That’s cold!

What can you do if you want to do Ai Chi in a place that has cooler than optimal water temperature? If the external, water temperature is too cold, an option is to increase internal temperature. My aquatic colleague from the Netherlands, Katrien Lemahieu found a fun solution by creating Ai Chi in 3, a faster paced Ai Chi practice to New Age music that creates a sense of calm through finding flow while providing the same stretches, balance and coordination challenges and moves of traditional Ai Chi. Another colleague, Natasha Tolchinsky does a graceful variation of Ai Chi to flowing dance movements. It is also possible to increase your internal temperature prior to doing Ai Chi with vigorous water walking, aerobic exercise or other active movements in the water. But if your goal is to go right to a chill place and find calm, these options may not be what you are looking for…

 

The water temperature was 81F (27C) and the air temperature was 70F (21C) when I wanted to relax in the water with Ai Chi. It sounds lovely, but this is not within the recommended Ai Chi water temperature range of 88-96F (31-35C); cooler water temperatures can cause muscles to contract rather than relax and risks muscle strains and tendon or ligament sprains. My thoughts went back to my scuba diving days, when a wetsuit made exploring colder waters possible, and I ordered a neoprene vest from a swim gear retailer for my Ai Chi practice in cooler waters. A swimsuit, a pair of aquatic short leggings and a neoprene vest, proved to be the perfect solution for me! I could acclimate to the water with a couple of minutes of mindful water walking and then enjoy a calming Ai Chi practice without shivering. (And I have a long-sleeved wetsuit jacket and full length aquatic leggings awaiting days with even greater temperature challenges!)

If the external temperature is too cold to relax, the right attire can help!

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Writen by mpierce

MS PT, Northwestern University; BS PT, St Louis University; CEEAA; ATRIC; Ai Chi Trainer since 2015; De-Mystifying Mindfulness by Universiteit Leiden on Coursera, Certificate earned on November 4, 2017;

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