Underwater pranayama at Rancho La Puerta

I’ve always wanted to try Watsu. For the uninitiated, Watsu is a combination of Shiatsu and water-based bodywork in a 96-degree pool. I had two hour+ sessions while teaching at Rancho La Puerta in Tecate, Mexico with Pete Voggenthaler, a masterful underwater expert.

Here’s a little video to give you a sense of Waterdance, a Watsu variation in which the practitioner takes you underwater (thus the pink nose clip!) while cradling, stretching and guiding your body through waves, rolls, twists and inversions.

In my first session the underwater part was done only on retention after an inhale. For the second session, pictured here, I requested that we work with the exhale underwater as well, which drastically changed my buoyancy and flexibility. The body stiffens on an internal retention and is much more released during and after an exhale. Pete ran with the idea resulting in the best pranayama session I’ve had in a long time.

In addition to his work at Rancho La Puerta, Pete does aquatic show consulting, water show artistic direction & training for extravaganzas around the world. If you have an opportunity to work with him, I highly recommend it.

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