Why Does Yoga Make Me Sore? And What Can You Do About It?

Yoga can be a relaxing practice, but it is a form of exercise. When you first start yoga or learn a new pose, you may feel a little sore like you would after you started lifting weights. But that soreness is normal, and you can keep doing yoga for its many health benefits.

Yoga can make you sore because it stretches muscles you don’t use every day. Some poses activate muscles differently than your regular use, but yoga can also lead to overuse. Drinking water and getting enough sleep can help as well as a hot bath and doing more yoga.

If you’re new to yoga or have taken a break from it, you may feel sore after the first few sessions. However, the soreness means you’re working different muscles, and you’re getting stronger. Keep reading to learn more about soreness from yoga and how to treat it.

Why Yoga Makes You Sore

Yoga can make you sore for a few reasons. Like any other form of exercise, you have to use various muscle groups to perform different yoga poses. Holding a pose can also work certain muscles, and it may be hard at first.

The odds are the soreness will go away after you do yoga consistently. However, soreness can affect anyone with any amount of yoga experience. You may just have soreness for a different reason after years of yoga.

Here are a few reasons why yoga makes you sore.

Working Different Muscles

In your daily life, you probably do a lot of sitting and perhaps some standing and walking. You may not move your arms much except up and forward to reach for things. Your legs may not bend much as you walk.

And odds are you don’t engage your core muscles while sitting or even standing. But doing yoga can change a lot of that. When you practice yoga, you have to work more of your muscles than you would with normal activities.

If you’re doing a pose, like the tree pose, that has you on one leg, you will need that extra support from your abdomen. Many people aren’t used to working those muscles, so it can seem weird. Your body may feel sore after your first few sessions.

Working Muscles in Different Ways

Depending on the poses you do, you may work muscles you already use but in different ways. One example that you may come across is the cobra pose. This pose works different muscles, from your arms to your legs.

However, you probably don’t do that sort of stretching outside of yoga. So the first few times you do something like the cobra pose, you may feel sore after.

As long as you’re doing the pose correctly, you can work your muscles in a different way than usual. That soreness you get can be annoying, but it should go away after practicing yoga for a while.

Overusing Muscles

Another cause that can affect anyone doing yoga, not just beginners, is overuse. If you do yoga a lot or do the same poses repeatedly, you may use certain muscles too much. Overusing muscles is very common, and it can affect anyone doing the same thing too many times.

Common causes of overuse include technique problems and training issues. If you don’t follow the proper techniques for a pose, you could hurt yourself and feel quite sore later. Training issues can happen if you do a lot of yoga on your first day.

Make sure you don’t push yourself too hard when doing yoga. If you don’t know how to do a pose properly, consider taking a class to learn the correct methods. That way, you can keep doing yoga for years to come.

When Soreness Isn’t Good

In most cases, soreness means you are working different muscles and getting stronger. However, you may feel sore for other reasons. If you feel extreme soreness or pain and can’t do your regular activities, your soreness may not be good.

You should call your doctor if you have long-lasting or debilitating soreness after doing yoga. Your doctor can help you find the problem and give you advice on how to treat your pain. Then, you can take steps to practice yoga safely.

What to Do About Soreness From Yoga

Feeling sore after doing yoga can be normal and a good thing. But that doesn’t mean you have to live with that soreness. You can do a few things now, and next time you do yoga so that you can enjoy it and minimize the soreness you get.

Here are the things you can do about soreness after doing yoga.

Drink Water

Drinking water can help lubricate your joints and energize your muscles, making it easier to do yoga. Water can also help you recover more quickly from soreness, and it may help you tolerate pain and soreness.

You should drink plain water throughout the day and before you do yoga. Have a water bottle on hand to drink when you get thirsty during a yoga session. Then, have some more water to hydrate yourself after you finish for the day.

While you can have an energy drink, plain water is easy to find and good for you. You don’t have to buy a ton of drinks, and you can have as much of it as you need to feel good during and after yoga.

Get Enough Sleep

Getting enough good quality sleep after yoga can also help ease muscle soreness. When you sleep, your body has time to repair your muscles and help them recover. More blood can flow to your muscles during your sleep, and that can help repair your muscles and increase their size.

When you sleep, your body has time to repair your muscles and help them recover.

You may also find that getting enough sleep makes it easier to do yoga poses. Sleep can help you with balance and muscle coordination, so you can practice different poses in your next yoga session.

Make sure you get good sleep each night, whether you did yoga that day or not. Good sleep can help the next time you do yoga or any sort of exercise.

Take a Hot Bath

Another way you can relax when feeling sore is to take a hot bath. A bath can feel good for your muscles, and it can ease any tension you have from yoga or other activities. Taking hot baths can give you a chance to relax, and you can feel better without waiting for sleep.

You can also take a hot shower if you don’t like baths. The warm water can feel good on your skin, and you can also use it as an excuse to feel clean after a potentially sweaty yoga session. If you want to relax even more, you can use a body wash with something like lavender to help calm you down.

Keep Doing Yoga

If you experience a lot of soreness after doing yoga, you may want to stop the practice. But you should keep doing yoga to gain more strength in your muscles and ease some muscle tension. Yoga is an excellent activity for many people, and some soreness is normal.

Now, you shouldn’t force yourself into a long yoga session before you’re ready. Take things slowly and start by doing just a few poses. Give yourself time to recover from that session, and then do a few more poses next time.

Eventually, you will be able to do a long yoga class or session without a ton of soreness. As long as you keep the proper form and do yoga consistently, you can see the benefits.

Conclusion

Yoga can make you sore because it works your muscles in ways that you don’t normally use them. But overusing your muscles during yoga can make you sore. Be sure to drink lots of water and get some rest to help treat your sore muscles.

Sources

Sita

Mother of three and Yogi of 20+ years and 200 Hour Certified Yoga Teacher. I am also a Certified Thai massage therapist and I have taught Gymnastics for more than 10 years. In the last couple of years, I've been a big promotor of intermittent fasting.

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