Create Recovery Time

by Christine Lusita | | Meditation

Create recovery time. In yoga, every posture has a counterposture. For every forward fold, there’s a back bend. For every spinal twist in one direction, there’s a twist in another. And every session ends with the most important posture of all: savasana, or complete letting go.

That can feel almost like a cheat for those of us who are always “doing.” It’s counterintu- itive. When we spend a precious hour on workout time, we want to see something for it: a tighter butt, a flatter tummy, Michelle Obama arms. You’re not going to “see” anything from stretching or meditating or, heaven forbid, resting. But you will feel something. You’ll feel renewed!

And I’m here to tell you that recovery is crucial to maintenance. My client Amy, for instance, had essentially burned out her leg muscles from constant cycling, and she had upper body problems, such as back pain, from a lack of core strength. She needed to rest those legs. By building in recovery time, her legs came back stronger than ever, and she could focus on creating more balance in her upper body.

Recovery also keeps your stress level down—and stress is the number-one reason we reach for the cookies. Every time you’re in active recovery—i.e., not flopped in front of the tube for five hours—your mind comes to peace and your body is stronger and refreshed.

You’ll find many more maintenance techniques throughout the book. Keep checking in with yourself as you reach this stage: You’ll maximize your results and minimize your setbacks.