Yoga When You Are Sick
On the final day of our 30 day new year challenge we will be answering the question, “What yoga should you do when you are sick?” These are my top tips for what yoga to do when you are sick, the best yoga do do when you are sick, whether you have a cold or a flu. Getting a cold or a flu or a cough and a cold is a normal part of being a human being, and one of the most frequently asked questions I get is what yoga can I do when I am sick. This is an important question to ask, because if you do the wrong yoga, you can get more sick, but if you do the right yoga you can support your body on the road to recovery.
One of the best kinds of yoga you can practice when you are sick is yoga nidra or sleep yoga. Nidra means sleep. Yoga nidra is a sleep based conscious relaxation meditation technique. It is a yogic sleep where you are guided from a dream state into a deep sleep state and finally to a deep state of relaxation where your thoughts drop right off and yet you are still aware. Yoga nidra is incredibly healing and I will explain why in this video. Once you have rested and repaired with yoga nidra, another style of yoga that is incredibly beneficial when you are sick is restorative yoga. I am going to share with you the most healing restorative yoga pose in this video and explain why it is healing in this short yoga video for when you are sick.
One of the most frequently asked questions I get is what yoga should I do when I am sick. This is an important question to ask, because if you do the wrong yoga, you can get more sick, but if you do the right yoga you can support your body on the road to recovery.
One of the best kinds of yoga you can practice when you are sick is yoga nidra or sleep yoga. Nidra means sleep. Yoga nidra is a sleep based conscious relaxation meditation technique. It is a yogic sleep where you are guided from a dream state into a deep sleep state and finally to a deep state of relaxation where your thoughts drop right off and yet you are still aware.
Yoga nidra or Sleep Yoga is a form of meditation where you get the benefits of meditation and a deep night sleep. If you have practiced yoga before you will be familiar with savasana or corpse pose where you lie down at the end of a yoga class. Yoga nidra is kind of like that except you get to lie down for longer while you are guided through rotating your consciousness through your body.
Why is this form of yoga beneficial when you sleep? The link between restorative sleep and the ability of your immune system to do its job effectively is unequivocal. For example, T cells are a type of white blood cells the are crucial to your body’s immune system. T cells attack viruses and other pathogens that invade the body. When you are in a deep resting phase, like you are led into during yoga nidra, your body is able to release T cells, growth hormones and epinephrine back into your body to help fight viruses and pathogens.
Put simply your body cells repair themselves when you are in the deep rest state of sleep, there is a building and maintenance of your immune system, and your body rests, restores and repairs your body in an integrated way when you enter into the deep rest of sleep states that you are taken into during yoga nidra.
I have several yoga nidra classes in my membership community.
Plus I will link to the yoga nidra I recorded in 2010: Click Here
However, do not lose sleep over this. One of my main intentions in 2018 is to start teaching A LOT more yoga nidra. So be sure to subscribe and turn on notifications, especially on my main YouTube channel Dr. Melissa West for yoga nidra. In fact, we are already preparing our bodies for yoga nidra in our live Monday meditation classes in our membership community right now.
Once you have rested and repaired with yoga nidra, another style of yoga that is incredibly beneficial when you are sick is restorative yoga.
Restorative Yoga Classes: Click Here
Today I am going to share with you the best restorative yoga pose for when you are sick: Legs up the Wall
How to do it:
Bend your knees and place your buttocks right against the wall. Roll down onto your back and lengthen your legs up the wall while lowering your torso down onto the ground. If you have low back issues, bend your knees. Place your hands on your belly and rest here for 10-20 minutes.
Why does it work:
We have lymph nodes in our neck, armpits, and groin that trap bacteria, viruses and other foreign substances, that are then destroyed by special blood cells. Lymph flows upwards against gravity, so all day long when you are standing upright, it was to work extra hard to do its job. When you invert yourself with your legs up the wall, the lymph nodes can do their job with greater ease.
Going upside down also improves overall circulation which is also affected by the downward pull of gravity all day long. This can help bring fresh oxygenated blood to the organs of your immune system including your spleen which nourishes, generates and ripens your life force. Also fresh blood flow to your tonsils and thymus will help to stimulate the production of antibodies that help to fight infection.
Going upside down is an antidote to exhaustion and generally revitalizing. When we are in a constant state of fight or flight we are in our sympathetic nervous response. Coming to legs up the wall allows us to access our parasympathetic nervous system, which allows your body to rest and repair.
So that is it! We did it! We completed the 30 day challenge! If you made it all the way to the end of the video and the 30 day challenge put “Congratulations I am so proud of you!” in the comments. If you know somebody who would benefit from this video, thank you for sharing it across all of your socials. Remember to subscribe because next week I will have Mary O’Meara here from O’m Yoga with a Valentines Vinyasa Flow Special for you!