Pen drawing, the pool at Naturally Women Fitness Center.

Water. Fluidity. Life. Healing. Movement in water is transformative and surreal, an elated escape from our gravity-bound earth experience into lightness and grace. Around ninety percent of body weight disappears when we step into liquid, freeing us to float, exercise, swim, and frolic nearly impact-free. Water allows ease of movement and constant resistance through a wide range of motion, offering freedom and mobility less attainable on land. We ourselves are about 75% water!

Movement in water soothes and supports physical, mental, and spiritual health. In winter, hot, aromatic, herb-spiked baths alleviate achy discomfort and emotional distress, grounding us. Cold, tannin-rich, boulder baths during mountain and canyon treks in summer purge and cool us to the core; we shed skins like snakes. In the desert, rain is always a blessing, a reason to celebrate, a cause for reverence, a call to awareness. Dive in! Drink deep. Conserve and preserve. Cherish.

I grew up swimming in a backyard pool (thanks, Dad), spending watery days in hot, humid summers churning up powerful whirlpools with sisters and friends, testing physical limits, gleefully engaged in play, part-fish. Years later, after seriously injuring both knees while playing soccer in college, swimming rehabilitation was prescribed to rebuild leg muscles, made possible with fiberglass casts that could be submerged in water and then allowed to dry (scratch, itch).


Stretching in Jane’s pool, Nashville TN.

This experience re-acquainted me with my love of the water and led me to develop an expanded, whole-body, water aerobics and fitness routine, which I later developed into a first-of-its-kind water program at a Tucson health club called Naturally Women, now defunct, where I taught for ten years. I still use this aquatic workout for my own fitness and health, as well as hot soaks and steams, perks of the job then and treasured gifts now.

Some years later, I became interested in various forms of therapeutic bodywork, on land and in water, including graceful watsu® and waterdance®, where shiatsu stretching and other techniques are used on and under the water surface to lengthen the spine and relax muscles and connective tissue. Physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of our beings benefit from these gentle aquatic therapies. In 2000, after intensive study and practice, I completed coursework as a certified watsu® therapist at Harbin Hot Springs in Middletown, CA.  From there, I seek to share what I know and love about the healing powers of water.


Cool blues of the Puget Sound in NW Washington state.

De Agua’s aquatic fitness routines build strength, flexibility, balance, ambidexterity, aerobic capacity, cardio-vascular health & efficiency, confidence, focus, and inner peace. De Agua fitness routines are perfect for: people recovering from and rehabilitating injuries; people carrying extra weight or working to lose weight; people who feel uncomfortable (spandex) or uncoordinated (like me) doing land aerobics; people who have no previous exercise or fitness experience; people who want a low-impact workout to prevent injury; people who want a life-long fitness routine they can take with them into old age and anywhere.

(see CONNECT for resources)



WHOLE-BODY BASIC WORKOUT: Stretching, Strengthening, Gentle Aerobics Conditioning–FUN!

SPECIFIC FOCUS-AREA WORKOUTS:  1: arms-neck-shoulders-upper back 2:abdomen-lower back-core 3: hips-core-legs 4:cardio 5: deep water float/tread moves* 6: underwaterworks*

De Agua workouts allow and encourage you to work at your own pace, and the ever-present resistance of wonderful water provides a steady workout, at your speed.  When your torso is submerged, you build cardio-vascular strength with deep breathing, during activity and against the water resistance.  Use balls, noodles, group exercises, wall work, fins, in-place, and walking exercises for fun and fitness.

Individual or small group classes in your heated pool, public pool, or by other arrangements. Please contact De Agua for costs, details, and scheduling. Time options include 30-,60-, or 90-minute workouts. Become a pool host, gather a small, committed group receive reduced fees.  No swimming skills needed for most classes, but required for classes marked with *.

(see LEARN for details)


Here beneath the desert moon

tonight so pale and fragile

Is that shining in the distance

real or just imagined?

Imagined mirages of agua!

Somewhere in these drylands spread before me

There lies a silent spring for me: de agua.

The earth without the heavens’ rain

becomes just powder and gravel

Life without a spirit whole in time

becomes a thread unraveled or

Traveled in the circles of agua

And lately there grows a thirst inside me

With only hunger to guide me: de agua

Agua ever deep agua ever wide

agua ever still and silent

Flowing into sleep finding what we hide

Dreaming what cannot be sighted

Agua ever warm current ever strong

agua ever everlasting

Gathering in storm pouring out in song

washing over understanding

Agua agua deep agua ever wide

carry me to your shore carry me agua

Agua agua deep agua so wide

carry me to your shore carry me agua!

(by Manhattan Transfer, with apologies for minor lyric changes)