HOW TO STAY WELL IN WINTER
It is nearly impossible not to get sick in winter - especially as a yoga teacher, whose students often come to class when they're not feeling well (NOTE TO STUDENTS: We can tell when you're not well; you're the one in class who is sniffling and can't breathe through the nose and has a wad of Kleenex piled up next to your mat - which we step on, and then pull off our foot just before we place our hands on people's bodies to adjust them, and then use the same hand to push back our hair and accidentally brush our mouth.... you get the idea: PLEASE DO NOT COME TO CLASS WHEN YOU THINK YOU ARE GETTING SICK. If you can't breathe, you can't practice. And getting everyone else in class sick is not practicing ahimsa, or non-harming).
Anyway... for the first time in eons, I did not get sick during winter - even with the stress of all of those blizzards and subzero temperatures and car problems and moving in late January into the most freezing-cold apartment in the Windy City.
Here's what I did differently this year:
-Quit all caffeine, including chai
-Got a flu shot (after much research and internal debate)
-Stayed off the bike (usually I bike year-round)
-Disinfected my water bottle on a weekly basis
-Drank coconut water whenever I felt run down
-Took two Zicam whenever I felt run down
-Took a nap or canceled plans whenever I felt run down
-Did my practice (but napped instead whenever I felt run down)
I think that January's purification retreat in North Carolina, where we were in a completely nurturing, sattvic (peaceful, pure) environment and only ate juicy fruit for several days, was also a huge part of staying healthy. I cannot say enough good things about it.
Sadly, all of this good work did not stop me from suddenly coming down with a fever on the first day of spring.
What did I do differently during the preceeding week?
-Rode my bike to class
-Thought about how I'd gone all winter without getting sick, and smiled.
-Ate a veggie burrito + chips + guacamole + 2 squares of chocolate the night before.
-Stay off the bike
-Stay off the chai
-Watch the ego
-And never, ever eat all of those rajasic foods at the same sitting.