Yoga For When You Are Sick – Yoga With Adriene
Yoga For When You Are Sick – Yoga With Adriene
Hello everyone, and welcome to Yoga With Adriene. I am Adriene, and today we have a special, by request sequence: yoga when you’re feeling under the weather, when you’re feeling a little sick. This is a short sequence of postures that will support you when you have a cold, or perhaps your immune system is feeling a little low. As you may know, or as you may not know and you will soon learn, it’s so important to nurture the body when you’re feeling ill, to give yourself permission to stop and slow down, uncrumple the body and nurture it, so that you can get better all the more faster and find what feels good. So put on something comfy and grab a blanket or a pillow, and let’s hop on the mats. Alright, so to begin today we’re going to come to a nice cross legged position.
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I’m sitting up on a block here, but you can roll up a blanket, or you can just sit flat on the earth. We raise the hips a little bit to just allow the legs to fall down, find more space in the hips, and there’s no right or wrong here. We can draw the heels in, we can leave them out. Just come to a nice comfortable seat, where you feel that you can roll up through the spine and perhaps align the head over the heart, and the heart over the pelvis. So, if you’ve really got the gunk, have a couple tissues by your side, maybe a glass of water or some hot tea now, or to follow this video. I’m just going to move nice and slow.
The name of the game today is ‘yummy,’ so we’ll begin to loop the shoulders forward, up, and back. Maybe close your eyes. You know what to do here. So we’re looping the shoulders.
You can trust yourself for a moment. Closing your eyes, looking away from the video, and looping the shoulders forward, up, and back. And while we do this, we’re just going to check in with the breath, inhaling in through the nose, and exhaling through the nose or the mouth. So if the nose is a little bit stopped up, no worries.
Don’t give up, don’t say ‘I can’t, because you can. We’re here to just kind of check in with the body, and give it a little love. Okay, a couple more loops of the shoulders here, a couple more deeps breaths. Awesome.
Then we’ll turn the palms face up on the legs, and find this openness, this lift in the chest and the heart. So it’s not a forced thing, ‘oh, Hatha yoga!’ No, it’s actually quite natural. Just this lift, and my theory as that we just take a couple moments to be here with the breath. You can close your eyes and just listen. My theory is that we actually can heal ourself and boost our immunity a lot faster and more successfully when we just take a moment to be with the breath, to be in the moment. So that means we’re not fighting being sick, we’re not just going to the dark side when we’re sick.
We’re just kind of listening. And I know I’m veering off a little into hippie dippy land here but we’re just listening to the body and not going to the dark side. So if you’re feeling bad, continuing to say “I”m sick, I feel awful, ugh,” you know, it’s just not helpful. Instead we can take a more nurturing approach, which is where I’m going here. So, we’re going to nurture the body today by drawing the palms together at the heart, interlacing the fingertips. And you can open your eyes here as we press the palms forward, up, and back.
Take a deep breath in. We’re just kind of uncrumpling the body. So if you’ve been sick for a while, or you’re just starting to feel the immune system go down, chances are the body has started to go into this kind of protective mode. And that’s human, that’s our parasympathetic nervous system. No biggie, and we’re going to take a second to counteract that. So we’re here, and we’re just moving a little back and forth.
That’s it. Nothing fancy. The elbows can be bent generously if the shoulders are tight, or we can press up through the thumbs. We’re breathing in here, again just coming up and out of that crumply state.
And then we’ll come back to center stillness. Again head over heart, heart over pelvis. We’ll inhale. Lift the chin all the way up, and on an exhale chin to chest, as we float the fingertips down and away.
Great. Chin to chest here as we interlace the fingertips behind the back. Now loop the shoulders, draw the knuckles away from the crown of the head, and slowly we’ll begin to lift the chin back up toward the heavens. Three to five breaths here.
So perhaps there’s a little tightness in the chest. I’m going to turn to the side just so you can see. Perhaps there’s a little tightness in the chest. We use the inhale to expand through the lungs and we use the exhale to maybe draw the shoulder blades in together and down.
