The only Epsom salts I could find short notice were a couple of small pots from the Chemist. I had one la
st night after work and then one this morning (Tuesday) before practice. I have my bath pretty hot so had to wait half an hour or so before I unrolled my Manduka.
And then the strangest thing... first Sury felt good, no stiffness, straight down into a deep bend.
Second Sury I pressed to handstand and it was like I was floating up like a balloon. There I was in handstand..
..and still in handstand.....and STILL in handstand. Effortless, I must have been up there for a minute. 'Wow, I'm Superman, I can fly!' In the end I was getting so freaked out about it that I started to laugh, lost my balance and floated back down. What the hell was that all about?
And so it went on, Nice deep stretches throughout Standing, deep deep Paschimotasana from the off, nice floaty jump backs. No problem grabbing my wrist in Mari D, in fact I had to catch myself and mentally check I was in D and not C (lately I've been having to work myself in). The Dwi Pada Sirasana entry to Supta Kurmasana was a breeze and Icouldn't wait for 2nd series LBH's plus the 3rd's I tend to slip in there lately.
On into Intermediate and I was sweating by now but still managed to bind Pasasana at the wrist. Sweat has always been a killer here and I tend to make sure my arms are good and dry before I attempt it otherwise my arm will slip off my knee. Here I was dripping with sweat but still managed to comfortably bind it. Come to think of it I was sweating more t
han usual, was that something to do with the Epsom salt too.
Nice deep Karanada's, slipped in my best Purna M yet after Ardha M and a really wonderful Leg behind head series. Down and up in Karanda and a Mayurasana while sweaty, another posture I tend to have to towel down for.
All in all, probably the best practice I've ever had.
I had a post practice bath with my last post of Epsom salts and feel wonderful. The deepest practice ye,t but not a single ache or twinge anywhere.
I immediately ordered a couple of kilo's off Amazon.
So it works then? Well, going by the above you would think so. I googled Epsom Salt baths trying to find out why it works, does it somehow allow more oxygen to get to your muscles perhaps?
I found this article though which put a bit of a damper on my excitement. It's summed up below.
'The whole article in one paragraph
Epsom salt in your bath is cheap and harmless and it makes bath water feel “silkier,” so there’s no reason to ban it from your life. However, it probably doesn’t do what you hope it’s doing. Although Epsom salt probably does have some physiological effects, it is unknown if there is a therapeutic effect on aches and pains … and somewhat unlikely. Most of the theories you hear are oversimplified and meaningless, and the known effects of Epsom salt don’t have much to do with muscle pain. The belief that it helps could easily be due just to the heat of the bath. The case for the healing powers of Epsom salt are made by people selling the stuff.'
So perhaps it was just the heat of the bath, I've never had a pre-practice bath before, it's possible. I'll need to have a pre-practice without the salts to see, but somehow it all felt a little too magical to just be down to a hot bath.
But try it out yourselves. If it works, stock up on those little white Epsom beauties for when Sharath next comes to town.
UPDATE 1. : The morning after.
I'd wondered how practice would feel this morning without the salt bath. As I kind of expected I was as stiff as usual and it took all of standing to get the kinks out. Perhaps I was a little more stiff than usual. I'd
felt comfortable going deeply into the postures yesterday, maybe I over did it a little, something to remember for next time.
So yesterday, was that what it feels like to do this practice in your twenties? But then maybe the stiffness I experience in the morning isn't due to age but to home practice. At least if your going to a Shala your up and running around for an hour or so before practice, getting to the Shala. Here at hom
e I tend to get up and be my the mat within twenty minutes. Perhaps a quick hot bath before practice through these winter months isn't such a bad idea.
Pre practice hot shower ....... still Clark Kent
Last night i had a hot bath left it half an hour and then ran through some Sury A's and B's, just to see. I did feel looser, better 'warmed up' than usual, but no Superman.
Got up at 6am ran a hot bath with 200g of Epsom Salts. This is about twice as much as last time (only had little 100g pots of the stuff, now I have a kilo). So 15 minute bath, half hour rest to cool down before practice which included some pranayama.
And how was it? Certainly something seems to be going on. Last night after the hot bath I felt loosened up but not particularly stronger. This morning I felt loose but seemed to have that something extra. Wasn't as marvelous as Tuesday, more Spiderman than Superman.