Anyone who has been sick with the flu knows that the best thing to do is stay in bed and rest. When your muscles are aching and your fever is high, a lot of downtime is always the best medicine.
The following are a few extremely gentle yogic practices you can do from the comfort of your own bed when you are not feeling well. Each technique will help ease the pain and agony of having the flu this winter, and help you get some much needed, high-quality rest.
Nidra, in Sanskrit, means sleep. Especially when you are bedbound, practicing a little yoga nidra will help your body relax and get your mind off of how horrible you feel.
To practice, scan your body with your internal gaze beginning at the bottoms of your feet. As you slowly work your way up to the top of your head, silently say to yourself, “My body is deeply relaxed.” If you come across any places in your body that feel extra sore or achy, let your awareness hover around those areas until you notice your body relaxing even more.
During a yoga nidra practice, your mind may drift. In this case begin scanning again, starting at the bottoms of your feet. If you happen to fall asleep, be thankful – your body most likely needs the rest.
Using props such as bolsters and blankets while practicing restorative yoga is meant to get the body in the best possible position for effortless relaxation. You can practice using your own bed pillows as bolsters, and never have to leave the comfort of your bed.
Gather up an extra pillow or two to place beneath both knees so your knees are slightly elevated while you are lying on your back. Next, place one hand on your belly and the other hand on your heart. Under one hand feel the gentle rise and fall of your belly moving with each breath. Under the other hand feel the gentle beat of your heart. Focus on your lungs breathing, your heart beating, and your body restoring heath.
Bhramari, also known as bee breath, is a great way to stop stressing out and worrying about all of the things you need to be doing and instead focus on getting your body the rest it needs.
Close your eyes and use the first finger of each hand to close off both ears. Begin to hum as if to “buzz” like a bee. Make sure it’s loud enough so you can feel the sound vibration echoing throughout your entire body. Take a breath when you are ready, and then continue to hum. Repeat as needed to help clear your mind of pending agendas and become focused on feeling better.
January 24th, 2013