Notice I’m moving a little organically in the neck, finding what feels good. Now as we tend to our immune systems but truly always, right? Great. Take one more breath here, and then exhale with control, with grace release the fingertips. And we’re going to gently come to all fours.
So I’m going to move the pillow, blanket, or block out of the way and come to all fours. Just a little Cat Cow here. So there’s always more to be discovered here, in my humble opinion. Palms spread wide, wrists underneath the shoulders, knees directly underneath the hips. Move nice and slow today. It’s a sick day. Let’s give ourselves some love.
Inhale. Heart opens, chest opens. We press away from the earth. And exhale, curl the tailbone under. Find a little organic movement here as you maybe rock a little side to side. And then again we inhale, looping forward. And exhale, pressing away from the earth.
We draw the navel up, chin to chest. One more time. Inhale. Long puppy belly here, and long neck. Exhale, pressing away form the earth, chin to chest. Great. Then we’re going to curl the toes under. Walk the fingertips back.
A little yoga for the feet bonus here. As we draw circles with the nose, keep breathing. So we’re breathing into the soles of the feet. If this is too much for you, if you’re like “I am sick, girl! I’d said I didn’t want to work hard today,” then just come up onto the tops of the feet and work the neck here. So either on tops of the feet, or we’re sitting back. Reverse your circle if you haven’t already.
If you find any crunchiness you can work in and out of it. And then we’ll come back to center stillness. Spread the palms, dive forward to all fours. Then this isn’t a fancy yoga transition here, my friends. Take it nice and slow. You’re just going to take one foot up, then the other, and come to a nice, bent legged forward fold. Now this might seem counter intuitive if you’re really stopped up, so if you are really stopped up, go gently.
You can keep the elbows on the tops of the thighs there, maybe wrap the fingertips around the elbows here. And just play with dropping the chin to the chest, and then lifting back up. Chin to chest. And lifting back up. Another variation to try you can see my hair doing weird things here, enjoy another variation to try, if we feel that it would be relieving, would be to come all the way down, grabbing the elbows, coming all the way into Uttanasana, the Forward Fold, and giving it a gentle rock. Breathing deep in through the nose, and out through the nose, or mouth if the nose is stopped up. Couple rocks here.
So I’m either rocking here, or I’m rocking here. Do two more breaths, wherever you are. Great, then release the palms back to the earth, spread the palms wide, and come back to all fours. Cool. We’re going to bring the two big toes together, widen the knees as wide as the mat, and send it back, extended Child’s Pose.
So, a couple of options here. We can massage the forehead right here, rocking a little back and forth. If you have a head cold, or you have a lot of congestion in the head, this can seem really simple but can be quite yummy, to just rock a little back and forth on the mat. I have been known, no joke, to take a little smear of eucalyptus or peppermint, put it on the mat here, and just rock back and forth, breathing in the aromatherapy. So that might be a good option.
Hell, there’s like Vick’s on this thing, so I could even take my fancy Vick’s Kleenex, roll around here. Improvising skills are one of the best things you can do in yoga. So you have a couple options there. Breathe into the back body, rock a little back and forth. And then slowly we’ll walk the palms up and grab either a blanket, a pillow, or a block. I have a pillow here, cause I’m pretty sure more people have a pillow on their bed.
So I’ll set my pillow up here. Breathe into the legs, breathe into the back body, as I dive in for a nice, yummy, restorative extended child’s pose. Come onto one ear here and breathe. After a couple breaths, we’ll come on through and take it to the opposite ear.
Nice, long, smooth deep breaths. So I’m still getting my stretch, my hip stretch, still kind of lengthening through the side body. Breathing into the back body. But in a norm in a more excuse me, I’m getting too relaxed in a more nurturing fashion. Then I’ll slowly roll it back up and take that pillow and put it to the side, because we’re going to use it in just one more second. So, we’re all different. We’re all watching this video at different states of cold or allergies or just a little bit, you know, ‘immune system down.’ So you can stay in that supported extended Child’s Pose for the next thing, or we can slowly transition in to a Downward Dog.
