I’m usually pretty resilient when it comes to sidestepping colds. As soon as one of the teens or my husband catches a cold, I start taking Kick-Ass Immune, an organic, herbal immune booster by WishGarden herbs. I’ve managed to prevent myself from catching a cold numerous times, just by taking this supplement. However, last week, every single person in the house had a cold, and were coughing and sneezing all over the place, so despite my best efforts, my body succumbed too.
Once I realize I’m in full-blown cold mode, I give in and take myself to bed. As much as I dislike interrupting my work flow (I do love my work as a writer and communicator), and resist giving up my regular asana practice, I know that nothing cures a cold faster than complete and utter rest.
I spent all of last Friday and part of Saturday in bed, sleeping and reading. Mostly sleeping. I also did some yoga nidra. This was so effective that by Sunday evening I was already feeling up to visiting the beach for a bit. I can’t praise enough the benefits of pressing pause in a world that wants us to be on the go at all times. I used to feel guilty when I got sick, but studying yoga philosophy and focusing on the now has helped ease that!
Now, even when I’m down with a cold, I’ve found that practicing a little restorative yoga helps me feel better physically, mentally and emotionally while still taking care of myself. I keep a bolster, blanket and yoga blocks at the foot of the bed, and whenever I feel I’ve had it with lying in bed but I’m still not up to walking around, I indulge in a few restorative poses.
I diffuse eucalyptus and tea tree oil in the room, play some calming music, and then hold each of the following poses for around five minutes. I confess I don’t really time myself, but at the end of it all, around twenty minutes have gone by, maybe even thirty. And at least I’ve focused on my breathing and allowed myself to fully relax with the intention to heal.
It could be any chest opener, but I like this supported fish pose, where the bolster is under my thorax. It feels great when I’m congested. You could also use blocks, or just one block on the lowest setting. If you have none of this, use a pillow.
Supported twist, once on each side
I can tell you I’m usually not smiling when I’m sick, but thankfully I take the photos when I’m well and healthy and feeling great. 😀
To get into this twist, get your legs parallel to the bolster or pillow, then twist so that chest is facing the bolster and your hands are to the sides of it. Then gently hinge forward and relax into it. You can also use several bolsters or pillows or prop up the bolster with blocks. As long as it’s comfortable for you, it will be fine.
I love child’s pose because of how grounding and nurturing it feels. I’m not using a prop here, but I could, and usually do when I’m not feeling well. I would have it right under my torso and belly, like in the featured photo of this post. It feels absolutely wonderful. I have even fallen asleep in child’s pose!
I hope this helps you relax and restore when you have a cold, by triggering the rest and digest response offered by restorative yoga!