Few wellness movements have become more mainstream than yoga and supplements. The numbers don’t lie: 170 million American adults take supplements and 36.7 million practice yoga. Not surprisingly, more yogis than ever are embracing supplements to help them improve their strength and balance—and elevate the mind-body workout their daily practice provides.
Supplements to enhance your yoga practice
The Eastern world has long practiced herbal medicine and other dietary strategies to unlock human potential. (Ayurveda, which uses herbs to help restore inner balance, has been thriving in India since the Sahara Desert was lush with vegetation and water.) Today’s yogis can likewise reap the benefits of natural supplements by adding these eight must-haves into their supplement routines.
B5: As tranquil as yoga is, you’ll need a good amount of energy to go about your day and still make the additional effort to unroll your mat and get down to work. You don’t want that burst of full-throttle energy created by sugary, chemical-laden energy drinks. And you definitely don’t want the shakiness of too much caffeine during your sun salutations. Stay natural with B5, an essential vitamin that promotes energy and metabolism regulation by providing you with a coffee-free, crash-free energy boost.
Pea Protein: Before you write off this tiny but might vegetable, consider that one cup of peas contains 10 grams of protein. Pea protein is a vegan and vegetarian-friendly protein source that accelerates muscle repair and bone tissue buildup without the high estrogen present in soy proteins. It also has anti-inflammatory benefits and can lower your blood pressure. However, pea protein is an incomplete protein (it lacks cysteine, an essential amino acid), so this supplement should be one of many protein sources in your diet—not the only one.
Casein powder: Turn your late-night cravings into a healthy bedtime treat or a protein-packed nightcap with this dairy-derived protein. As casein powder is digested at a much slower rate than most protein powders, it’s also a perfect add-on to a post-class smoothie for optimal muscle gain. Because to execute advanced yoga postures, you need lean, strong muscles just as much as the person hitting the weight room regularly.
Probiotics: Whether you’re not fond of Greek yogurt, all out of kimchi today or just a bit Kombucha-d out, probiotics in supplement form can be a valuable addition to your diet. These friendly bacteria will clean up your digestive system and promote overall health with faster results than probiotics found in foods.
Essential oils: Add them to a warm bath, keep a diffuser on your desk (or bedside as a completely natural sleep aid), or even enjoy as a travel-sized spray to make your surroundings a little healthier. With a variety of uses and scents for key therapeutic needs, essential oils are incredibly popular for a reason. Reinvigorate with a spray of peppermint, calm yourself with lavender or even spritz a combination of rosemary, cinnamon leaf and coconut oil onto sore muscles for relief. And eucalyptus oil can help you reduce mood swings and relieve muscle tension—getting you even closer to that coveted yoga-induced inner balance. Find your favorite scent and literally spice up your yoga routine with a natural way to stay at your best.
Coenzyme Q10: This natural antioxidant is found in a variety of cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli. A high level of Coenzyme Q10 is also one of the major reasons spinach is considered a vegetable that will make you strong (with a little help from Popeye, of course). Spinach optimizes our cells’ ability to generate energy and aids in respiratory and circulatory functions by supporting oxygen use and strengthening heart muscles.
B-12: This supplement, often found in a gummy form, is essential for vegans and vegetarians. A vitamin common to fish, meat, poultry and dairy, B-12 supports your red blood cells and nervous system so that you can find inner peace throughout the day.
Turmeric– This vibrant Eastern spice is a full-body anti-inflammatory wonder. Turmeric contains an active compound known as curcumin. Curcumin acts as a powerful antioxidant to reduce inflammation. That means this common herb will aid your muscles in recovery from a hard workout (yoga or otherwise), plus sooth your digestive tract by relaxing it. While the spice is delicious in a meal, supplements will provide a far more potent dose and faster, more noticeable results.
Yoga is a practice that encourages holistic, full-body health and balance. It only makes sense to sustain your body with organic, all-natural supplements in addition to a balanced diet and plenty of water. Stay mindful of your body’s needs and any deficiencies to prime your body for spiritual and emotional enrichment with these beneficial supplements.