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Ask the Experts: Can I carry on with my yoga practice even when I’m ill?

Published on:13 January 2021, 14:44pm IST
When you are sick, you might wonder if you should continue to do yoga or skip it. Well, the answer varies from person to person. Read on to know more.
Grand Master Akshar
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Is yoga helpful when you feel sick? Image courtesy: Shutterstock

In the journey of yoga, there are many different kinds of practitioners and many levels of practice. If you practise yoga for physical well-being, then you should take a break when you are feeling sick. It is important to note that yoga in itself is a therapeutic and healing process for the body, mind, and spirit. Yoga postures, mudras, meditation techniques, and pranayama exercises work on the body and the mind to align energies, balance your lifestyle, and help you attain holistic health. 

The kind of ailment that you have decides if you need to take a break from yoga or if you can choose specific practices to help your recovery. In case of any physical injury like fracture, ligament tears etc, you should certainly give physical practice a break. Instead, you can take up pranayama, mudras, or even meditation to keep the mind free from stress, and even improve your pain threshold. If you have any stomach-related issues such as bloating, acidity, and gas and other indigestion-related disorders, then there are specific asanas, and mudras in yoga that can actually help your condition to improve. Therapeutic yoga is recommended as a practice for you when you are not in your peak physical form.

yoga when sick
Brighten up your day with yoga. Image courtesy: Grand Master Akshar
Watch what you eat

When the body is sick, even a medical practitioner will advise you against overeating or filling your stomach during a meal. It is always better to eat light when you are sick, therefore watch what you eat and make sure to eat in moderation. The body needs energy to heal itself, but at the same time the digestive system should not be overloaded, taking the energy away from the other parts of the body that need rest and recovery.

Stay active with gentle exercise

Even when you are sick, try to stay active with gentle exercises known as sukshma vyayam in yoga. While any form of intense or heavy workout can definitely be ruled out, it would be beneficial for your body to keep the blood circulation going, and to keep the joints from becoming stiff.

yoga when sick
Yoga can be good for both body and mind. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

So, you can spend a few minutes with light stretching or taking a walk around your terrace, or any available space will help you heal faster.

Yoga is an exercise in mindfulness and therefore when you practice yoga during your sickness it helps you improve your condition. Simple exercises or yoga poses like dandasana, samasthiti vajrasana and tadasana can uplift the mood, and stretch the body which is very therapeutic. Employ the tools of meditation and pranayama like bhastrika, anulom vilom in shant gati to help you get better.  

Grand Master Akshar Grand Master Akshar

Grand Master Akshar is an internationally acclaimed Spiritual yogic master. He is the founder, chairman and course director of Akshar Yoga and president of World Yoga Organisation. He is also the President of the International Siddha Foundation.