Watsu Watsu


The comfortable practice of the art of Watsu necessitates warm, clear water at a depth at which someone can, with feet spread and knees bent, settle down into the water as if sitting in a chair. This depth will vary according to the height of the person and the particular moves they are doing. Though a complete session can be done at one depth, the ideal pool would gradually rise from 3.5 feet to 4.5 feet (to keep that rise gradual a small pool should have the drain at one end instead of the middle). In deeper water it becomes more difficult to stay grounded and connect to the breath.

The temperature comfort zone varies among practitioners and as a function of external conditions such as air temperature and weather, but tends to run in the 94 to 97 degrees Fahrenheit range. Many individuals are quite sensitive to temperature variations as small as +/- 0.5 degrees Fahrenheit from their preferred temperature.

Unless you have chosen to live in an area where hot water flows from the ground, some form of supplemental heating will probably have to be provided for your pool. Natural gas or propane heaters are available that connect into a pools recirculation system and hold the water temperature to within a specified range of an adjustable temperature. Most thermostats on such heaters are specified as holding the water temperature to +/- 2 degrees Fahrenheit. While this is fine for swimming temperature ranges, it is insufficient for some Watsu practitioners. Many heaters, however, can be retrofit with temperature controllers from other manufacturers which can maintain tighter control of the water temperature. There are a number of ways to reduce the costs of maintaining a Watsu pool at temperature:

  • Cover the pool surface with an insulating blanket when not in use and especially at night.
  • A pool specifically built for Watsu may be insulated as part of its construction.
  • Above ground pools may be placed on infrared reflecting and insulating materials and surrounded by similar materials.
  • Solar augmentation of heating costs may save a lot of money in some areas of the country. Although the capital costs for new equipment can be high, used solar panels are often available.
Pool Sizes

While Watsus have been very well received in very small bodies of water, to really swing a client with stylish abandon most practitioners prefer a 12 foot diameter pool. In a 14 foot pool two Watsus may be given simultaneously with somewhat less abandon. Three couples can work in a 16 foot pool and four or five in a 20 foot pool.

With a built in pool steps can be placed in such a way that the practitioner can work on them with a client. These kind of steps are demonstrated in both the Watsu book and the Watsu 3 DVD. The latest edition of the Watsu book also has a section on ways to heat, disinfect, maintain a pool and deal with government regulations.

A jacuzzi type pool for Home Spa Watsu works best if it has a simple bench around its perimeter instead of lounge chairs, though in water, anything can be worked around.

Watsu® is a registered service mark of Harold Dull.
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