Yoga Wellbeing classes are filling up with yogis who are using their regular yoga practice to work against all the colds and flus going around. You can’t always keep the colds of winter from stuffing up your head and slowing down your body. Before you know it, you may be wondering if you should attempt your yoga practice or retreat to bed. Here’s a little bit of Yoga Wellbeing inspiration;
TREAT YOURSELF If you feel you need to take something for your symptoms, try to avoid antibiotics, and even over-the-counter cold remedies aren’t very practical, since many contain five drugs when all you need is one or two. Perhaps you could try individual remedies, like lozenges for a sore throat. For nasal congestion, add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to boiling water and inhale the vapors. Although it’s still not clear how effective echinacea, zinc lozenges, vitamin C, and homeopathic preparations can be, you can still try them, since they are all generally very safe and could be the remedy you need.
LISTEN CLOSE Check in with your body before practice. If you’re wiped out, you could make things worse by pushing through your normal routine, so try a gentle or restorative practice instead and skip strong breathing techniques. Once your energy improves, you can gradually return to a more vigorous practice even if you still have a cough or your nose is stuffy. If you feel worse after practicing, it’s a sign that you’ve probably done too much. Take it easy and be kind to yourself.
TRY OUT SOME POSITIVE VIBRATIONS Vibrations from humming have been shown to open the sinuses and help get rid of phelgm, which can relieve pressure and may even help stave off a bacterial infection of the sinuses. Try chanting Om, or, for nasal congestion, experiment with the pranayama practice of Bhramari: Press your lips together and make the sound of a buzzing bee.
STAY UPRIGHT If your head is stuffed up or you’re feeling tired, avoid inversions like Headstand and Handstand. Even Shoulderstand can worsen nasal congestion and head pressure.
SUPPORT YOURSELF Even restful poses like Savasana (Corpse Pose) aren’t easy when you’re congested, so instead of lying flat, support your back on a bolster running lengthwise from your lower spine to your head, with a folded blanket under the head and neck if needed. This makes breathing easier, and it’s more energizing.