Staying Healthy During Transitions

As our Summer in Florida finally transitions into Fall, I find myself and my daughter coughing and feverish as our bodies catch up to the changing seasons.  

Sick happens to everyone, and even more so to people who interact often with others!  Below, I’ll share some of my favorite preventatives and remedies, and how my yoga practice shifts when I’m feeling under the weather.

Preventative

  1.  Listen to your body and take it easy when your energy is lacking.  That means if you feel like you need to go to bed early, please do so.  It might mean missing out on something in the moment, but it could be just the time and space your body needs to activate your immune system and keep you from getting sick.
  2. Ujayi Breath, or activating the glottis while you inhale and exhale raises your internal temperature just enough to make your body inhospitable to germs.  (This is not recommended during pregnancy.)
  3. The Joint Freeing Series is a kriya of yoga postures that works progressively through the joints in your body to introduce freedom and movement.  While not part of my daily practice, I make it a point to go through the series at least once a month to keep my joints happy and healthy and to keep stale energy from stagnating in my body.
  4. Work the Lymphatic System.  Your lymph system is your body’s natural immunity, and it works best when the fluids are moving easily.  Since the lymph system doesn’t have it’s own pump, you need to activate it by moving around.  A flowing practice that includes lots of phalakasana (plank) jump-backs and some type of inversion (shoulderstand, downward dog, or legs up the wall) will encourage those fluids to move and activate your body towards better health.

Healing

  1. Deep breathing will help your body heal.  Take deep diaphramatic breaths and focus on getting as much oxygen into each inhale as you can.  Studies have shown that when you’re able to fully oxygenate your body, you release natural wastes, increase cellular respiration, and boost your immune system.
  2. Your lymph nodes become swollen when your body is struggling to heal.  Massage behind your knee to release that major lymph node.  Take a soak in a bath with Epsom Salts and your favorite essential oil, and drink lots of liquids to help release accumulated toxins.
  3. Natural Remedies I keep a steady supply of Propolis Spray and local honey to take at the first sign of illness.  My essential oi diffuser is always on while I sleep, but it works overtime when I get sick.  I like to diffuse On Guard and Helichrysum oil to decrease congestion and cleanse the air.

Practice

  1. Slow Your Practice Down.  Utilize twists and slower movements to honor where you are in this moment.  This might be a great time to explore the benefits of a Yoga Nidra practice.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Psl9FKh6qPg
  2. Reiki.  If you’re attuned, now is a great opportunity to return to giving yourself reiki.  Spend your down time applying Reiki where you need it.  If you can’t place your hands on an area that is aching or sore, trust in the knowledge that all is connected and place your hands somewhere comfortable, like on your heart or on your belly.  The reiki energy where flow where it is needed to return your body to optimal health.  If you’re not attuned, schedule a session so I can help you return to health!
  1. Meditation  I love to practice meditation when I’m healthy too, but if I’m too sick to get out of bed, then I’ll practice a seated or a led meditation instead of my normal yoga routine.  Our bodies and mind are intricately connected, and you have the power to shift both when you focus on the one.

I hope this helps you get through cold and flu season either completely healthy or with very short times being out of commission!  Remember to be easy with yourself and honor where you are, and to keep those healthy liquids flowing.  Please share your favorite remedy in the comments below!