down facing dog

Sore muscles and yoga : how to deal with it ?

It’s not unusual to feel pain in your muscles the day after your yoga session. This happen often, especially if you pushed a little hard and especially if you haven’t practiced for a while. Why do you have sore muscles ? and how to prevent this… here are some answers to all your questions.

Sore muscles are normal after a yoga session !

As you’re practicing your yoga, you’re actioning your muscles in a way they’re not used to. You push and stretch a lot of muscles as you perform your session, and your body needs to react to that. The microtraumas that your muscles  suffer will create this stiffness that people call sore muscles of DMOS (delayed onset muscle soreness).

How to prevent sore muscles ?

Before your practice, you can help your body by many different actions. A good warming up before the session begins will help you stretch long muscles and heat your body. A set such as the sun salutation is a good warm up as it’s quite complete and enables you to warm many different part of the body.

water

It’s also important to practice in good conditions :
– drink enough water before and during the session
– if you feel down, eat something that’ll act fast such as a banana and give you a boost
– try to arrive a bit early at your yoga lesson to take a little time for yourself to cut from the outside world and focus on your practice. This will also help limitate your stress.

All these little tricks will help you perform in better conditions and with less shocks on your body (that’s what causes the soreness).

How to treat your sore muscles ?

Most of the time, you’ll get sore muscles, no matter what. It usually appears 12 to 24h after the session and leaves between 48 and 72 hours after.

After your class, drink as much as you need. Sip water regularly, especially if you’ve sweat a lot (during a session of Bikram Yoga for example). You need to rehydrate. Water is usually the best, I read that some yoga add a pinch of himalayan salt in their water to add minerals. Others prefer tea… try and find the solution that fits you best.

sauna

Activate your blood flow to the muscle with hot showers, sauna or low intensity activity. The heat will help your muscle relax and the blood circulate within your body.

Should you practice yoga with sore muscles ?

It is very difficult to give a clear answer on that as you have to make a clear difference between a muscle pain, a muscle fatigue and a sore muscle. If that’s a sore muscle, a smooth practice will help your body recover and stretch. As you practice more, your body will be more powerful and your muscles will suffer less.

The most important thing is to listen to your body. If it needs more sleep and rest, give it. If you’re feeling energised enough but you just have some pains on your newly built muscle, then get up and practice your vinyasa.

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