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TIPS FOR ATS® REUNION
Self-care is important ALL the time! But here are some tips for before, during and after ATS® Reunion
Since many of us don’t actually give our selves enough self-care and self-love on a daily, weekly or even monthly basis, it’s really important that you spend some time the days before Reunion to do just that.
You are about to spend a lot of time with A LOT of dancers. Sharing space, sharing energy, sharing meals and most of us even sharing beds. Taking the time to ensure you are 100% is essential for you to have the best experience.
Make it a point to drink your full 2.7 liters or 11 cups a day. Of course everyone is going to be slightly different.
Hydration - You will be dancing a lot, sweating a lot, out of your normal routine AND you’ll likely be flying. All of these things are dehydrating so its important to start now!
Immune System – It’s flu season and you are about to spend a lot of time with 100 of your closest friends. Getting in enough fluids helps your immune system
Water increases Energy and blood flow!
Muscles need water for optimum function. It helps elasticity, rebuilding, removes toxins and helps maintain electrolyte balance which will keep your muscles from cramping.
Digestion – Water is essential for proper digestion. More about this later!
Most everyone is on a diet because….resolutions. But it’s important you are getting enough nutrition to be sustainable. Right before Reunion is not the time for a juice diet or to change up your routine, unless it’s to eat less sugar or processed foods.
Try to eat nutritious, whole foods, but make sure you get enough food! You will need the energy.
Pretty sure everyone is in GO mode with extra dancing, extra rehearsals, etc. But REST is just as important. You don’t want to arrive tired, worn out, burnt out on your choreography or worse…. Sick because your immune system is down. Troupe directors – I need you to back me up on this!
Vitamin C is your best friend right now. It’s flu season, your immune system will be down because you will be really active, mentally drained (in the best way) and all the other things that come with travel in general. Plus….it’s flu season!
Probiotics are a great idea to begin taking, if you aren’t already. Digestion is a huge part of your immunity and overall health. Part of self-care is to make sure your physical body continues to function normally. Travel, sharing hotel rooms, being out of your normal time zone and eating different foods can all take a toll. Prep your digestion now with plenty of water and probiotics.
Light stretching and exercise. Prep your body, but don’t muscle fatigue yourself every day a week before Reunion.
If you are prone to stress and anxiety, try a few minutes each day of breathing (pranayama) and meditation.
PREP YOUR FAMILY, FRIENDS AND WORK
Reiterate to your work and family that you will be UNAVAILABLE (or limited access) for those days!! Turn on your auto responder and TRUST that you can take a few days away without the world ending
All the things we’ve already mentioned should continue during and after the event. But here are a few more things to consider for self-care during Reunion.
Try to stick with some kind of routine. Personally, I wake up at least an hour before I need to get ready so I can have coffee, check emails and generally ease into my day. For me, waking up last minute, throwing on my dance gear and running to the venue is not good self-care. Go ahead and think about your hotel morning routine.
I know for many people it’s hard to eat first thing in the morning, but it’s important you arrive to class ready to go. You WANT to have the energy and stamina to make it all day right? Then trust me, eat a good, healthy breakfast. You don’t have to gorge on French toast, but definitely eat!
take snacks to class. Bananas, granola bars, things you can easily eat with your hands between classes is a great snack. You’ll want to keep your energy up. But stay away from sugar binges and energy drinks if you can because the crash is super hard when you are dancing all day and then have a long night ahead of you.
DURING THE DAY
Put your phone on silent! Put your phone on silent! Put your phone on silent!
Seriously, try to be present! If you can’t, then at least allow others the pleasure of not hearing the phone ring. When people hear a phone ring, not only does it distract the class, but in most cases it can instantly cause anxiety because your mind jumps to “what is wrong”, “who is calling?”, “what’s wrong with my kids?”, “Did a tragedy happen at work?”
Don’t do that to yourself or others. Try to disconnect.
GO TO THE YOGA CLASS
Notice I said GO to the yoga class and not GO DO YOGA.
The morning sessions (at least the Saturday and Sunday ones) are your time. They are designed to help you get the most out of your day. Warm up your muscles for better flexion and extension, warm up the lungs for better breathing and stamina, get the mind in the right place.
Please do not be intimidated or think you can’t attend because it’s too much or too hard.
I encourage anyone to come into my class on Saturday and just simply BE. Sit in the back against the wall and just breathe. Take some time for yourself. If you do nothing but sit there and breathe, that is your yoga! Take what you need from that class. Even if it’s just a peaceful space to start your day.
