The strength in rest.

by Nicci Randall in Fitness

As a yoga and fitness studio with predominantly Power Vinyasa classes, there’s no question that this community likes to go hard. We encourage our students to take the extra chaturanga or inversion, to run the extra hill, sprint like there’s no tomorrow, and jump squat to the point you feel it for days to follow. Our community is strong and looking to be pushed, and that’s exactly why Flex & Flow is here.

Lately I’ve noticed a lot of talk around the idea of rest and recovery. It’s definitely not a new idea – most workouts and training programs suggest a day off or rest/recovery day to prevent overuse injuries and to allow muscles, tendons, and bones to recover and/or rebuild. I am a firm believer that rest during a workout and taking a recovery day does wonders for the body. Taking a few moments in child’s pose to release tension, restore the breath, and regroup always helps me come back stronger in my yoga practice. Taking days off from hard running or HIIT Yoga helps my quads, hip flexors, and knee and ankle joints recover for my next strenuous workout.

Rest days don’t necessarily have to mean inactivity. For most of us, by the end of the day, we’re craving some sort of movement. If you’re used to constant, strenuous physical activities, then lighter activities on rest days can help with recovery, or at least the soreness. Taking a walk or slow run, swimming, and restorative yoga are great rest day activities.

At Flex & Flow, we’re amping up our efforts around rest and recovery in a few ways to support our sweaty community. We have two Active Restoration classes a week (Sunday at 7:15PM; Wednesday at 8:00PM) that are designed to stretch and release the muscles we use in daily life as well as the ones we use in our intense workouts. By actively engaging certain muscles during stretches or movements, we target other muscles to lengthen and release. These classes are designed for everyone including athletes, people who sit at a desk all day, and those of us who are feeling stressed or tired.

I for one know that taking time to rest and restore is difficult, so it’s good thing we’ve got new classes, tools, and challenges to help us make the time to restore our bodies and minds for all the sweaty and fun adventures to come.

Props, live music, and our next sweaty challenge!

  1. The Beam is our newest and favorite prop in the Flex & Flow house. The Beam by Nimbleback is the long, narrow foam block now located next to the prop shelf.

I’m loving the effects of The Beam after adding it to my own practice as well as to our Active Restoration classes. The Beam is focused on restoring, releasing tension and building the strength in the core to maintain the health of the spine.

Check out my favorite ways to use The Beam to strengthen and restore the muscles around my spine and, for all my friends with tight hamstrings, there’s a video of how to use The Beam to get even deeper into those stretches.

I use The Beam at the studio and even at home. It’s the perfect mid-day or end of day pick me up after biking and being on my computer all day. Take one home or to work with you to build and maintain better posture and release unnecessary tension from your everyday life and workouts. Just head over to nimbleback.com and use the code flex&flow at checkout for 20% off!

2. Live Acoustic Active Restoration is now a thing. In June, Justine played her beautiful songs to Alissa’s Sunday night Active Restoration class and we can’t get enough of it. Starting this Sunday, Justine will be joining us the first and third Sunday of every month for our Live Acoustic Active Restoration classes from 7:15 – 8:30PM. Justine’s calm, beautiful voice paired with her guitar and ukulele enhance the melty-feels that our Active Restoration classes provide.


3. The #GrabLife 30-Day Yoga Challenge with Handful is here and we’re asking you to get on the mat as much as you can for the whole month of August to win amazing prizes from Handful, acupuncture with Dr. Kate, and COOKIES from Morsel Code Cookie Company. Getting on the mat everyday means we’re going to be sore, but just remember, Active Restoration is included in our challenge, so make sure to schedule in some recovery time on Sundays and Wednesdays – your body will thank you!

 

What are your ideas around rest/recovery days? Do you schedule them into your workout routine? I encourage all of you to take a recovery day once a week for the next 3-4 weeks and see how it affects your body, mind, and regular physical activities.

 

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Nimbleback. All opinions are my own. I truly appreciate all the brands that support the Sweat Pink community!