As any regular yogi will tell you – an intense, sweaty yoga workout is no walk in the park. Yoga activates all muscle groups (ones you didn't know you had), requires strength, flexibility, balance and coordination. Sore muscles are just as much a reality for regular yogis as they are for body builders, runners or CrossFitters.
And yet, as yogis we tend to forget that.
Whereas regular body builders or runners proactively stock up supplements to support muscle recovery and enhance performance, many yogis simply wrap up a yoga session with a bottle of water.
We forget that yoga is extremely demanding on the body – especially as you age. Nourishment through water and a plant-based whole foods diet serves as an excellent foundation, but it is not enough if you want to get on the mat more often, and sustain your practice over the long term.
Ask yourself: do you experience sore muscles, fatigue and muscle cramping more often than you would like? Does it come in the way of getting on the mat?
If you answered 'yes', consider adding some additional supplementation to your routine. We've outlined the three most important types of nutrients to consider – all of which are 100% natural and vegan of course.
When we complete an intense practice, we partially deplete our bodies of electrolytes and water through sweat. Unfortunately, water alone isn’t actually enough to help replace the electrolytes we’ve lost in sweat and may in fact dilute our remaining electrolytes further.
What are electrolytes?
Electrolytes are minerals that carry an electrical charge; these include potassium, magnesium, sodium and calcium. They play an extremely important role in muscular and nervous functions.
If you have a low balance of electrolytes in the body, the following symptoms may start to appear:
- Muscular weakness
- Muscle spasms and twitches
- Painful joints
- Poor concentration
- Irregular heartbeats
If you're prone to muscular cramps or fatigue after a yoga workout, the simplest and most potent form of electrolytes is with a natural electrolyte mix, like Niyama's After Practice Replenish and Repair.
Coconut water is also a great alternative, however it can often be high in natural sugar. You could also consider lemon water, however it contains a tiny fraction of electrolytes in comparison!
Natural Herbs For Joint Pain & Inflammation
Due to wear and tear, our joints naturally lose resilience over time. When the cartilage “cushion” between bones starts to wear down, it’s that bone on bone contact that leads to pain, stiffness, inflammation and eventually osteoarthritis.
And that makes vinyasa a lot less fun.
If you're still in your early twenties, you may not feel the inflammation in your joints just yet. But once you're over thirty, you start to feel all types of new aches and pains!
Fortunately, there's plenty of natural, anti-inflammatory herbs that are safe and simple to take on a regular basis. Two herbs that are popular for joint pain are turmeric (active compound, curcumin) and boswellia (active compound boswellic acid). In fact, a 2018 study revealed that combining both together was even more effective in reducing pain than taking them individually. (1)
You can find this combination in our Vinyasa Forever Joint Care formula.
Vegan Protein Powder
Our muscles need adequate protein in order to repair, recover and become stronger for the next yoga practice or headstand.
However, its role is not limited to just building muscle. Protein is also crucial for the production of:
- Neurotransmitters (emotions, wakefulness, concentration)
- Hormones (metabolism, menstrual cycle, sleep etc.)
- Hair, skin and nails
- Immune system
Yep, protein is necessary for just about every aspect of our health.
First and foremost, ensure you're eating enough protein from whole foods, such as lentils, beans, seeds and grains. But, if you're a busy parent or have a demanding career, the reality is that it might be tough to get enough protein in a day.
That's where vegan protein powder comes in. It's a quick, healthy and delicious way to get in protein and fibre in the morning, as a meal replacement or after a workout. For example, Niyama's Organic Plant Protein contains 20 grams of protein, along with fibre, vitamins and minerals, and absolutely nothing artificial.