Bathtub Yoga Therapy for Deep Relaxation. ~ Susan Atkinson

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Love taking a hot bath?

For those of us who do, this accessible form of hydrotherapy is an invitation to relax, unwind & renew.

Hot water raises our body temperature which dilates our blood vessels and improves circulation. This heat also releases endorphins (a natural chemical that makes you feel good). The warmth can relieve minor aches and pains (especially if you add Epsom salts), relieve headaches, strengthen our immune system and improve sleep. Muscle tension as well as psychological stress seem to melt away as we enjoy the present moment.

Now add to this some easy yoga stretches and meditation practice and you have an awesome therapeutic combo!

Practicing yoga in your tub has two distinct benefits. First, the warm temperature nicely prepares our muscles and connective tissue to lengthen. You’ll be amazed at how limber you are!  Second, the buoyancy factor of the water makes it easier on our joints.

It’s surprising just how many poses you can do in the tub! Just as we use props in yoga class, the tub itself can be a prop to support & facilitate certain postures. The shape of the tub lends itself to some great forward bends, which calm and soothe our nervous system.

Some of my favorite poses for the tub include: seated forward bend, cowface arms, neck & shoulder stretch, seated pigeon, twisted root, garland pose, side lateral stretch, and seated twist.

Bathtub Yoga evolved out of a yoga retreat I led at a local hot springs. Twenty-eight of us in the hot springs water practicing yoga as the morning sun rose up over the mountains. We loved it! Wanting to share that experience with others led to Bathtub Yoga’s creation.

The bath is also a great place to exfoliate your skin for anti-aging benefits. You can use a brush or exfoliating gloves for this. Sweeping massage movements toward your heart will assist lymph fluid to drain, which assists in detoxification of muscle tissue. Bonus—it feels wonderful!

Have you ever just fallen into a meditative state while relaxing in the tub?

Our breath is key to a quiet and peaceful mind. As my teacher likes to say, “Calm breath equals calm mind.”

I find I am so much more aware and grateful of blessings in my life from the peace of my meditation practice.

May your bath experience be one of self-care, joy and deep relaxation.

Om shanti.

Susan Atkinson is a yoga instructor, massage therapist, skin care specialist, and creator of the Audio Guided Program, Bathtub Yoga. You can find her at


Editor: Elysha Anderson

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15 Responses to “Bathtub Yoga Therapy for Deep Relaxation. ~ Susan Atkinson”

  1. Great bathtub yoga therapy for deep relaxation.

  2. […] And: Bathtub Yoga Therapy for Deep Relaxation. ~ Susan Atkinson […]

  3. Ed Alden says:

    Great article, I learn ends something new about just relaxing and letting go of stress.

  4. laura mcsparern says:

    Susan – great article. You are such a gift and a shining example of what Yoga, meditation and bathtub yoga does for a person. You have an incredible aura and I know some of it comes from your wonderful techniques of relaxing, breathing, and yoga.

  5. So Grateful to Elephant Journal for publishing!

  6. ronbynum says:

    delightful article. Thank you for such healing guidance

  7. Gail Smith says:

    I'm sold! Who wouldn't want to relieve aches, pains, headaches, and improve sleep? Thanks for the info. Great Christmas gift idea, too.

  8. Darlene says:

    What a great article! Thanks for sharing this! I am so curious to learn more about bathtub yoga!

  9. HeatherM says:

    If you are practicing Ashtanga yoga and want to improve your lift up or lotus, perfect place to let yourself float.
    You'd get the same effect at a pool, but I doubt the relaxation since in the tub you are naked and enjoying the water with some Epson salts.

    Thanks for your article.

  10. PattiB says:

    Thank you! And I love Epsom Salts as well. Looking forward to more articles from you!

  11. Brenna says:

    Bathtub yoga is so relaxing……I love it! Such a good way to nourish yourself.

  12. Tish says:

    Great article! I would like to read more about Bathtub Yoga.

  13. […] naps afterwards. My, I could sleep forever down there. Was it the whippoorwills? Too much food? A deep relaxation of being held? My grandmothers quilt? Our ancestry was part Cherokee and Choctaw. My great, great […]

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