I encouraged Susan to think about producing a DVD aimed particularly at people whose most valued activity was swimming, but who had little prior familiarity with yoga. During the planning stages I spent a fair few hours suggesting further adaptations to the movements so they would even more closely resemble the movements taught in TI skill progressions. I hope you enjoy being introduced to yoga practice as much as I have and that this DVD will contribute as much to your swimming improvement as to your overall health.

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