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Yoga: Practice Hard & Heal Fast?

by Patrick Flanagan

 

ENTHUSIASTIC NEW STUDENTS
A new student will often walk in the door expecting to snooze through class, but ninety minutes, 35 postures, and 3 OMs later, that same person walks away a weak, wobbly mess.
For me, this is the best kind of student because the shock of their first class often makes them ultra-motivated, committed, and wiling to try anything to restore some balance in their life.
PRACTICE HARD
Many yoga teachers (myself included), will tell you to take it easy, be safe, and take your time. This is good advice that should be followed, but I’d also recommend that you practice hard.
What I mean is show up to class, listen to your teacher, and do as he or she says. Read books, try postures at home, wake up early, roll out your mat, and practice, practice, practice!
Yoga can work miracles, but you have to work too.

HEAL FAST
Some part of my body is usually a little sore from yoga—but there is a big difference between soreness and pain. Soreness is good, pain is bad.

To overcome your general yoga soreness, keep practicing—but practice more gently. Don’t stretch so deeply and modify postures as needed.

Taking extended time off from practice is never beneficial.

The rule “if you don’t use it, you lose it,” certainly holds true with yoga, but over zealous students have been known to blow out their knees, pull hamstrings, and slip disks in their back. This is serious pain that could keep you off your yoga mat for a REALLY long time, so practice continuously, but safely.

NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS
In an ideal world, we’d get all the healing nutrients we need from the foods we eat, but our food is no longer the nutrient-dense fuel source it once was (depleted soils, genetic engineering, etc.).

Also, pollution, stressful lifestyles, and our constant exposure to toxins reduce our bodies’ nutrient stores. For these reasons, I think it’s wise to take organic, whole food supplements on a daily basis.

There are many great supplements available, but there are 4 that I’ve found essential for yoga students.

MSM: this natural source of sulfur fights inflammations and promotes flexibility and strength of muscles and connective tissues.

GREENS: chlorophyll-dense plant foods boost energy and detoxify the blood.

VIT C: boosts the immune system and enhances the effects of MSM.

TRACE MINERALS: balance the electrolytes in the body and provide building blocks for tissues.

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