Updated: Mar 18
How to soothe sore muscles when you're building strength
I love doing all sorts of strength and awareness building workouts. I'm obsessed with connecting my mind to my body when I'm doing something physically active so I can feel and enjoy my body working against resistance. The more I've been into yoga and self awareness, the more I've gotten into other methods of physical activity that get me moving. It's been a natural progression for me.
Power Yoga, Pilates, strength training with weights, bodyweight workouts, brisk walking and running are all activities I enjoy to remain strong, healthy and energetic. I feel better in my thirties than I did in my twenties in terms of energy because physical strength was not on my radar as a priority in my twenties.
Challenging myself physically, building strength and creating self awareness in the process is non negotiable for me now. I see and feel the benefits for myself and it's a part of who I am now. Regular physical activity gives me the energy I need to take on my day and I look forward to doing something active every single day.
The thing is, I get SORE. Since I'm pushing my limits, I'm putting stress on the tissues and those little muscular tears need healing. The muscles can also get so tight. Those babies need length and love!
Here's how I give my muscles some TLC when they're sore:
- Epsom salt hot bath with lavender oil - soak in there for at least 15 minutes
- Yoga Wheel, Foam roller, Therapy Ball rolling
- Book a massage or get one from your partner (I'm so grateful for my hubby's willingness to ease my soreness)
- Slow flow yoga
- Yin Yoga
I want to stress the importance of rest days. If I do a full body workout and I'm sore the next day, I'll balance it with yoga or a walk to give myself time to recover. I follow an intuitive approach to what physical activity I choose to do each day and that works for me. I'll always keep rest and healing in mind when I choose.
My lower body carries a lot of tension in my hips and YIN YOGA gets it out every time! I know you can probably relate. It feels so good to relive some of that tension because it can become really uncomfortable if you don't release it.
Do some BADASS YIN with me this week and give your hips some love! We'll spend 15 minutes opening up your hips so you can get back to feeling more comfortable and way less tight.
This week's class sequence is listed at the end of this blog post!
HAPPY BABY is one of my favourite ways to open up my hips and explore the hip socket. Check out the pose breakdown below!
Practice with me to the BADASS YIN: HIPS FLOW either Live this Thursday or on demand in the FREE VIDEO LIBRARY after the class airs live.
BADASS YOGA is live every Thursday at 8pm ET on Zoom for 15 minutes!
ASANA LAB: HAPPY BABY
A deep hip opener and one that can use arm strength, rather than letting gravity do the work
If you do pull with the arms, the arm flexion strengthens the biceps
Releases and decompresses the sacroiliac (SI) joints
Can be a compression of stomach organs
This can become a mild inversion: a student may want to avoid this posture if she is in her moon cycle, or if she has very high blood pressure
Getting Into the Pose:
Lying on your back, hug the knees to your chest. Grab the soles of the feet, the ankles, or the back of the legs. Open the feet apart so that they are above your knees, and pull the knees towards the floor alongside your chest. Relax your head and shoulders down to the floor
Alternatives & Options:
Half Happy Baby (like an upside down Baby Dragon), holding one foot at a time
If you’re very tight, you may use a belt to hold your feet, or you may do this against a wall. It is like a lying down Squat, but with the feet pushing into the wall.
Can hold the back of the thighs
Can keep your toes together for a first stage, leaving them near the groin; for a later stage, bring the toes to your nose
Eventually, feet go behind the head!
After a few minutes of active pulling with the arms, relax and just let the weight of the legs draw the knees down to the floor
There are two options you can try here:
Allow the tailbone to curve up in the air (releases the SI joints)
Keep the tailbone low to the ground. Notice the differences!
A deeper option that can work the hamstrings as well as the hips is to gradually straighten the legs while still pulling the feet down and wider apart, but in this option do not allow your hips to lift off the floor
Coming Out of the Pose:
Release the feet, placing them on the floor, with the knees bent. Pause for a moment
Gentle backbends (lying on stomach) or, while on the back, a mild spinal lift, coming up only halfway
Windshield Wipers while lying down moves the hips from the external rotation of Happy Baby into an internal rotation. Lying down with your knees bent and your feet on the floor as wide apart as the mat, drop the knees from side to side
Meridians & Organs Affected:
Stimulates the spine and thus the Urinary Bladder, and Kidney meridians while stimulation through the inner groins also works the Liver meridians
Hips and SI/lumbar spine
Recommended Hold Times:
Two minutes if you are actively pulling with the arms but if you relax the arms, you can linger up to five minutes
Similar Yang Asanas:
Beginner’s version of Yoga Nidra. Also called Window or, in Los Angeles, Dead Bug; Sarah Powers calls this Stirrup Pose
This posture is the single, most important reason that video recording equipment and cameras are not allowed in yoga studios
BADASS YIN: HIPS FLOW
Practice this sequence with me LIVE on Thursday March 17th at 8pm ET
Reclined Child's Pose - 1 minute
Happy Baby - 1 minute
Reclined Swan - right - 2 minutes
Twisted Roots - right - 2 minutes
Reclined Swan - left - 2 minutes
Twisted Roots - left - 2 minutes
Reclined Butterfly - 2 minutes
Check out my FREE VIDEO LIBRARY for more BADASS YOGA classes!
BADASS YOGA is live every Thursday at 8pm ET on Zoom and uploaded to my website video library afterward!