Not focusing only on movement and recovery, exercise for mental health is taking center stage this year
It’s February, and you know what that means. Not only is it freezing cold and pitch black at 4:30pm, but you’ve also probably noticed your gym is so busy you can’t barely find an empty treadmill, vegetables are flying off the shelf in your local grocery store, and you’re being targeted on Instagram by what feels like every probiotic, detox, cleanse and supplement on the market.
But we digress. Because taking care of ourselves is important! And many people do find the new year acts as a reset that jumpstarts them into action and towards the goals and intentions they hope to accomplish in 2024. The downside of this ‘all-or-nothing' approach though is that we often fizzle out when something becomes unsustainable, and before we know it, we’re right back where we started, wondering how to find our footing once again.
In this article, we’re exploring some of the ways we can use movement and recovery to help us create a sustainable and enjoyable mind body practice that nourishes us from head to toe. Read on to learn more!
Low impact ways to move your body and experience the benefits of being in motion: yoga
This year, we’re putting our collective attention on movement that feels supportive of our goals; feeling healthier overall, moving without limitation and finding ways to move our bodies each day that feel worthy of the time and attention we’re giving them. For us, that means re-exploring our relationship with yoga.
Yoga, like meditation, is a journey and not a destination. Easy as it is to become discouraged when we see the person next to us in what looks like the perfect downward facing dog, or when someone seems able to meditate with stoic poise we simply don’t have yet, what’s important in both holistic wellness practices is our desire to show up. For ourselves, for the class, for the person we want to continue building towards. That’s why they call it practice; it’s not about being great at something immediately, it’s about consistently arriving at your mat and being willing to do the work to get to where you want to be.
Low impact ways to move your body and experience the benefits of being in motion: our Yoga line of products
At Saje, we offer a product line fittingly called Yoga, that was formulated many years ago in support of deeply grounding and harmonized feelings, finding a meditative state and a full mind and body reset. Our community has loved this intentional and restorative line of products as part of their wellness rituals, and we expect to see it continue to thrive.
Some of the best essential oils for yoga? We blended them into this product line. Yoga includes deeply earthy and herbaceous patchouli to help build a balanced connection between mind, body and spirit, neroli, a rich and nurturing citrus-floral that promotes a complete sense of peace and harmony and orange, known for its sweet and uplifting scent that supports brightness, lightness and a sense of optimism.
Yoga diffuser blend can be added to your favorite diffuser and diffused throughout the day or night according to your preference, to bring a state of mindfulness and overall well-being.
Yoga roll-on can be applied topically to the pulse points, like the temples, wrists and along the elbow creases before intention setting, mindful movement or any time you’re looking to feel blissful.
Yoga personal mist is a grounding and stabilizing blend to bring harmony and a state of balance to both the body and mind. Blended with peaceful and nurturing essential oils, we encourage you to spritz liberally over the hair, face and body when you need a cooling, balancing boost.
Yoga body butter is a rich, nourishing and deeply restorative blend of three base butters, shea, cocoa seed and mango seed to hydrate and plump the skin, while offering the grounding and soothing properties from the essential oils to keep you in harmony from head to toe.
Yoga room + mat spray was created to help freshen, cleanse and deodorize your space and your yoga mat before and after your practice, to create an intentional environment that helps send your focus inward.
Low impact ways to move your body and experience the benefits of being in motion: walking
Another one of the simplest ways to move your body that can yield the most beneficial results is walking. It requires little more than your own two legs and a willingness to pound the pavement, whether it’s in your own neighborhood, at your favorite park, or even on the treadmill at your gym. Walking is so highly touted because of the seemingly endless number of benefits it offers, including the release of natural painkilling endorphins to the body - one of the emotional benefits of exercise.
To accompany your walking practice, we offer a wide range of products that can help your body to feel loose and limber, as well as to help you recover with ease from simple strains, sprains and aches.
The Body Recovery kit is one of our most popular product offerings that includes three mini-sized products to support the physical body. Our Extra Strength roll-on supports relief from muscle aches and pains, Muscle Melt body butter soothes the muscles and tissues while hydrating the skin and kit-exclusive Cool Down mist offers a cooling and balancing effect after a workout or any type of movement.
We also love the Pain Release bath salts for helping to ease soreness and encourage warmth. They’re made with comforting essential oils of marjoram, roman chamomile, rosemary and Epsom salts that help your body recover and feel replenished.
Low impact ways to move your body and experience the benefits of being in motion: stretching
We know that when it comes to movement and recovery, one of the most supportive ways you can create an impact on your body is through stretching. Stretching helps to expand flexibility, to promote increased blood circulation, to increase range of motion and importantly, to reduce the risk of injury.
