Yoga has been around for over 5,000 years. It was here long before you and I decided to pay a monthly fee at a gym to get in shape. And, for some of us, it will be here long after we cancel our gym membership!
But, if you are one of the millions who practice and enjoy a regular yoga workout, you know the benefits. From every downward dog and dolphin pose, health benefits abound. Among them are improved strength and flexibility and reduced tension, anxiety and stress.
But for those who are less practiced or have never even tried, yoga might seem like an easy and gentle activity focusing on low impact movements, stretches and periods of rest and mindfulness. Regardless, you shouldn’t be surprised to experience pain or discomfort during or after a yoga class. Yoga stretches the body in unfamiliar ways and engages muscles that aren't accessed every day.
The most common type of soreness after a yoga workout is known as delayed-onset muscle soreness. This typically occurs 12 to 48 hours after exercising. This soreness usually goes away on its own, but there are a few strategies you can use to speed healing and reduce pain. As with any physical activity, the safest approach is to learn how to do the pose correctly and to avoid being overzealous in your participation.
Warm up--it’s an important part of any physical activity, and yoga is no exception. Basic stretches (like neck and shoulder rolls and gentle twists) help prepare the body for more challenging poses later on.
Start slow--if you planned on doing yoga every day or several times a week, it may be wise to hold off for two or three days before your next workout or try a gentler form of yoga before taking another strenuous class. Try to avoid pushing through the pain in workouts, and instead give your tissues time to recover.
Drink water--keeping the body hydrated before can help prevent and relieve soreness. Drink about 8 ounces to 16 ounces of water about an hour before yoga, but not in the 30 minutes leading up to class.
Additionally, using the Dr. Soothe Hot and Cold Therapy Vest can and should be incorporated into your pre-yoga activities. Taking the vest from the freezer and putting it on during your warmup gives the cold therapy benefits of reducing blood flow and consequently preventing liquid from gathering and causing swelling.
Drink water---much like prior to your class, proper hydration is key. After class, continue to drink water to enable your body to flush out metabolic waste and toxins released during your session, which can cause soreness.
Rest-- when you sleep, your body repairs damaged tissues, so resting after yoga will help you feel better sooner. Try to get a full eight hours of sleep a night and consider taking a nap after class to give your body time to heal.
Hydrotherapy--a warm bath or hot tub will ease muscle tension and soreness. Adding Epsom Salt (magnesium sulfate) to a warm bath may have additional benefits such a reduced inflammation.
Additionally, the Dr. Soothe Hot and Cold Therapy Vest should be a go-to for post-yoga activities. Heat is typically used for relief with chronic injuries or sore muscles but can also relieve muscle spasms, stop stiffness in joints and encourage blood flow to promote healing.
With time and regular practice, each class should get easier. Soon, your shoulders, ribs, neck and spine will be feeling the benefits of yoga. And they will also continue to benefit as long as you maintain a good regime of pre and post-yoga remedies, including the use of the Dr. Soothe Hot and Cold Therapy Vest.
It can be difficult to relieve pain in the neck, shoulders and upper-back as it’s often impossible to fully rest these areas. This vest allows you to treat pain while on the go and allows you to choose the therapy that is necessary, when you want and where you want. Relief to those affected areas is as simple as heating in the microwave or chilling in the freezer and then wearing the vest in a snug manner.
So, before you put on your yoga pants and unroll your mat, shouldn’t you consider investing in your future—a pain free one?
For more information and how to order, please visit Dr. Soothe.