These Ayurvedic post-workout rejuvenating practices are key to consider once you incorporate any form of fitness into your lifestyle.
They are vital to help our bodies recover and replenish.
Vatas, Pittas, and Kaphas… this is for you!
Ayurvedic rejuvenation (Rasayana)
In Ayurveda, rejuvenation practices are a form of tonification, ideal after a deep cleanse or detoxification process.
Although exercise is not a detox, it resembles one as it depletes Ojas (the nectar of vitality) and makes us sweat, promoting purification.
Further, it elevates our breathing rate, heart rate, and blood pressure, a similar reaction we get when facing highly stressful situations.
Therefore, when fitness is part of our routine, we must also adopt certain protocols to support our bodies in recuperating and restoring.
General guidelines suggest the use of milk decoctions, herbal jellies, herbal wines, and medicated oils.
Post-workout rejuvenation strategies
Enough time to recover
Take 1-3 days to fully recover.
Vatas & Pittas: 2-3 days
Kaphas: 1-2 days.
Plus, sleep more. Sleep helps your muscles recuperate from exercise.
Vata & Pitta: Since Vatas tend to suffer from insomnia and Pittas might wake up in the middle of the night:
- Try to set a time to go to bed every night and stick to it, at least most nights.
- Avoid eating late at night.
- Stop electronic device usage at least an hour before going to bed.
- Do a few calming yoga asanas to calm your nervous system.
- Read in bed.
Kapha: For Kaphas, sleeping well is often not a concern. However, avoid oversleeping and try to wake up before the sun rises to balance your dosha. Furthermore, work out early in the morning, from 6-10 AM, when Kapha is high.
For more tips, read An Exercise Guide for Each Dosha
Using a warm oil, massage your body lovingly and slowly before taking a warm shower.
- Vata: Use sesame or almond oil.
- Pitta: Use coconut oil.
- Kapha: Use mustard oil or dry powders like chickpea flour to activate the lymphatic system and help liquify fat. The massage should feel fast and invigorating.
Abhyanga, is a deeply rejuvenating practice that lubricates your tissues, lessens the pains of training, and stimulates the lymphatic and circulatory systems. All of these factors help muscles recover faster and get you ready for your next workout session.
You can either practice it as part of your morning routine or at night, if it feels less hectic to fit into your schedule.
Prepping your muscles and joints before starting your workout is essential.
A good warm-up:
- Dilates your blood vessels, ensuring that your muscles are well supplied with oxygen.
- Raises your muscles’ temperature for optimal flexibility and efficiency.
- Minimizes stress on your heart by slowly raising your heart rate.
This workout includes an activation, workout, and grounding session for best results.
Warm baths with Epsom salts
Add Epsom salts and essential oils to your bath to relax your muscles, reduce swelling, and relieve pains.
This can also help with arthritis, insomnia, fibromyalgia, and swollen feet.
Do this therapy once a week and make a ritual out of it!
The right nutrition
Fueling your body with foods that balance your dosha is key.
Besides following a Vata Meal Plan, Pitta Meal Plan, or Kapha Meal Plan make sure that your post-workout nutrition is also on point. These are some Ayurvedic recipes to have after you exercise to help you replenish and rebuild Ojas.
Kindle your digestive fire
Agni can be diminished when we work out.
To ensure our digestive fire is optimal, add spices to your foods, like ginger, black pepper, fennel, and cumin seeds.
A good digestion is necessary to absorb all the nutrients we consume from foods.
Practice alternate nostril breathing
To cool down and pacify your breathing, try a mindful breathing practice after working out.
Vata & Pitta: Do lunar breathing
Kapha: Practice solar breathing.
This is how to do it:
Stretching helps your muscles relax, which leads to a faster healing process due to the increased blood flow.
Just a few minutes can make a big difference in your range of motion, flexibility, and fitness performance.
When stretching, you’ll likely feel some discomfort, but you should never feel a pinching or sharp pain.
Try holding each pose for 3-5 minutes to intensify the rejuvenation.