Keeping up my level through necessary breaks/sickness

Hi there

I am so proud of myself as I have been keeping a very regular practice now for at least two months, maybe even more where i have practiced daily for all but maybe 5 days. Not always hours long but at least 20-30 minutes a day and I feel the benefits of it.* But now, as similar to most of the times where I have found a working yoga routine for myself, I have caught a cold and want to give my body the rest it needs.

However, i feel my back starting to ache already after 2 days of not practicing (this also is why i need a regular practice, it saves my back by engaging my core!) and next to that i remember the “setback” feeling of other times where i broke my routine and the “disappointment” of having to work back up to the level i had reached before.

So i am wondering, other than just doing restorative classes with a lot of Yin and resting, are there “sickness-proof” (especially cold symptoms like headache and shortness of breath) exercises i could do to keep my stomach muscles active so my back won’t suffer too much during the wait? And possibly a way to sort of “keep my body remembering” the progress made during my absence from the regular practice while i am cureing out my cold?

This could also be interesting for times where a regular practice just isnt possible like travel where not much room or time is available for the mat.

  • So many thanks for Challenges like the 30 days: Daily Dose Challenge!! <3 this keeps me motivated so well to do at least a bit and more if i feel like it!

I am sorry to hear that you are sick, but it is encouraging to know you are giving yourself permission to rest and heal. Stepping away from the practice to remind us how essential it is in maintaining an elevated baseline for energy, mobility, mood, and physicality! I recently had a similar week off due to oral surgery where I was not allowed to practice.

I took this time experiment where I was to observe all the changes that would take place in me without practice over the course of a week. This gave my mind the task of being an observer not a victim and I found it helpful. What was also helpful in this experiment was that I did notice a lot of shifts in many areas which made me more grateful for my practice, and determined to return to it. It helped me realize that so many others in the world are suffering from these subtle levels of irritation, discomfort, anxiety, and low energy. That gives me empathy, and also conviction to want to help bring more people into a regular practice to build a foundation of health.

The next question was, what can I do if I can not practice? As I was able to be more physical I started going on long walks, as long as I would normally be on the mat. I went alone, on purpose, so I could have the same opportunity for introspection, inner connection, and insight. This was a gift! I am a runner, so the trails often zoom by me, but walking allowed me to see so much more and really feel the connection to nature. I swear the walks started to bring my mind and body back into alignment, and alleviate a lot of the other symptoms my lack of practice experiment brought about.

I slowly started doing yoga again but avoided my head being down, which also would be helpful during a cold due to congestion etc. I have a new practice on the site called portable practice, this was designed to be done in a non yoga setting without getting down on the floor, I would give that a try soon!

IF core connection is something you know your body needs, what about doing a short pilates class instead of a longer yoga class. This might give you the little burst needed without depleting your energy as you heal.


Thank you FIji,

your reply helped me give myself the grace to rest my body as long as it needed through a freakishly long cold. I feel I am ready to slowly get back into it now. I do have two classes in my playlists that I think might be a good re-start for my regular practice.
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Maybe if you or anyone in the DYWM teacher-team would like it might be a cool idea to post a class or two for this case: a class for different levels (where we left off) to get back into it with for example leaving out “head down asanas”?

I am so looking forward to getting back on my mat and thank you and DYWM - again and in the future - for everything you do here!!

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