Sunday, September 30, 2012

Yoga and Peppermint Tea for the Flu

EcoYogini resurfaces from a week of the flu....

I was supposed to post on Friday... and after a full night of coughing with zero sleep, day 7 of the flu, a full week of working, sending off my best friend to New Zealand for a year of backpacking BY HERSELF, and recovering from an encounter with bedbugs, I was barely able to function. 

For someone who works with preschool aged children (who still haven't learned to cough in their sleeve and for the most part eat their boogies) I rarely get that sick. Something about the change of seasons tends to do it for me every time.

Flu remedies have been covered quite a bit here by the lovely ladies of the Booth, so I won't recap what's already a fabulous resource. What I will share are two areas that have saved myself during my moments of sick time: yoga and peppermint tea.

1. Peppermint Tea
It would appear that having a sinus cold means that you will swallow copious amounts of... sinus fluid. I don't know about you, but after over a week of that my sensitive stomach feels like I swallowed jackhammers and decides to revolt (yay IBS). In case this is also your situation I'll share the miracle that has been the only help (other than advil): peppermint tea. No seriously, I used to chug pepto by the bottle full, no little cap measure thingy for me, with no results. One mug of organic loose leaf peppermint tea and it's like magic. Since I typically spare no cold and sinus medications while I'm sick since I'm a big baby, it's nice to have one treatment that is medication free... that actually works. 

My favourite peppermint tea? David's Tea "Organic Peppermint Amour". Delicious!

2. Yoga
Rest and sleep are essential, but I always find that yoga, of varying degrees of "sweat" will help either clear out or move along the flu- kinda like it's a weather system.... (hey, I'm a Maritimer, we live by the weather). 
A few tips:
  1. Choose the intensity of practice that matches your cold-level. If you're just coming down, try something that'll make you move. It'll either clear your head or move the cold more quickly through it's process. Both are good news (even though option 2 might seem like a pain, the more quickly the cold is over, the better). If you're kinda in the middle, choose a low-key movement flow with lots of resting postures.
  2. If you have a fever, *don't* practice physical asana (yoga). Rest, sleep, drinks LOTS of water.
  3. If you're congested, downward dog will NOT feel nice. Actually, all forward folds might be uncomfortable. Stick to heart and chest opening postures like upward dog/cobra or seated and standing postures where you don't lean forward. Or have LOTS of tissue at hand.
  4. Stay at home. I know it's crazy, but you don't need a studio to practice yoga, and making it to class that week really isn't a life/death. The other students and teacher don't need to be exposed to your germs (with all that breathing and sniffling). Stay home :)
  5. Resources for a home practice: Yoga Journal has fantastic sequences all made up, including this Yoga for a Cold sequence. Yogaglo is an online unlimited yoga class with real classes and teachers. You can do a free 2 week trial, but it's totally worth the 18$ a month. I heart Yogaglo.
  6. Don't push your body too hard. It's fighting an illness and needs the resources to recover- yoga asana (the physical) should be a means to help supplement that, not completely beat the cold out of your system (no matter how tempting that may sound). Find balance. If you're sweating, it's probably too much. Take a breath, have a seat and meditate quietly for a few minutes.
I hope the cold/flu change of seasons has passed you by, but if it hasn't: Rest and Recover :)


s.e. said...

I have to ask you about the bed bug encounter as I live here in HRM and they are one of my biggest fears. I know you have been traveling, was it in a hotel setting that you encountered them? And what did you do? thanks!!!

Eco Yogini said...

@s.e.: ohhh it was a terrible experience and I know it could have been so much worse (ie they could have followed me home!)
It was in Clare Havre du Capitaine- at a B&B (I emailed them, but they never got back to me, whatever- i told them).

I only knew the next day, since there were no signs when I checked the bed (but they are difficult to see) and I only had really any bites the next morning when I was checking out.

Thankfully I could stop at my parents place on my way back to Halifax. I washed ALL of my clothes in HOT water twice, threw out my suitcase, washed every item (including makeup containers), threw out my bristled brush, vacuumed the car from top to bottom and put my dry-clean only clothes in the freezer for two weeks.

So far, 10 days later, I am still bed bug free in our apartment. THANK GOODNESS.

The bites, however, are still healing :(
I think there's a registry for Halifax hotels and bed bugs... you could google it.


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