Getting our bodies moving with Yoga or other exercises can feel amazing. On the other hand, you can experience some soreness and low energy because of all the movement or new poses. And that’s ok, it just means our bodies need some extra love. So here are 5 tips to help your body heal and keep on moving!
I must tell you, I have never done so much Yoga in my life! It’s been 24 days and counting in this 30 day Yoga challenge, and I have definitely been feeling it. Especially over the past few days.
If you haven’t gotten a chance to read about the 30 day Yoga challenge or how my Yoga journey started, you can go here.
I’ve been taking some extra steps to help my body heal from all the soreness in my muscles and even low energy at times. Yoga and exercise are amazing for us, but I think the after-care can be just as important. And I have really been needing to take these extra steps while completing the Yoga challenge.
I thought I would share these tips that might be helpful for you too if you’re a beginner Yogi like me.
So First, we’re going to start with tip #5.
5. Yoga Mat
What I’ve learned is that apparently sensitive knees are a thing. Who knew haha?? I didn’t learn this until I started practicing Yoga more consistently.
My very first mat was one I bought at Forever21. It was about $5 and I loved it. But, unfortunately, it wasn’t the right type of mat for me. When I would do a simple pose on my knees it was extremely uncomfortable and I would have a hard time focusing.
I tried rolling up my mat or putting it over my area rug, but nothing worked. My hands and knees would be red and hurting once I was done.
At first, I thought maybe I just need to build up my strength, and this still might be true. But I finally decided that I couldn’t wait for that time to come because I was starting to feel discouraged.
So, even though I felt a little embarrassed, I marched myself to good ol’ Target and bought a mat that was right for me. I see all these Yogis with their paper thin mats, while here I am with my “notebook-sized” mat. Thick as heck and really stands out.
But, once I started using my mat, I quickly got over all that. I love it! And so do my hands and knees.
So, if you’d like to join the sensitive knees club and get one of these mats for yourself, you can go here.
Don’t be afraid to get the things that are right for your body just because they are different. If it’s what is going to help you…go for it! Now, I’m so thankful for my thick mat, proud to carry it around, and roll it out each day.
4. Massage Ball
Next tip is a massage ball. This little guy right here works wonders!
I tend to carry a lot of tension in my shoulders and neck area, but this massage ball really helps with sore or tight muscles.
Once I started the 30 day Yoga challenge, I realized how easily my shoulders tighten up. As a beginner Yogi, when I do planks and downward dog, my arms are still building up strength. Therefore, a lot of the tension goes to my shoulders. I don’t mean to, it just happens!
When my shoulders and neck have reached their limit or are too tight I get headaches that can last all day. So, I have been taking a couple extra minutes to roll out my muscles before I start my Yoga practice.
This has been essential for me these past few days, and I don’t know what I would do without this ball!
I’ve had this massage ball for many years now. It just gets more use when I’m more active.
To use it, I like to stand against the wall or lay on the carpet and roll out the muscle between my shoulder blades. These are always tight spots for me.
There are different types of these massage balls that the company Trigger Point Therapy makes. You can check out their website to see what type of ball would be best for your body. When you purchase one it also comes with instructions of how to use it because you want to be sure not to roll it in the wrong spots.
You might notice that the ball isn’t perfectly round, that’s because it’s made to get into tight crevices, similar to a deep tissue massage.
This is definitely a must, in my self-care off the mat.
So in terms of breaks, what I mean here is during a Yoga or exercise session. Even though I’ve been doing Yoga for over 6 months, I STILL need breaks.
I always have my water sitting on the counter next to me and the remote. I’ll pause, have a sip of water, maybe catch my breath, and continue.
I think this is so important, especially on days that you might be feeling low energy. There is nothing wrong with taking it slow.
How long of a break is up to you and your body. For me, it used to be all mental. I wouldn’t want to take breaks because I didn’t want to get “lazy” in the middle of a session. Somehow I thought I was giving up, or that I should be able to keep going. It’s only 20 minutes why do you need water?!
We can be so hard on ourselves sometimes. This is why I need Yoga in my life. A little zen and calmness.
I have to interrupt my own thoughts and say “Excuse me, there’s nothing wrong with me, I’m human and need water. Now shushh and let me continue in peace.” And now I do just that, take my breaks without a second thought and move on.
So I say, take your breaks, drink your water, and live your best life too!
Alright we’re getting close to the end of the list. So tip #2 is to listen to your body. Not just while doing Yoga, but before and after too.
Sometimes I’ll lay down at night and that’s when my sore muscles will really kick in. So, I take out my awesome heating pad and turn it on. This is some thing I’ve also had for many years. I don’t think I can live without it!
In my opinion I think everyone should have one of these. I wish I could give one to every household. I’d be like Oprah…you get a heating pad, you get a heating pad, and YOU get a heating pad!
They’re amazing for those sore muscles or aches and pains.
Another thing I like to do when my body is feeling extra tense is to use Arnicare gel. It’s something that was recommended to me by the Naturopathic doctor that I used to see. It’s a better option for muscle aches because it’s all natural. You can find it in most grocery stores, I buy mine at Sprout’s.
For energy, I like to take these Vitamin C tablets when I feel I need them. Over the weekend my ear was hurting and I felt extra tired. While learning more about my body, this is a sign that I’m about to get sick if I’m not careful. When this happens, I will take a few of these and try to take it easy. I’ll drink some tea and add in an extra smoothie for breakfast.
It’s important to listen to your body and what it’s telling you. Self-care can go a long way when we take the time to listen and show ourselves some love.
Tip #1, is to spend time in nature.
I spent some time in the park today and as soon as I got there, there was a little rabbit hopping in front of me. The birds were chirping, the ducks were swimming, and the sky was this beautiful blue.
It’s like I left to another place, when really the park is 10 minutes from my house. I realized how much I needed to spend some time in nature. Not doing exercises, not running errands, but just being.
Doing Yoga at home can be amazing. But sometimes it can be frustrating that your body isn’t doing what you want it, or you can feel tired but really want to stick it out. Being in nature is another way of being able to get out of our heads and enjoy what’s around us.
Something so simple can be so therapeutic. I was able to get some fresh air, sun, and rejuvenate my body and mind. I slowly walked around the park, and enjoyed my time.
If it’s cold where you live, perhaps just take a quick step outside to take a few deep breaths, look at the sky, and go back in. Even if it’s just for a moment, take it all in with love.
This is definitely a self-care tip I need to do more of. I’m not much of an outdoors person. Hiking isn’t really my thing, but sitting or walking and being with nature, that I can do.
What do you think your body is telling you right now? Do you think some of these tips will be helpful for you?
Are there any other tips that you’ve been implementing as a beginner Yogi? Let me know in the comments below!