Feel a bug coming on? One of the decisions to make is whether to continue your practice as normal or whether it’s better to take a few days off to recuperate. The answer is that it’s not as simple as a yes or no question. When you are under the weather, consider these tips about when you should practice and when you should hold off:
You’re never too sick for meditation.
While most of us think about the physical activities associated with yoga, the mental ones are just as important. If you are feeling too achy and fatigued for a full asana, at least spend some time in quiet meditation. It will help you stay centered and focus more fully on getting well again.
Just do what you feel comfortable with.
If you have a headache, a full aerial yoga session complete with inversions is probably not a good idea. When the flu leaves you stiff, it is likely that any poses that push the limits of your flexibility will be out. Listen to your body and adjust your workout to fit what you are currently up to. When we first begin yoga, we are told that the goal is not to push as far as you can but to do only as much as you can while keeping your breathing smooth and even. Do what you can while focusing on your breath, even if it is less intense than your usual routine.
Make sure you stay nourished and hydrated.
Having enough fuel and water is important even when you are at 100%. When you are sick, it becomes even more important to ensure that you are feeding your body. If you can’t keep down full meals, sip broth and eat foods that are gentle on your body, like yogurt. Drink tea to ensure that you are getting enough liquid even when it hurts to swallow.
Simple stretches can help.
If you are feeling sore and stiff, doing a few gentle stretches can be just the right thing. These restorative movements can help ease pain and aid in relaxation. Aim for about 60 to 70% of the intensity of your usual routine to ensure you do not push yourself too far and add injuries to your illness.
Make sure you don’t pass it on.
Above all else, it’s a good idea to stay away from the studio if you might be contagious. Even though yoga mats and aerial yoga hammocks are cleaned and disinfected regularly, the chances of infecting someone else in your class are too high.
Careful attention to your body’s needs can help you get through your illness faster and get back to full health. Stick with whatever level of activity suits you best, get plenty of rest and come back to join us when you are back to full health.