Sick? Try these Restorative Yoga Poses

While I made it through the holidays without getting the flu, I was slammed by sickness over the weekend. The first sign of the horrible cold that is going around was a sore throat that felt like someone was sticking daggers in my throat. After showing up to work a few days ago with a runny nose and a raspy voice that sounded like I had smoked two packs of cigarettes the night before, I chose to stay home for the last couple of days and rest. While my throat is no longer on fire, I now have a deep, disruptive cough that makes people on the street throw me dirty looks and walk quickly away in the other direction when I’m out walking my dog, Shanti. Just for the record, I do cover my mouth when I cough.

Aside from sleeping a lot more than usual, I’ve been switching off between TheraFlu, Advil Cold & Sinus, Bark Syrup with Echinacea, and drinking tea with manuka honey, fresh lemon, ginger, and turmeric.

For someone who practices yoga every day, staying away from the studio is tough. I love being active and moving my body, but right now, I’m too weak to do anything super challenging. However, I can do restorative poses that don’t require a lot of energy. Since restoratives help bring the body back to a state of equilibrium, I’m sure they will help me recover from this nasty cold.

Whether you’re suffering from the seasonal cold like me or just want to try something restorative, here are three poses that drench some of the key organs and glands with revitalizing blood and help speed up the healing process.

Salamba Supta Baddha Konasana (Supported Bound Angle Pose)

Key Benefits:

– Regulates blood pressure

– Encourages relaxation response

– Relieves indigestion and gas

– Relieves menstrual pain

Viparita Karani (Legs Up the Wall)

Key Benefits:

– Relieves edema (fluid pooling) and congestion in the legs

– Increases circulation to the abdominal organs

– Stimulates and balances adrenal glands and kidneys

– Passively opens the chest area (facilitates breathing)

Salamba Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Supported Bridge Pose)

You can use a bolster or a block (and you can choose any level for the block that feels good). Your arms can be over your head or by your sides.

Key Benefits:

– Passively opens chest and allows heart to receive greater circulation

– Stimulates and soothes digestive tract

– Soothes and opens lungs; relieves chronic bronchitis

– Calms the mind and encourages the parasympathetic nervous system

Each of these poses should be held for a minimum of five minutes. You can use an eye bag to help shield your eyes from the light, while the weight of the bag on the eyes also helps to release tension.

Note: “Key Benefits” from my Yogaworks Asana Manual (200 hour teacher training program)

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