I did a social and splurge shift between Thursday and Friday. I spent Thursday night indulging in ramen, and Friday I dared to participate in a yoga boot camp type workshop at Y2 Yoga. It was hard but many modifications were provided. Drenched is an understatement of how we all were at the end! I really enjoyed the partner work.
I do yoga regularly – intense, fast flowing, hot hot hot yoga. And I do a challenging boot camp several times a week as well. I drank a green juice, protein green smoothie, 8 glasses of water, and had 2 solid meals through the day. But nothing prepared me. I wasn’t ready. The me inside. The one that has been trying to cope with my babysitter resigning and now not knowing when I can pick up my next shift at the hospital. The one that has taken a nauseating amount of trips to Lowe’s during a renovation. The one that is so ready for the kids to go back to school but knows she’ll be crying a river as soon as they get on the bus. The one that analyzes at the end of every single 16 hour day, “Have I done enough? Have I been enough? I’ll do better tomorrow.” And then the one that dismisses every concern and stressor because “Come on, these are problems you are lucky to have. I mean, really.” Because complaining appears ungrateful and spoiled; not real and human. And that stuff, all that STUFF that you tax yourself with day in and day out, it’s heavy. There’s a reason when I get my 1-2 times a year massage, that the therapist finds big hard knots right in that nook between the base of my neck and my shoulders.
All of that above is why I yoga. It wrings me out, every single practice clears my mind out, and most of all, makes me face myself. Because let’s be honest; the single biggest yet least talked about reason that we are all SO busy is because it feels far more productive to tackle a long list than to stop. Stopping means wondering, thinking, questioning, and likely inviting that scary thing called change. A hectic routine is chosen over and over again and then we use that as the very excuse to discard our health, our sanity, and anything else that matters.
For those 2 crazy hours of heart pumping poses interlaced with abdominal exercises, back strengthening, deep stretching, and the special contests at the end involving timed wall sits, plank holds, and backbends, all I had to deal with was my ability, my willingness; essentially, it was all about me. We all need THAT. In the most fatiguing moments, we were encouraged by our teachers not to listen to what our mind was saying. Although it is a very personal experience, the beautiful happening in yoga is that as it drains out the bad, the people in the room fill you back up with energy.
I knew that the rigor would result in some soreness. I came home and took an epsom salts bath. I cannot believe that I waited so long to try these. They are my go-to, effective remedy in decreasing expected and active soreness and well as easing cold/viral symptoms. I seriously believe that they suck out toxins. The salts are actually absorbed into your skin and are known to reduce inflammation. The magnesium sulfate content can help to replete low magnesium levels too which often lead to muscle twitching and even neuropathic type discomfort. I set a timer and soak for at least 15 minutes.
I created the below smoothie bowl to further help with my recovery. It truly was the marathon (at least half-marathon) of a yoga class! I’ve heard from trainers and body builders that pineapple and ginger also help with post-workout pain. Since these are two healthy, whole food ingredients, I am happy to give it a try with no other proof.
Smoothie bowls are all over blogs and Instagram and in fitness magazines these days. But since my friend, Jen (touched by her mention of this blog), who I respect a lot has been raving about them, I knew I had to give it a try. And OMG. You will not believe how much a little bit of your favorite granola changes your smoothie intake.
I like anything with added crunch and different textures. It is also true that the granola holds you over longer; if you are looking for a smoothie worthy of a meal replacement, this is one easy technique to try! I also incorporate protein with my favorite powder, Sun Warrior, which has the fewest ingredients, and is soy and dairy free.
Pineapple Blueberry Ginger Smoothie bowl
Combine the following and blend:
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1 cup frozen blueberries
- 1/2 cup frozen pineapple tidbits
- 1/2 inch fresh ginger root
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla or plain almond milk
Optional: Dash of ground cinnamon, 3 tbsp shelled hemp seeds OR 1 scoop Sun Warrior protein powder
Top with 2-4 tbsp of your favorite granola.
How do you carve out time for yourself, treat sore muscles, and eat post-exercise?
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