First of all I do want to say that I love yoga but a lot of Yoga isn’t recovery. While training for my first marathon, I did do a lot of yoga as my “Recovery” day but would often feel more sore after. Primarily because I wasn’t doing the right kind of yoga (I love Vinyasa yoga and it can get intense!).
Even when not training, relaxation is something that we all need but also forget about in a culture obsessed with the hustle. It is needed for our minds, body and over all sanity when we are going through any kind of stress…or really just working hard at life. Relaxation gets a bad rep. It can often come off as lazy when in truth it is really about connecting with yourself and quieting your mind. This can be done in so many ways that don’t involve yoga or straight up, sit in silence meditation.
That being said, its not always as easy as it sounds to relax. Most of all if you are like me and are just a bit OCD and anxious all the time. Sometimes its not as simple as tuning out or just chilling out. For people like me, relaxation needs a catalyst, a specific plan to get there so I set the time to the side and actually tune out my mind, getting away from work and training needs.
Check out these just slightly active ways to propel yourself into a state of relaxation for both your mind and your body:
Bath: Obviously the age old way to relax. warm water some bath salts or a milk bath…some time where you can lock your freaking kids or SO out. This is the easy go to that almost anyone can do. Besides, studies have shown that floating has extremely therapeutic effects.
Sound baths: This is a fun one. Sound baths can be found on places as common as youtube or spotify now. Close your eyes and drape a fuzzy blanket over yourself and get lost in perfectly tuned music or the voice of Morgan Freemen or Eva Green walking you through a story. Apps exist for this now including Calm. Its just a little less creepy than girls whispering in your ear about brushing your hair.
Roller boards: Weird one that I am totally down for now. I love my roller board. Its hard sometimes but it does relax me. The gentle sway back and forth on my Goof board sets aside 15 minutes a day where I am focused but on gentle movement.
Gua sha: I love this one and its just a bit more involved then a facial. A gua sha is a stone that is contoured to hug the curves of your face, cheekbones, eye sockets, everything. As you pull the stone along your curves in an upward motion, it pulls the blood from your face, something that doesn’t often get a massage, and rubs as the thin layer of tissue that sits in between the skin and skull.
Be Outside: This should not be news to anyone by now but being outside relaxes you. It does something in the most far back reaching parts of our brain that connects us with nature and beauty. That reminds us that we are part of something big and beautiful. There is something beautifully cathartic about being out in nature and knowing that you are an ant on the face of the planet and that is perfectly fine.
What are some of the things that you do to relax your body and your mind?