>Brandon Cruz González

Water exercises are a great way to get in shape and keep fit. Water, one of the four elements of nature, offers a natural resistance and a zero gravity environment perfect for workouts. It helps the body float, reduces the stress of body weight and allows for a smoother movement with less tension in the bones, joints and muscles. These benefits make water workouts an ideal option for women and men with physical conditions that limit their movements such as problems in the lower back, the sciatic nerve and arthritis, among other conditions.

With this in mind, Virna Flores, a Yoga instructor at the La Concha, A Renaissance Resort in Condado, created “You-ga”, an aquatic training inspired by yoga poses (asanas), breathing techniques (pranayamas) and stretching PNF (proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation), a more advanced form of flexibility training, which involves both the stretching and contracting of the muscle group being targeted.

“It is intended as an alternative within hydrotherapy. But placing the ‘U’ in the name is intended to remind the participant that the priority within the format is her or his well-being,” Flores said.

“We wanted to take a form of inclusive training, where any participant - regardless of his or her condition felt he or she could do the routine,” explained the trainer, who has 25 years of experience in the fitness and well-being field.

Taking from that experience, Flores adapted some of the routines of traditional Yoga, together with music therapy and the properties of water to create a unique and memorable experience. This new alternative is offered daily to hotel guests.

“The density of water creates a uniform and fluid resistance in all directions, toning and strengthening the muscles with great balance and efficiency. Moreover, in the water, the heart rate is reduced without losing the effects of cardiovascular training. Once in the water, the swelling in the joints or limbs that could be inflamed and in the process of recovery is reduced,” Flores indicated.

The turbulence also contributes to resistance, since the flow of water challenges the body’s stability. “While hydrostatic pressure, buoyancy, resistance and thermal conductivity are properties that make water a magical environment to exercise,” she explained about the benefits of the practice.

Reporter for The Weekly Journal. She is also a reporter for Mírame and Bienestar Total magazines. She received her bachelor’s degree in Communications from Sacred Heart University in San Juan.

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