Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Do You Yoga When You're Sick?

I'm at the tail end of a bad cold, and it's put a damper on my workout schedule.  There seems to be a lot of conflicting information out there about whether or not you should exercise when you're sick.  The consensus is that, if you have a fever, you should not work out.  But what if you're just congested and stuff?  And do the same rules apply to yoga as to cardio and weight training?

Because yoga isn't the same.  I mean, jogging doesn't usually involve being upside down.  And breathing is such a key element of yoga.  So if you can't breathe...?

The first day, when I barely had a throat tickle, I went to yoga, and it was fine.  I mean, that was probably the point when I was contagious, so it might not have been fine for everyone else in the room.  But I felt okay.

Then a couple days later I felt so bad that leaving the house just wasn't even an option.  So I skipped yoga that day.  Then a couple days after that, I was starting to feel a bit better, but still not great, and I debated on what to do.  So I Googled.  Which is, ideally, the best way to find out your health information.  Not.

But seriously, what I found in general was this:

You shouldn't do any of the inverted poses if you're congested.  This means any pose where your head is below your heart.  Like downward dog, forward fold, or headstands (as if I do headstands, but whatever).  I could see where this might make one feel worse, but I actually found several sites cautioning that it could make you sicker by forcing gunk into places it doesn't belong.

Some gentle, upright poses can be helpful.  Things like chest expansions and side bends.  But in general, you shouldn't do any strenuous poses.

And the advice that finally made my decision for me was this simple question:  Do you want to be in a closed up yoga studio with someone who is hacking, sneezing, and sniffling?

Ummm...no.  And I realized I've actually had this very thought before while I was relaxing into a corpse pose and listening to the person next to me cough up a lung.  "Really?!  You felt the need to come share all that with us?"

So I stayed home.

What about you?  Do you work out when you're sick?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Give Up the Funk

I've been in a funk lately.  More so now, because I'm sick.  But then, that's the way I do.  I work and stress and do too much until finally my body says, "STOP."  And I get sick.  So, Friday my body put its foot down, so to speak.

I had gone to yoga Thursday, and was actually doing okay.  I've been doing the harder class for a couple months now, and it's gotten to where the gentle class is too easy.  I'm contemplating trying power yoga soon.  (I thought it might be today, but ummm...no.)

I've even started jogging a little with my walks.  Not a lot, just a lap, a block, the distance between two mailboxes, then I walk until I catch my breath.  And the reason I did this at first was not to improve my cardiovascular fitness.  It was not to lose weight.

It was because I was mad.

I was having a horrible day, and I decided to walk it out.  I went to yoga early and walked on the track, and I swear, the longer I walked, the madder I got.  I think every person there was out to get me.  People standing in the track for no reason.  People hogging the lane.  One crazy old man doing some bizarre form of martial arts/torture/fit throwing that involved tying himself to a post with a stretchy band and flailing about every time I walked past.  (I'm not even kidding.  It was weird.  Had never seen him before, and haven't seen him since.)

And finally as my anger rose, I decided the only thing to do was RUN.  And I ran.  And I felt better.  So I kept running.  Sort of like Forest Gump.

Then last week, I was walking, and contemplating starting to run a little, when who stepped out onto the track but someone I dislike intensely.  Someone I hadn't seen in over a year.  And there she was on MY track.  At MY gym.  Oh, Lord, what if she goes to MY yoga class???

I rounded the corner and kept right on walking out the door.  I just couldn't face her.  And I was so livid, I was shaking and near tears.  I calmed myself down and decided I wasn't letting her keep me from yoga.  Yoga has been the only thing keeping me sane these days.  I tentatively walked back in the building, looked both ways, and made a break for the yoga studio.

Thankfully, she did NOT attend class.  But now I'm freaking the he!! out that she'll be there next time I go walk.  I mean, really, I go to the gym to get AWAY from people who upset me.

I've decided I need to suck it up.  If she's there, she's there.  And honestly, she has every right to be there.  No matter how personally I'm taking it.  It's a public place.

Seriously, she won't keep it up anyway.  I know her.  She won't.

And that's very un-yogish of me to think.