Friday, October 21, 2011

Yoga and the Common Cold

I am sick today. Not super-horrible-feeling-like-total-garbage sick, but I have a pretty nasty head cold. I rolled out my yoga mat to practice and got as far as Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana) and... well... that was that. I just don't have it in me today.
I went onto youtube to see if I could find any great yoga videos like "How to use yoga to get rid of your cold RIGHT NOW!" but no such luck.
All I found was what I already knew, that when you're sick you need to rest and take it easy. You can do some simple restorative poses or just lay down on your mat and breathe. Mainly, you just need to relax.
But relaxing can be hard! Even when I'm sick I have a part of me that says "GET UP! You need to practice yoga today! You have to do it EVERY DAY. You have to get better at it NOW."

I'm ignoring that voice today. I understand that yoga is about meeting and accepting my body where it is right now. I don't have to have my heels touch the floor in Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana). I don't have to have my head on my knees in Seated Forward Bend (Paschimothanasana), which is good because I can't do either of those things right now. But that's okay. We need to be gentle with ourselves and remind ourselves that it's not a competition. There's no time limit or grading system and the Yoga Police will not come arrest you if you can''t loosen up those hamstrings a little.
So today, I will relax as much as my two girls will let me. I will eat soup and drink tea and take a hot bath. I will accept that today might not be the best day to advance my "yoga body", but perhaps doing nothing will be just what I need to advance my "yoga mind".

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