Yoga and Cramps

Last week I talked about my yoga journey since last March.  Today I want to let you know about one small but painful part of my journey, Cramps.

When I started doing yoga I would get cramps in my abdomen and my feet/toes.  I would stop doing the pose, stretch the cramp out, then return to the pose.  For me the cramps were an indication of scar tissue buildup and tight muscles.  The longer I've continued my yoga practice the less the cramps occur but even to this day if I go deeper into certain poses the cramps will occur.  Be patient with yourself.  It took a few years to develop scar tissue and muscular tension and those issues won't go away immediately.  Here are some common reasons you are getting cramps.

The most common reason you get cramps is if you are dehydrated.  You can calculate your minimum daily water intake by taking your weight in pounds and divide by two to come up with the number of ounces you should drink per day.  Example:  I weigh 200 lbs divide by two equals 100 ounces of water per day.  I try to drink more than that, about 128 oz or 1 gallon, because I live an active lifestyle and can perspire more than some people.

Magnesium intake is also linked to cramping.  Most Americans are deficient in Magnesium so supplementation is important.  I like to use Magnesium lotion on the problem area.  The great thing about that is you will see a white film form on your skin if you've put too much on.  If you take it in a capsule then you can get diarrhea if you take too much.  Usually 300-600 mg per day is enough.

There can be other reasons that an area or muscle continues to cramp, some of them are serious.  See your chiropractor or health care professional to help with persistent unrelenting cramps.  As always, continue your yoga journey so you can become a better version of you.