Yoga is an excellent way to prevent illness and stay healthy all year round. However, in today’s world it’s almost impossible to practice yoga when you’re sick. Positive thinking is what we all need as we go through the everyday hustle and bustle of the modern world, but not everyone practices yoga in the most positive of ways. We all know that illness is part of life. The key is to learn how to cope with it positively.
As you probably know by now, when you are sick, your immune system is on high alert to fight illness. So, the more you practice yoga, the better your immune system works. Which means that when you are sick, you should practice yoga. Let me explain: you may think it’s a good idea to avoid getting sick. But, when your immune system is weakened, you are more susceptible to infection. In addition, when you practice yoga, you are strengthening your immune system. Over time, you can actually reduce the likelihood of getting sick.
Yoga is a type of exercise that some people consider to be a way of life. Some who practice it regularly consider it to be more than just exercise. It’s a way of life, because it’s something that you feel fundamentally connected to. You are part of a whole that goes beyond the surface, so you can see, hear, feel, and touch things differently. And that’s all because you understand that you are part of something bigger.
It’s that time of the year again. As we usher in the New Year, we also usher in the cold and flu season. It’s no wonder that end-of-year deadlines and holidays drain you; there are so many reasons to scurry about on little sleep and, should we say, not the healthiest eating habits. We’ve all been in that situation (I say this as I use my 20th tissue and drink my up-teenth cup of hot tea while typing this column). The cold/flu season poses a dilemma for yogis. When you’re ill, should you practice yoga?
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Your Mother Will Disapprove; The Answer Isn’t Always No
Most mothers and the medical community would probably say no, but it’s not always that simple for yogis who don’t want to miss their mat time (like me). In addition, there are instances when a modest yoga practice may really aid in the battle against a sickness. Twists, backbends, and inversions are excellent for kicking our internal buttocks and supporting our immune system. Even simple stretches and exercise may help us feel energized and uplifted enough to go through an illness.
However, there is a significant “but.”
A moderate yoga practice, on the other hand, is the important word here. I’ve always gotten ill when I was on the brink of being sick and pushed myself in a particularly difficult session. In such cases, I’d overworked myself to the point where my immune system had been compromised long enough for a disease to strike. If you’re considering whether or not to roll your mat out near a tissue box, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Before we proceed any further, you should consult your doctor, mother, and yoga instructor for any necessary cautionary advise. This column is solely concerned with non-life threatening winter illnesses such as the dreaded cold. If you have a more severe condition, you should first contact your doctor before devising your own personalized regimen.
- If you’re on the brink of a full-blown cold or good health, here’s what you should do. My advice is to be careful and vigilant if you wish to practice. Instead of going for the whole 110 percent, practice at 60-70 percent. Rest more, hydrate more, and go with the flow. A moderate practice may sometimes make you feel more energetic. If your strength begins to wane or you just feel worse, you may rest in Child’s Pose (Balasana) or Corpse Pose (Savasana) or change gears to some moderate sitting stretches to keep moving while avoiding straining your immune system.
- If you’re dealing with the worst sickness you’ve ever had, my advice is to avoid physical activity. In addition to whatever recovery regimen your doctor recommends, your first order of business is to relax, rest, rest. This time may also be used to practice other aspects of yoga, such as meditation or very mild, cleaning breath exercises. Remember that yoga is still an activity, and that going on your mat during this time may be stressing your already weakened immune system. Furthermore, practicing in a group environment exposes you to the danger of transmitting germs to the rest of the class. Unfortunately, hot, humid yoga rooms may be excellent germ breeders. As a result, you must consider not just your own health but also the health of others around you.
- When you’re feeling better, my advice is to: Gradually return to your practice. Be patient and aware of your body’s healing process. It’s important to exercise moderation, much as when you’re on the brink of catching a cold. If you give in to the temptation to hot-dog it on the mat too quickly, you risk re-weakening yourself. Instead, now is the moment to devote yourself to regaining your strength so that you may practice happiness again.
The Best Medicine Is To Take Care Of Yourself On The Inside And Out
“Disease, dullness, uncertainty, carelessness, sloth, sensuality, erroneous perception, inability to achieve solid footing and sliding from the ground gained—these diversions of the mind-stuff are the obstacles,” says Patanjali in one of his Yoga Sutras (1:30). It may be difficult to accomplish or concentrate on anything else successfully without a healthy physique. So treat yourself with kindness and nourishment. Combine your attentive, body-friendly asana practices with a daily dosage of Vitamin C, Echinacea, or other natural preventives. Increase your consumption of healthy, nutritious foods, and, of course, nothing beats a good night’s sleep for warding off any possible viruses.
Practice being healthy so that you may continue to be happy for a long time!
When you get sick, you know you should take it easy. But when you’re sick, how can you take it easy? The answer is simple: Yoga! By practicing Yoga you can feel better, and by feeling better, you can feel better enough to take it easy. It’s a win-win situation!. Read more about yoga when your sick and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it OK to do yoga when sick?
Yoga is a great way to relieve stress and help you feel better. However, if you are sick, its best to avoid doing anything that might make your condition worse.
Is it OK to do yoga during fever?
Yes, it is perfectly safe to do yoga during a fever.
Is Hot yoga good if you are sick?
I am not a doctor, but it is generally considered to be good for you.
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