I woke up in the middle of a stormy night a couple days ago, fevered and sore. The tossing and turning went on for hours, icepack on the face and neck, to no avail. Yes, it may be taboo to say, but yoga teachers get sick, too.
Maybe it's stress, lack of rest, or a few too many with your Poppa, celebrating Father's Day weekend. Whatever ails ya, we've a few ideas how yoga can help.
Here’s a quick list of tips and tricks I use to help my body do its healing job a bit faster:
Balasana was the only thing that brought relief and sleep on my fitful night. If you plan to stay in this pose for an extended amount of time (or sleep in it), I’d recommend placing pillows or a rolled blanket behind your knees. That way you’ll maintain blood circulation to your feet. I doubt even acupuncturists like those pins and needles.
Hot water (tea and lemon optional)
You know how good it feels to go into a hot tub or steam room when your muscles are sore? Blood, lymphatic fluid, snot- they all move better in the heat, where they stay liquid and flowy. Keeping hydrated is especially important when the body is healing from anything. Drinking hot water will help heat up and move out any kind of roadblock in the digestive system. It also feels great on sore throats.
Twisting poses are all about neutralizing. They’re often used at the end of practice before savasana to neutralize any last issues in the spine before rest. Since sickness is all about imbalance or blockage, they’ll help neutralize that, too. My favorite, Thread the Needle, comes from Child’s Pose. Lift to all fours, reach right arm up. Send right arm through the left hand and knee, resting your upper arm and side of head on the ground. For a little extra, your left palm can connect to your right palm to help you twist more. Make sure to do the left side, too.
The simplest and most powerful practice I know for healing is paying attention to the breath. Full inhales, longer than you think you can, and full exhales, longer than you think you can, are the key. The body will heal in its own time; the breath heals the mind. And we all know that where the mind goes, the body follows.
Have any yoga practices you use to heal or comfort yourself when you’re recovering? Let us know.
Written by Corey Loftus
Founder / Visionary : constantly quotable
Corey is a husband, yogi and father to a fur-child named Eddy.
He began his meditation journey with HapKiDo as a child and asana practice with the Tibetan Bon Tradition of yoga in university.