We’re just going to do one. So some people are maybe a little more active, they need a Downward Dog or two when they’re feeling down. Some need to just simply take care, right? So you can stay in that extended Child’s Pose for this next posture, or we’ll more our sit bones up toward the sky, curl the toes under, and come into a mobile Downward Dog. So I encourage you to move. The chances are the body’s a little stiff. We’ve been under the weather, we’ve been maybe in bed or taking it easy a little bit longer, and as you should.
So, work it out. Find places to stretch, find places to lift and lengthen. Spread the palms wide, and for heaven’s sakes my friends, breathe deep. Again, we might skip this.
We might have too much pressure in the head, or we might not have the energy that we really require for this posture, so you might be in extended Child’s Pose. But if you are in Downward Dog, take two more breaths. Awesome. Then we’ll slowly lower to all fours, and if you’re in extended Child’s Pose here together we’ll rock up, move the pillow to the side, and slowly come to seated. Great. Beautiful everyone. Take the legs nice and wide. Great.
So, this doesn’t have to be a gymnastic thing. This can be a nice, narrow thing. It doesn’t have to be a big wide stance, so just test out the waters, find what feels good. And then we have a couple options here. We can walk the palms forward, so we’re getting a nice little leg stretch, but still keeping it nice and chill, right? We want to take care of the body, and just provide the body with some nurturing empowerment, rather than Power Yoga. So notice I’m rocking a little side to side here, nothing fancy. I have a little bit of brightness in my feet, but again I’m not pressing, trying to lift my heels. We’re giving ourselves permission to move nice and slow today, rocking back and forth, perhaps keeping the sit bones on the ground.
And then after I’ve gone a little bit side to side, swaying like a goofball, then I’ll come up onto my fingertips and crawl my fingertips forward, so it’s going to be a little different for everyone. Maybe I come all the way forward, maybe I”m like “Woah, Nellie!” here. So, find where it feels best for you today, and breathe in towards the legs. And if you’re one of those smart people that’s like “What does breathe in towards the legs mean?” it just means nice deep breaths and an awareness towards the legs, integrating breath and body. Then the final thing here is that we’ll use a prop to support, so we can stay there for five or even ten breaths if you want to do this on your own.
So we can take a block to the forehead, which feels great if you have a lot of congestion here. And again, sometimes swiping a little bit of oil there is lovely. Or you can take a Vick’s Kleenex. It’s nice. You can do that here. So I have a little bit of support, relaxing the shoulders down. I can rock a little, massaging.
I can stay here if I’m at peace. If I don’t have a block and I’m like “I want something,” then by all means my friend you deserve something. We’ll take a pillow or more blankets, anything, couch pillows. Put them in front and chill here. So I’m getting the stretch that was an essential ‘ah’ I’m getting the stretch that I need. Again, this can be a little more narrow, and the knees can bend. So find a supported forward fold here, smile. Enjoy this moment.
Often we just chow down our vitamins and take the medicine we’re told to take, O. D. on the elixirs, and sometimes it’s just nice to be with your body and your breath, thinking about yoga practice as a medicine for living. Take one more breath here. This blanket totally smells like the horse a horse. In a good way, though. And when you feel satisfied, roll it up my friends. Move your comfy stuff to the side and bring the soles of the feet together. Interlace the fingertips around the toes.
Maybe you walk the sit bones closer to the heels, maybe not. And we breathe, as we inhale in, checking in with the neck. And then when you feel satisfied, you might forward fold here, chin to chest, or you might stay up. So we have two options in this final posture. To release, press into the outer edges of the feet, untangle the fingertips, lift your heart, and we’re just going to windshield wiper the legs.
This is something you can do while you’re watching T. V., while the soup’s on the stove or the tea kettle is boiling. Just rocking the hips back and forth, knees left to right. And then maybe crossing the legs and finishing with either a chant, if you chant, or just deep breath in and out. Just a mindful moment of connectivity. When I’m sick, I say this affirmation: “My immune system works perfectly.” So after this video is over, you can pause, sit in this posture for a minute or two, and just repeat to yourself “my immune system works perfectly.”..