We truly believe that:
- Self-care for groomers is extremely important
- Groomers need more resources for self-care
So, we’re here to provide some resources accessible to groomers for self-care. Déja has prepared 3 different yoga poses that are perfect to release all the tension in the places groomers hang onto it most and she would know best – she’s the owner of True Vibes Unleashed and a full-time groomer.
In our previous blog, Déja discusses how she got into yoga and how much it has made an impact on her body. From becoming less clumsy to achieving better balance and eradicating pain in her body.
Here are three great daily yoga poses that stretch different parts of the body and then we will discuss how to make some tiny steps towards being healthier overall.
1. Shoulder Opener
Lie on your belly and extend you right arm out to the side. Make sure your wrist is in line with your shoulder and roll onto the right side of your body. You should feel a yummy stretch in the front of your shoulder. If you don’t feel it, bend your left knee and place your foot down on the mat. You can also bend both knees.
If you have very open shoulders, roll back onto your belly and cactus your arm at a 90 degree angle. Roll back onto your right side with the same options to bend one or both knees. Stay here for a few minutes then slowly roll back onto your belly. Repeat on the left side.
I love to do this stretch when I first wake up before I even get out of bed!
Inhale and lift your arms straight up. Exhale and hinge from your hips. Grab your elbows and hang loose to lengthen your hamstrings. If this is too intense, bend you knees. Let your head hang heavy. You can swing back and forth or shake your head in a “yes” or “no” movement to help release neck tension.
This pose is highly accessible and can be done any time of the day, but I recommend doing this in the morning before eating breakfast. This is also a great option after you’ve finished grooming a large or heavy dog.
3. Hero Pose
Come to your knees and sit back on your heels with your toes pointed towards the back of the mat. Create a tall spine by pulling the crown of your head up. This is an intense stretch for your feet and arches. If it’s too intense, place a blanket, pillow, or towels in between your thighs and calves. If you need a more intense stretch, sit in between your heels. A couple of minutes in this pose may relieve foot aches and helps with Plantar Fasciitis.
We also recommend that you check out this video where Déja shows how to stretch your shoulders with two piles of towels. See below for an example.
What advice do you have for a pet professional that is looking to make some healthier changes?
Start with small, easy, actionable steps you can do today. If you want to run in the morning, set a goal of putting your shoes on when you wake up. If you keep going, great! If you take them off and go back to sleep, that's still great! You moved in the right direction. Now it's time to come up with a plan of what you will do next time you want to take your shoes back off. Maybe this time you put them by the door so that it's easier to go for your run. This process helps you understand that failure is part of the process but it's what you do to overcome it that keeps you engaged in the journey.
Do you have any recommendations for healthy eating?
I believe that everybody is an individual and one way of eating may be healthy to one person yet harmful to another. Personally, I have always struggled with gaining weight. If I don’t consistently keep eating throughout the day and build muscle, I will quickly become underweight. There are many factors that go into healthy eating such as age, weight, gender, health issues, and food intolerance or allergies. If you are serious about changing your diet and have already tried many ways of eating, consider hiring a personal nutritionist.
I do have one tip I can share from experience. If your goal is to give up or reduce caffeine or sugar in your diet, keep in mind that these are addictive substances and you may have withdrawal symptoms such as extreme irritability and headaches. Meditation and focused breathing can help you get through tough cravings. Any time you are making a change in your diet, let your friends, family, and coworkers know ahead of time that you may be more irritated than normal as your body adjusts. This will help others around you be more understanding and help you succeed instead of taking offense.
What would you say to a groomer that is just starting out?
The world of dog grooming is exciting and there is much to learn! There will be days you are too exhausted to remember to care of yourself. Just remember - you can't do this work without your body. Your thoughts are deeply connected to how you move your body and how animals feel around you. Begin building awareness of self and be responsible for the energy you bring into the grooming salon. If your coworkers are having a tough day, you have the power to bring positive energy into the space. If your working environment is emotionally draining no matter how hard you try to inspire positive change, take the time to think about what kind of groomer you want to be and what kind of space you need to be in to foster the future you envision.
Thank You, Déja
We are so glad Déja shared her knowledge of self-care and yoga for pet professionals. We can agree that the grooming industry might not always be the healthiest industry. It is hard to take care of yourself when you’re grooming many dogs. Taking the time to eat right and make sure you take care of your body is hard. It’s easier to grab something from McDonald’s. It’s easier to not work out or do some stretches today. But we can guarantee that the benefits far outweigh the effort that goes into it. Your future self will certainly thank you.
One thing we’ve heard mentioned over and over again: I can’t do yoga, I’m not flexible.
Our response: That’s why you do it! 🤣
We also have some practicing yogis here at Ryan’s Pet Supplies and we can agree that the changes we have experienced since beginning to practice yoga have been amazing. From improved mental health and acuity to getting rid of pain in the body, the benefits have been uncountable. While mental health and self-care are topics that affect everyone, we are so excited to see that there are groomers out there are fostering a sense of self-worth and self-love for the others in the community.
Like Déja said, all you have to do is start somewhere small. You don’t have to go out and run 15 miles tomorrow. You don’t need to be doing advanced yoga poses the first week you start.
Just start somewhere and work your way up. Make focusing on yourself a priority.
You and your health are your greatest asset!