April 30, 2009

Many of our Olympic Hot Tub owners ask me what’s the best way to “take a hot tub”? The big question seems to be: “How can I get the maximum benefit from my time in the hot tub?”-as if the hot water and jets weren’t enough! But in our multi-tasking society, it’s hard for people to think of sitting still and “being” rather than “doing” nothing.  One of my favorite ways to get the best, deep down relaxation feeling from my hot tub soak is to use the “I Am Relaxed”…deep breathing and relaxation exercise. This will give you a sense that you are “doing” something to contribute to your relaxation and may even lead to a “letting go” of the notion that you have to do anything! Hot Spring Spas are designed to help you feel the utmost in relaxation.  But if you have to do something, do try this simple exercise.

Enter the hot tub slowly.  Find your seat.  Sit comfortably and quietly.

Tell yourself that you are going to use the next 5, 10, or 20 minutes to re-balance, to heal, to relax yourself.

Surrender the weight of your body, allowing the water to support you.

Close your eyes, gently cutting out visual stimulation and distraction.

As you inhale, repeat to yourself: “I AM”.  As you exhale, say… “RELAXED.”

Continue to breathe normally not trying to change it in any way. Just watch it happening and continue to repeat: “I AM” with inhalation; … “RELAXED” with exhalation.

As your mind begins to wander, gently bring it back to the awareness of your breath and your statement “I AM RELAXED.” Be compassionate and loving with your “monkey” mind which wants to be anywhere but in the here and now in your hot tub.

Continue doing this for as long as you have set.

Finish by stopping the phrase. Slowly stretch your hands and feet, your arms and legs, then your whole body.

Open your eyes a sliver at a time – like the sun coming up in the morning.

Take a deep breath and say: “Ahhhh”.

You can download this exercise, laminate it and take it out to the tub with you as a reminder to “be” not “do” for a few minutes a day.

What’s your favorite way to relax more deeply in the hot tub? Please share your suggestions for all readers.

This relaxation exercise has been adapted from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute of Mental Health, Division of Communications and Education-Plain Talk series, Ruth Kay, Editor.

SANUM PER AQUA. Latin for Health through Water.