From cardio to strength training, all workouts stress the body, causing microscopic tears on muscles, enzyme levels to fluctuate, and an increase in inflammation. These changes are good as they lead to muscle growth, fat loss, improved insulin sensitivity, reduced inflammation, better cardiovascular health, and overall healthier bodies. Before the muscles can regrow, there is one more step that needs to occur in the process – your mind and body need to recover. Experts recommend incorporating rest and recovery into your routine to allow your muscles, nerves, bones, and connective tissue time to rebuild before stressing them out again.
Exhale Day Spa at Santa Monica‘s Fairmont Miramar Hotel, is now offering Recovery – a class “Designed to revive, restore and rebalance your body after a tough workout. The newest 50-min Recovery class includes elements of stretch, myofascial release therapy and mindful meditation.”
As class starts, we are asked to set an intention or mantra that will bring us back to our breathe when our minds start to wander. After a light warmup, the foam rolling begins. As an athlete, I have foam rolled for years but it wasn’t until the Recovery class that I actually learned how to get the maximum benefits from the roller. Our teacher Lisa demonstrated how to hit the knots or trigger points on your body to achieve myofascial release. Foam rolling applies pressure to eliminate scar tissue by freeing up the fascia or connective tissue that binds and stabilizes the muscles. Foam rolling improves your muscles’ range of motion, boosts blood circulation, and breaks down tightness or knots in your muscles. In Recovery, your entire body is massaged by the foam roller, releasing tension and soreness from your upper and lower back, calves, hamstrings, groin, IT band quadriceps, lats and glutes.
Yoga Straps are also used to aid Recovery. Straps allow you to target specific areas, sink deeper into the stretch, and hold the positions longer. As you open your shoulders, stretch your arms, legs, back and hips, your muscles are lengthened, therefore increasing your flexibility.
Exhale’s Recovery focuses on a full mind and body alignment. Each class includes a guided meditation accompanied by soft, soothing music. As you close your eyes and focus on your breathe, we are asked to remember the intention that we set in the beginning of class. Meditating after a workout reduces cortisol levels which tend to elevate when you’re exercising. The mind is a powerful machine and the phrase mind over matter is true. By training your brain, you can teach it to reduce your feelings of pain. With the cortisone levels regulated and pain controlled, now your mind can allow your body to repair and recover.
With its no impact curriculum, Recovery can be done regularly. It “minimizes soreness, boosts your fitness performance, and mindfully replenishes every muscle.” To restore and align your mind and body, head to Exhale at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica. Recovery class will be available nationwide; class times and pricing will vary by studio; 101 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401; Reserve here