Dear yoginis and yogis,
as the days get shorter and colder, and everyone’s schedules fill up, the students in my weekly classes have been getting “my magnesium talk” again. If you lead a busy “city” lifestyle, chances are you are deficient in magnesium, and this will add to your stress level, which in turn will deplete your magnesium levels more… a vicious cycle that we must, and easily can, break, the sooner the better!
A full bath with magnesium flakes – or even just a foot bath (in case you have no tub, but also because it seems to be easier to do and uses up less hot water) – is a great way to absorb magnesium “transdermally”, which means through your skin! Yes, this allows us to bypass the digestive system, which, again due to stress, may be unable to absorb the precious nutrients from your food correctly. I know that low magnesium levels are the perfect excuse to eat more chocolate, but that often involves gulping down sugar too, and gut issues mean that your digestive system will not always transport the small amount of magnesium in the chocolate bar to the cells which need it most.
The hot water adds a very soothing dimension which greatly contributes to your relaxation (a few drops of lavender essential oil are a special treat).
When I can’t get a massage from my trusted massage therapists in East London (Xenia Bolomiti Ayurveda at Yogacreation) or West London (Patricia Creola comes to my home for thai yoga massage), my idea of a self-care evening is a good, deep stretch with a yin yoga session, then a short and sweet reclining relaxation and meditation with a yoga nidra recording (I love Uma Dinsmore Tuli’s free online resource The Yoga Nidra Network), and then a hot tub or footbath with magnesium flakes (Epsom salts, and magnesium flakes that are not “guaranteed Zechstein inside”, give me a skin rash) during which I will give myself a face massage with a bit of warm oil, and then off to an early night with a hot water bottle in my bed and a book – no more screens !
The benefits of a good night’s sleep and the replenished magnesium levels make a real difference to my stress response, my hormone levels, and my immune system the next day.
I share all of this in my women’s workshops which are currently being offered monthly at the West London Buddhist Centre, and there will be more tips on the 10th of February with my West London day retreat for women, but unfortunately I have not figured out a way to bring in a footbath for each participant 😉
As much as I love going on a yoga retreat or spending a day at a spa, that is not always possible, but self-care goes a long way and is very cost-efficient.
Enjoy your pampering and stay healthy!