In this article from Harvard Health, a physical therapist named David Nolan from the Massachusetts General Hospital says, “A lot of people don't understand that stretching has to happen on a regular basis. It should be daily”. He goes on to say that "it may have taken you many months to get tight muscles, so you're not going to be perfectly flexible after one or two sessions. It takes weeks to months to get flexible, and you'll have to continue working on it to maintain it."
With this in mind, we like to incorporate the Pain Release body oil as part of our toolkit for holistic wellness, as it acts to provide slip to the skin that can help us in massaging and stretching out different parts of the body, like the quads, hamstrings and biceps. This fast-absorbing, non-greasy formula contains grapeseed, apricot kernel and vitamin E carrier oils to relieve, comfort and nourish the skin alongside essential oil powerhouses like marjoram, eucalyptus and cajeput to support topical TLC for sore muscles, body aches, pains and strains.
Exercise for mental health: mindfulness as an integral part of movement and recovery
The last aspect of mind body practice we’re sharing about today is perhaps the most important of all; it’s the idea that mindfulness plays an integral role in movement and recovery. So much has been said about the benefits of mindfulness, and it rings true for many of us – the unlock to the next level of our best selves lies in our willingness and ability to get right mentally, creating intentional time to lean into what mindfulness means to us.
Fortunately, the definition of mindfulness is broad and vast. The practices it accompanies include everything from journaling to yoga, biohacking to forest bathing, and time spent in nature to time spent in solitude. Take comfort in the fact that mindfulness is a deeply personal experience of present moment awareness that is intended to help create space in the body and mind for stillness, for reflection and for introspection that can often lead to a greater sense of knowing ourselves and feeling content in our life circumstances.
When we created the Mindful Pocket Farmacy back in 2021, we curated a kit of five roll-ons that were meaningfully blended to support mental, emotional and spiritual wellness. We included essential oils in the formulas like frankincense, cedarwood, cypress and sage, revered in aromatherapy and varying cultural practices for the ways in which they encourage inner stillness, contemplation, renewal of spirit and purposeful connection with the self and others.
The Mindful Pocket Farmacy contains Reflection, Energy, Unwind, Connection and kit-exclusive Confidence, blended to provide 100% natural, plant-based alternatives to conventional products for heightened awareness and to help encourage both the mind and body to feel renewed, restored and to function at a high level.
For diffusing in the home, we frequently find ourselves reaching for Present Moment, this warming and centering blend contains a unique assortment of essential oils, from bright and lively citruses of grapefruit and orange to grounding and restorative oils of frankincense and sandalwood. This blend is a perfect harmony of uplift and wind down, great for diffusing during your mindfulness rituals.
Biohacking, forest bathing and more: trends to watch in 2024
As a natural wellness company, we keep a close eye on what’s forecasted to trend each year in the movement, recovery and mindfulness space. In past years we’ve seen an emphasis on sweating out toxins in the sauna, a renewed focus on supplements and the quest for the optimal protein level in your diet. In 2024, two of the top trends we’re keeping attuned to are biohacking and forest bathing.
- Bio-what? Oh, biohacking. According to Forbes magazine, biohacking is a term used to describe various tips and tricks for enhancing the body’s ability to function at peak performance—and maybe even extend one’s lifespan. It can include a wide range of small, incremental changes that a person undertakes to optimize mental and physical performance to improve their health and well-being. There’s a lot of strong evidence to say it’s important to investigate the specific and highly personalized ways we can each benefit from tweaks and adjustments to what we consume, how we move and how we sleep, for example, so we’re keeping our eyes and ears open this year.
- Healing in the forest: hello, forest bathing. In Japan where forest bathing is largely believed to have originated, forest bathing is a vital part of an overall preventative healthcare strategy. Don’t get it twisted; it’s not the same thing as going for a long hike or a trail run. A part of what makes forest bathing so enticing is that it’s largely meant to be undefined. Some say it’s a slow walk in the woods, absorbing your surroundings through your senses. Some say it’s like a wide-awake meditation, focusing on details of the journey that inspire deep contemplation. However it is you define forest bathing, we’re here for the extra encouragement to spend concentrated time in nature, breathing deeply the freshness and the wisdom of the trees and other fauna. If you want to bring the aromas of the outdoors indoors, try diffusing our forest-inspired blends like Rain Forest and Mountain High, made with lush tree scents like balsam fir, pine and cedarwood. Let’s cultivate a rich and rewarding experience of being here now.