As a private yoga instructor dedicated to furthering my knowledge and teachings of the practice several times a week, it’s important to take the right steps for self-care and recovery to prevent injuries. Oftentimes, the constant moving and stretching with yoga takes a toll on my physical and mental limitations and can leave me feeling incredibly spent and exhausted. I need to be able to feel good and energized.
Here are a few techniques that have assisted my practice and helps the "yoga high" last well after savasana.
Did you properly stretch after a session of yoga at home or in class? While many yoga classes are oriented around stretching, some can focus more on a vigorous or "power" flow, which often leaves little to no time for stretching at the end of class. Allotting just five minutes to stretch after any form of yoga could. A few simple stretches to help with overall range of motion? Seated forward fold, half splits (to target your calves and hamstrings), or happy baby. Stretching can reduce soreness after exercise, so you want to make sure you make time for a proper stretch. Supplementing your stretching routine with vitamins and minerals also help my body in recharging and recuperating from extensive movement work.
The new Epsom salt bath: Milk bath.
Epsom salt has been used for hundreds of years for its healing benefits and has been passed down in my family as a remedy used by my great-grandfather after long days of working as a plasterer in New York City. As much as I love my family tradition of taking Epsom salt baths, I found that my muscles would definitely feel much better and less sore, but my skin was left ridiculously dry. I knew I had to create something that would restore my body but also hydrate my dry skin from all the excess sweat of hot yoga and dry weather from living in LA—which led to the creation of my milk Epsom salt baths. Milk is a natural powerhouse of vitamins, loaded with fat, proteins, and lactic acid. Lactic acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid, which helps to cleanse the skin and release dead skin cells. When we release dead skin cells, we allow the skin to rejuvenate more quickly, leaving us with that smooth, soft skin that most of us want.
Meditation with savasana
With many classes evolving to shorter class lengths, it’s important to get in 5 minutes of savasana to seal your practice. Many teachers skimp out on one of the most important parts of the practice! There is a reason savasana comes at the end of a class. Your teacher takes you through a number of yoga flows to work your mind and body, to then allow you to relax to a deeper state of being. Did you feel like you got in a proper savasana? Take 5 minutes when you get home to seal your practice. You can practice this on your back or in an easy seated position.
These tips help me to be the best teacher, wife, and businesswoman I can be while energizing my body to feeling strong, even after the toughest of workouts. I hope my experience with these techniques help you find some balance with your daily routines.
Curious about how the world's most gifted athletes recover from their workouts? Check out these recovery tips from a sports performance coach.
Also, yoga is incredible for keeping your body & mind healthy. Ready to learn about how the power of food can also create a sound body & mind? Register now for our FREE Functional Nutrition Webinar with Kelly LeVeque.