Yoga can be practiced in pretty tight quarters, but Susan Atkinson has added a new dimension.
Atkinson, a yoga instructor who lives in Bayfield, teaches how to practice the ancient discipline in a bathtub.
Bathtub Yoga is copyrighted and is in the process of being trademarked. On Tuesday, a CD audio program with step-by-step guidance related to health and wellness will be available to download.
Instructions and photos in color showing yoga postures also will be available to download and kits with supplementary supplies such as bath salts and exfoliating gloves will be ready to mail.
Atkinsons website is www.tubyoga.com.
The program is designed for beginners, Atkinson said. But I like to say its great for anyone who is stiff, tired or cranky.
Atkinson and her husband came to Durango from Californias Central Coast to build an Earthship home, an idea that Golden State planners werent receptive to at the time, Atkinson said.
Atkinson turned to yoga when, as an exercise instructor at the Durango Community Recreation Center, she developed plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the tissue that runs from the heel to the ball of the foot).
It healed my foot, Atkinson said. I fell in love with yoga.
She has been teaching for six years.
Atkinson developed the bathtub course after her students at a hot springs retreat last year gave in-pool yoga an enthusiastic reception.
They loved it, Atkinson said. They found themselves much more limber.
One student, Atkinson said, normally couldnt hold the tree pose standing on one foot and resting the other foot on the opposite knee. Hands are on chest as if in prayer.
She mastered the pose in the water and was able to transfer the knowledge to the same land-based exercise, Atkinson said.
The entire hot springs experience set Atkinson to thinking.
I said to myself these poses might work in a bathtub, Atkinson said. So, I practiced to figure out which ones would work there.
I practiced in a quite small tub, she said. I didnt want to frustrate anyone who does yoga in a big tub but worries about transferring the postures to a bathtub.
The next step was to take a continuing education class at Fort Lewis College about how to develop an Internet niche market.
Atkinson developed two sequences of yoga postures 17 in all.
She then worked through the legalities with an attorney to assure her rights to the name Bathtub Yoga.
Atkinson has two kits available, one with more extras than the other. They contain:
Bath salts that relax muscles and stimulate perspiration that detoxifies.
Exfoliating gloves for massage that stimulates lymphatic response and bolsters the immune system.
A small towel to extend the reach of people who are not flexible.
Yoga has seeped into the fabric of our daily lives, Atkinson said. People practice yoga in wheelchairs, on horseback, on a tightrope and inside sleeping bag.
Yoga in a bathtub should have general appeal, she said. Its a private setting, and the warm water should feel comforting after a bicycle ride, a hard run or after being on ones feet all day.