Wednesday, March 25, 2009


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

-Drank chai

-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.

The lesson?

-Stay off the bike

-Stay off the chai

-Watch the ego

-And never, ever eat all of those rajasic foods at the same sitting.


  1. Today I have a migraine and reading this reminds me that it could be due to my caffeine intake and it is pollen season here in Atlanta!
    I really want to remove caffeine from my diet. Also I would not have guessed coconut water. Must give that a try.

  2. or it could be the stress of moving. it's normal to get sick after you settle into a new home.

  3. roselil6:06 AM

    And what has not biking to do with anything?! Please enlighten me.

  4. Not biking in winter (for me) means:

    -Not overextending myself physically and becoming so run down so that I get sick

    -Not constantly getting chilled and becoming so run down that I get sick.

  5. roselil4:59 AM

    Erh ...? Okay, but I always bike all year and have no problems what so ever - so my guess is still that some of your other factors that are the sole sinners ?!

    Furthermore, when I bike in winter of course I do dress accordingly, and if you don't, you could maybe just blame being outdoors in cold weather witout proper clothing, not the act of bicycling ...?

  6. I'm not taking the bait.