Since traditional ashtanga practice has been tough on my shoulders I've found my way back to what originally got me inspired to deepen my practice: hot yoga. It's more of a power vinyasa mixed with flexibility work and has given my muscles and joints an opportunity to get loose again. In traditional Mysore ashtanga we rely on vigorous sun salutations to heat up the body rather than using a hot room to induce body heat. It had been suggested to me by my teachers not to drink water throughout the practice so you don't cool down that internal heat that is so purifying to the practice. Now that I'm steaming myself in a hot room and building heat I'm forgetting how important it is to hydrate! Even though yoga makes me glow, if I do too much hot yoga my skin gets sullen. My energy depletes. It can get nasty. Some nourishing ways I like to replenish:
Coconut Water: One of nature's little treasures, coconut water is a natural way to replace lost hydration and electrolytes which is why you'll see it often in the cold case at hot yoga studios. In the summer I like to use it in place of almond milk in my smoothies.
Watermelon & Watermelon Ginger juice: I can only find this in the summer and my friends at The Daily Beet in New Orleans make an amazing one. It's so watery and delicious. If I can't find it fresh squeezed I'll buy some precut to snack on.
Decaffeinated warming tea: Caffeine dehydrates me so I'll turn to warm herbal tea to lubricate internally. For a Vata body type, anything warming brings me balance so I love to get my water intake with calming herbs infused. One of my favorites is Pukka chamomile, vanilla and manuka honey. Also Republic of Tea has a Be Active Tea line that focuses on using tea for recovery. Get Hydrated and Get Restored are two options that use caffeine-free approaches using ingredients like hibiscus and ramon nut to aid in hydration and sodium/potassium balance.
Nutrient dense, watery salads: I'll force myself to do this because my body doesn't naturally crave crunchy, cold veggies. I'll throw together a mix of something warming like hot orzo with something watery like cucumber and radish.
For my skin, of course it's important to hydrate from the inside but if I'm really struggling I'll pop into a skincare studio for an oxygen spray treatment that delivers deep hyaluronic acid. That usually does the trick for a quick fix!