My name is María Isabel Torres, from Costa Rica, I am 30 years old and I’m a physical therapist.
My first interaction with the water was as a therapist of WATSU, which is a therapy that applies to all people, including pregnant women. It is a form of aquatic bodywork, is a one on one session where the therapist gently moves, stretches and gives massage to the patient and it is used for deep relaxation. This is where my journey started and it opened a new world for me.
In 2014 I had the opportunity to travel to Colorado as a nanny for Mariajose's son, Diego (18 months) while she was being trained by Judy. This was the first time I knew about the SWIM-FLOAT-SWIM technique. I took Diego to his lessons every day during the six week program, and watched up close; in 2015 Mariajosé opened WAWA in Costa Rica, and invited me to work with her as a WATSU therapist and instructing newborn babies in group lessons doing water stimulation. As WAWA grew, I had the opportunity to be trained to be a Certified Infant Aquatics instructor and learn from Infant Aquatics founder Judy Heumann and her daughter Kyla. It was a great experience to learn how to teach swim float swim. I learned so much from Judy, Kyla and the babies. Every day was different and it was so interesting to see so many techniques and how they really work.
I love this method because it empowers children and it gives them at a very early stage, important tools and skills for life! It fills my heart with joy to see the security and happiness of the kids by the end of week six (a lot of them sooner). It forces them out of their comfort zone, and makes them realize they are capable of everything they put their mind up to, and they end up really proud of themselves. It is also amazing to see how their parents support them and trust what they are capable of doing with the guide and help of a loving certified instructor. I’m so excited to start teaching babies on my own, and I’m looking forward to learning something different every day.