Practicing While Sick

One question that pops up now and then around here is if you should practice when you are sick. Obviously, I am not going to be giving you an answer for what you should do. You are in charge of your own health. Consult a certified Bikram teacher for advice if you are sick.

But what I can do is share my general approach to it and tell you what I do when I am sick. First I ask myself a series of questions:

1. Can I drive myself to and from class without issue?

2. Can I stay in the room the entire time?

3. Do I have a fever?

If I answer yes to questions 1 and 2 and no to question 3, then I am probably going to go to class.

Recently I went to class sick. It wasn’t fun, but it wasn’t the end of the world. I woke up at 3:00am with a mild sore throat. I felt fine otherwise. I actually felt 100% fine except for my sore throat until we started class (at 9:00am). Then I felt like crap. I felt dizzy. I saw spots. I felt a little like vomiting (which I knew wasn’t actually going to happen, but still…). I sat out some postures. Part way through class I started to feel better. Then I got back to feeling worse.

By the time I got home from class my sore throat was nearly gone. I felt better. I was hungry and ate a normal lunch. I definitely thought that going to class was better than not going to class.

BUT, here’s my thing, I don’t think Bikram is enough to help me get over my sickness when it has started. Maybe it makes things easier/better – I don’t know. What I do know is my acupuncturist has told me that if I can get in to see him within 24 hours of showing any signs of illness he can probably get rid of it. The guy is batting 1000 with me. Seriously. He’s amazing. So before I even went to that 9:00 am Bikram class I had already scheduled an afternoon acupuncture session.

Let me tell y’all something about the acupuncture….on this particular day the 9:00 class was the only Bikram class I could make. However, I was willing to forgo yoga for the day if the only way I could get acupuncture was in the morning. Luckily that didn’t happen, but if I have to make a decision about which one to go to when I am sick, I will always pick the acupuncture.

And what happened when I went to acupuncture? My sore throat left me while I was on the table. That’s not the first time this has happened there. It left and never came back. Don’t know how that happens, but it did. I’m fine with my lack of understanding. Acupuncture is not perfect though. It’s helping me in the healing process, and maybe it’s speeding things up, but I still do need the yoga. The next day I dragged myself back into class. It was rough. I sat down a lot. I came out of postures early a lot. But I went. I accepted the class for what it was.

Generally the most important thing about my yoga practice is simply showing up.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Wanda Gregg
    Dec 26, 2013 @ 13:34:53

    What acupuncturist do you see?


  2. @halfmooning
    Feb 05, 2015 @ 08:36:25

    RT @LeighAHall: Practicing While Sick #bikramyoga #yogaholicsmag


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