I’m sick. Again. Since sending my youngest to Playschool for the first time in September, where she seems to pick up a new bug every week, the whole family has been sick off and on for two months. Happy times! No, not really.
It’s that time of year. Cold and flu season. The weather has changed and we commence the stretch of being cooped up inside, openly sharing our nasty germs with whomever comes our way.
While washing your hands has got to be the single most sure-fire way to avoid getting sick (my hands are raw from cleansing them a hundred times a day), there is another trick available to you to help boost your immune system and stave off those malicious viruses. YOGA!
Everyone knows that leading a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise and eating well is going to help keep you from getting sick in the first place, and minimize your down-time when you do succumb to a virus. Yoga can help with this ten-fold. Unlike most other forms of exercise, yoga includes something more to help you - Savasana. It forces you to lay the fuck down and relax. As long as you do it. I know some of you yogis skip it sometimes (insert stern look here)! Pranayama, or yoga breathing, also helps you to relax your entire being.
Being tired and run-down is one of the top reasons people get sick or are sick for a longer period of time. You just HAVE to get that report done; you can’t take a sick day, you have a meeting; heaven forbid little Johnny miss a hockey practice so you can sleep in and get some rest! My youngest daughter has been teething/sick/having a growth spurt/having separation anxiety/being a terrible two-year old for the last month. Needless to say, I was worn right out. I got sick. Such is life. But, after allowing myself a solid 10 hours of sleep (thanks honey!) and a few restorative yoga practices, my cold was fairly mild and is almost out the door.
Yoga also helps to get those healing juices in your body flowing. Practicing poses that include twists mushes up your insides, activating your lymphatic system. Inversions also help to get those liquids moving to parts of your body it sometimes has a hard time reaching.
Practicing yoga brings you back to that place of tranquillity where you are reminded that you and your health are important. It allows you to calm your mind and relax your body, even if just for a short while, so your body can find the rest it needs to mend.
So, the next time you feel that all too familiar tickle in your throat (or before it gets to that point) lay down in Supta Baddha Konasana and give yourself permission to heal.
Or you could eat some Chicken Noodle Soup-ta Baddha Konasana J