A hand glides on the yoga mat and your wrist goes off, you get off balance in sun salutation and your shoulder undergoes an uneven stretch or you are almost there in full lotus pose when you feel a pin in your knee… ouch!
At other times, you go to bed feeling perfectly well and the very moment you wake up something feels wrong or you’ve been grabbing a shoe on the floor and just while you’re coming up your back seems not to collaborate any longer.
As much as you may try to avoid or prevent it, on and off the mat, and for whatever reason, body pain can happen… unfortunately! Hence, what to do?
Hereafter my top 5 favourite remedies without recurring to allopathic medicines, in my preferred order:
1/ Take a rest with a castor oil bath – which has helped me in recovering from body pain a few times now. Covering the body with castor oil helps to release all sorts of tensions, relaxes the muscles and mind, works in breaking up scar tissue, helps in recovering from body pains, cools you down, makes you more flexible and prevents injuries. How does that sounds? Click here for details on how to take a castor oil bath.
2/ Enjoy a massage –according to the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), massage acts to improve performance, reduce pain, prevent injury, encourage focus and shorten recovery time. As a result of the pressure, an increased and enhanced blood circulation follows helping to relieve muscle tension, reduce soreness and make for a faster recovery. As a consequence, the relaxed muscles can experience “an increase in range of motion and flexibility”. The effects of a massage, nonetheless, are not limited to the physiological side, they go far beyond producing benefits on the psychological side as well: stress, tension and anxiety are reduced while relaxation is promoted bringing an overall feeling of wellness. As a consequence, focus is improved.
Well, I would say there are good reasons to have a massage! 🙂 But, which one to choose? As an ashtanga practitioner, my favourite ones are rather energetic such as the deep tissue massage and the thai massage, which work on releasing specific knots and tensions for different muscle layers.
3/ Have a hot shower, before and after your yoga practice – The heat applied to muscles has a great effect: it releases them encouraging relaxation! So do not hesitate to take a hot shower before heading to the mat as well as after your practice, so to give a rest to fatigued muscles. In addition, the heat makes the healing process faster in case of injuries. How come? Any chemical reaction in our body is spurred by heat, so a hot shower increases for a while the rate of the chemical reaction happening in our muscles helping them to recover quicker.
4/ Treat yourself with proper food – the way we eat has a direct effect on our body. There are foods that encourage inflammation in muscles and joints (i.e. highly processed food as well as food high in trans fat and sugar) which may lead over time to more pain, while there are other foods that prevent inflammation such as:
– flaxseeds. Very high in Omega 3, make sure to take them grounded so not they don’t pass straight through the digestive system without having the opportunity to assimilate all of their benefits;
– ghee. A kind of clarified butter which is considered very helpful in lubricating joints and keeping them healthy amongst all other benefits listed by ayurveda;
– nuts, vegetable oils, organic fresh vegetable, etc…
5/ Take a sea salt bath – Enough time for a bath? Fill your tub with hot water, add sea salt and than soak in it for about 20 minutes. Heat will help in relaxing the muscles while sea salt will help you in getting rid of toxins. Perfect if you match it with a detox diet.
Of course, undergoing one of the above-mentioned treatment once in a while will be a nice cuddle, nonetheless you won’t get the same benefits as undergoing a regular program. Try them all, choose the ones which resonate with you and make them part of your daily or weekly routine. As in your yoga practice, the benefits are cumulative, that is to say: the more regularly you do them, the more you will receive back. Think of it as a preventive maintenance 🙂
Those are the methods that have been working for me. Which are yours? Please share in comments.