Most people are used to taking one to three hours of class a couple times a week. You are about to take 6 hours of classes a day for three days. If you need to sit out and take notes DO IT! That’s not to say that you shouldn’t challenge yourself, but just recognize if you are tired, joints hurt, etc. You don’t need to hurt yourself and you certainly don’t need to be self-critical just because you needed to sit out for a while. You take care of YOU.
The healing room is open during class time. If you get a little overwhelmed with people or simply need some time to stretch, meditate, etc. This is a great spot to do that! They’ve even provided yoga mats and a foam roller! Since most of us share a room with others, this could be your only “escape” from everyone. Also, Cheryl will be providing massage therapy too!!
Try not to check emails and voicemails between classes. Enjoy the full experience of where you are. It’s an immersion, don’t get pulled out of it. Don’t let others steal your precious time at Reunion. For goodness sake, don’t check Facebook! All your friends are at Reunion anyway! You can go back and check photos and updates when you get back to your room or even better….. On Monday at work! Enjoy the time with the people IN REAL LIFE.
This is important! Most classes end with a quick little cool down (MOST), but that’s really not enough to press “reset” on your body. Bringing your body back to homeostasis after a big day of dance tells your body it’s time to begin recovery and repair. It transitions your body from “fight or flight” to “rest and digest” which is important when you have another 2-3 days of dancing ahead of you. Gaia Sophia offers a 30 minute cool down every day after classes. Please take advantage of this to prep yourself for the evening activities and the following day of dance.
I’m not afraid to admit that some evenings between classes and show I just need a nap!! Especially if I’m not performing because then I don’t have all the adrenaline pumping all night. Know your body and your limits. Recharge by resting!
DINNER and HYDRATE
Refuel your body and try to rehydrate! Don’t dehydrate yourself just cause it took you forever to get into your costume. Remember, it’s not the end of the day, it’s the next day eve! You have to prep yourself for the next days’ classes.
Limit alcohol to just one or two drinks a night. It can really take a toll on your body and you want to be 100% every day for classes! Not in your room until noon when you come downstairs and everyone knows where you were last night and what you were doing (except you) thanks to social media. Eh-hem…. Just saying.
I know some people are iffy about taking a bath at a hotel. But if that’s part of your self-care routine, Clorox wipes are great to just wipe out and rinse the bathtub.
Epsom salts - The theory is that when you soak in an Epsom salt bath, the magnesium and sulfates get into your body through your skin. That hasn't been proven, but just soaking in warm water can help relax muscles and loosen stiff joints.
Muscle rub – I LOVE stinky muscle rub, but not everyone does. I found biofreeze works really well and there is practically no smell.
Tennis balls, foam rollers – Nothing feels as good as rubbing a tennis ball under your feet after a full day of dance! Travel foam rollers are a great investment too.
Lisa is going to talk all about sleep on Thursday at 7:30pm central so please watch.
ROOMATES AND FRIENDS
Respect each others’ self-care needs. Its ok if you don’t understand why someone has to go to bed at 9pm. That’s what THEY need so just be respectful of your roommates.
STAY CLEAN AND ORGANIZED
Keep yourself and your hotel room neat and organized. If you can’t find your zils or choli you will have a mini freak out session. You certainly don’t want to forget anything or lose anything. Self care is also about your surroundings. Use the evening to put away your things from the day and set out your clothes and props for the following day.
GRATITUDE AND POSITIVITY
End your day on a positive note! What did you love? What did you learn?
Try to take Monday and/or Tuesday off! If not try to take the following weekend and just rest!!
Continue to eat well and drink plenty of water so you can rebuild and repair muscles!
It will be tempting to immediately start scheduling rehearsals and extra practices to share and practice everything you learned at Reunion, but be nice to your body and take a couple of days to rest. If it’s in your budget, massage therapy would be a wonderful way to recoup from the weekend!!
Use those days to reflect on your time at Reunion. Maybe journal about what you learned, what you want to incorporate into your training or classes? This way you are resting, but still feeling productive.
Also take this time to find all your new friends on social media, post your favorite photos and enjoy the overall love fest that happens on social media after this event! You’ve just made about 100 new friends for life! Take some time to acknowledge them.
And finally, start planning for next year!! I hear Phoenix has some great spas that might be perfect for an extended stay of self-care after Reunion!