Sore After Your Yoga Practice? Here's What to Do (And Not Do) to Find Relief - Deepstash

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Introduction

Introduction

  • You wake up the morning after a yoga practice and immediately notice that you feel a little stiff. How can that be, you wonder. Can yoga make you sore?
  • Of course it can! If you’re just getting back into your practice after some time away or tried some postures that aren’t part of your usual routine, it perfectly normal to feel sore after yoga.
  • After all, the reason a yoga practice feels so wonderful is because it can deeply stretch muscles that you’re not accessing in your everyday life.

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Why You May Feel Sore After Yoga

Why You May Feel Sore After Yoga

  • "You may think your muscles are active, but some yoga poses will still stretch them in unfamiliar ways,” says yoga teacher Loren Fishman, MD, medical director of Manhattan Physical Medicine, author of Healing Yoga, and the creator of the Yoga Injury Prevention program.
  • Muscles can also become sore because they’ve been overused.”

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Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)

  • The soreness after yoga you may be experiencing is called delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), which usually occurs 12–48 hours after exercising.
  • The level of soreness you might feel depends what style you’re practicing, how intensely, and how frequently - as well as your individual body type.
  • And even if you’re an experienced yogi, there’s a good chance you might still feel sore from time to time. Though yoga is typically a low-impact exercise, it can strain your muscles.

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When The Muscles Recover, You'll Experience Muscle Growth

When The Muscles Recover, You'll Experience Muscle Growth

  • Yoga is filled with eccentric contractions that cause microscopic injuries to the muscle and fascial tissues.
  • Our bodies produce an inflammatory response to these micro-tears and this causes muscle soreness.
  • But, it turns out this muscle soreness is actually a good thing. Once your muscles recover, you’ll experience muscle growth and improved performance, ultimately making you stronger.
  • Of course, if your soreness after yoga is very painful, see a doctor. But for run-of-the-mill soreness—which means pain is minimal—there are plenty of smart tricks you can try to ease your discomfort.

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Do Hydrate, Then Hydrate Some More

Do Hydrate, Then Hydrate Some More

  • Drink water, not sports drinks, says Amy C. Sedgwick, an emergency medicine doctor and Yoga Medicine certified yoga instructor in Portland, Maine.
  • We want to help increase our blood volume so this fluid can be distributed more easily to the tissues to allow transfer of nutrition, healing cells and flushing out metabolic waste. Hydration is the way that happens.”

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Do Get Plenty of Sleep

Do Get Plenty of Sleep

  • Without sleep and rest, your body can’t “gear down” to allow for the parasympathetic nervous system (rest-and-digest mode) to be in charge, says Sedgwick.
  • Without enough sleep, the neuroendocrine system will not prime the body and tissues for repair and relief.

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Do Exercise - gently

Do Exercise - gently

  • Exercise is the best way to relieve feeling sore after yoga.
  • In fact, research shows doing the same muscle movements and sequences you did prior to feeling sore - but in a less intense way - can help relax muscle spasms and allow muscles, connective tissue, and joints to find greater range of motion.

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Do Use a Foam Roller When You Feel Sore

Do Use a Foam Roller When You Feel Sore

  • Foam rolling for 20 minutes immediately after working out can reduce tenderness — even if it causes some discomfort.
  • Take it slow and be gentle; you don’t want foam rolling to cause so much pain that it actually makes your soreness worse.

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Do Eat a Balanced Meal AFTER Your Yoga Practice

Do Eat a Balanced Meal AFTER Your Yoga Practice

Make sure your post-workout snack or meal includes :

  • PROTEIN, which repairs and builds muscle, and
  • CARBOHYDRATES, which can help speed recovery.

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Do Take a Hot Bath

Do Take a Hot Bath

Not only does this feel great, but it actually helps to :

  • Initiate the parasympathetic nervous system to reduce tension and
  • Allow the body to be in a state of healing.

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Do Stretch

Do Stretch

  • And when you do, be sure to stretch through all planes of motion.
  • This will increase circulation and range of motion while also preventing chronic tension and pain.

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Do Continue to Practice Yoga, Gently

Do Continue to Practice Yoga, Gently

  • One of the absolute best ways to cope with feeling sore after yoga is to do more yoga.
  • Concentrate on the areas that hurt and try to gradually relieve tension and tightness.
  • Becoming inactive because activity gives you some soreness is a very poor response to your soreness, and is likely to leave you in even more pain the next time you practice.

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Don’t Take Anti-Inflammatory Drugs

Don’t Take Anti-Inflammatory Drugs

  • It may seem like a smart idea to pop an aspirin when you’re feeling sore after yoga, but it’s not the best way to help speed your recovery.
  • Inflammation is how the body responds to any type of injury. In order to properly repair any damaged tissue, you must have inflammation. If you take away that inflammation with a drug you are hindering your body’s natural healing mechanisms.

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Don’t Down Caffeine and Energy Supplements

Don’t Down Caffeine and Energy Supplements

  • Unless you’re an ultra-endurance athlete, you are not likely depleting your system so much that you need caffeine, energy drinks, or supplements.
  • This only adds unnecessary calories and other substances to a body that simply needs gentle movement, hydration, and rest.

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Don’t Practice Intense Stretching When You Feel Sore After Yoga

Don’t Practice Intense Stretching When You Feel Sore After Yoga

  • Long, static stretches or over-stretching sore muscles can do more harm than good.
  • The tissues are already slightly damaged and working on healing. If you over-stretch your muscles and “wring them out” of all their fluids, you reduce their ability to heal and may even damage them in the process.
  • Gentle is the key to recover from soreness after yoga.

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CURATED BY

dymphna

Lawyer turned Artist Visionary Curator & Gallerist. Empowering self-love and joy through art & words. www.innerjoyart.com 💝 Instagram : dymphna.art

CURATOR'S NOTE

Feeling slight soreness after yoga (or any sports that moves muscles that we don't usually move) is normal. Over time, our bodies get used to it and it actually make us feels good. Here are tips to ensure the soreness lead to optimum healing for us, and we bounce back stronger and able to continue do be better in this. ')

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