Healing yoga

I'm lucky enough to benefit from consistent good health. Over the years, I've learned to listen to my body and take care of myself when I notice something isn't right

This can apply to injuries, such as muscle or joint pain, or even something as simple as the common cold, which fortunately I rarely seem to succumb to

However, in October I caught what seemed the mother of all viruses. I'm certain it was flu. Despite having had the flu jab for many years, including this year in September, I started going downhill with a temperature, which led to the sweats, the shivers, muscular pain, headache, and then a cold followed by a lingering chesty cough. It's taken me two weeks to get over this, and for most of the time, I felt totally wiped out. I also lost a couple of kilos too

I realise that none of us are immune to colds and viruses, however healthy we feel. Indeed, look at the amount of athletes who seems to pick up more than their fair share

It emphasised to me once again how important it is to look after ourselves during times of illness. Extreme self care! Eating a healthy diet, drinking lots of fluids, and getting plenty of rest

I realised that during this time, it was the longest I've gone without doing yoga, for several years in fact. During the first week, it couldn't have been further from my mind. However, during the second week, and as I resumed teaching, my body began to yearn for yoga. For the first few classes, I simply taught without joining the practice, but last night, even though I didn't think I was ready to do yoga, I found I couldn't stop myself

I started with some gentle stretches, and moved into some slow asanas, and began to get into the flow. By the end of the class, I had completed a full practice. And I felt absolutely fantastic - almost euphoric. I didn't realise quite how much I had missed practicing yoga. My body felt better and stronger, my chest and sinuses felt clearer, and my mind was full of contentment and peace

I joined in whilst teaching another class this morning, and came away with the same high!

I absolutely love teaching, and the yogis who come to my classes are all delightful people who greatly inspire me. Yet the simple act of practicing yoga has confirmed to me once again how lucky I am to have yoga as a huge, integral part of my life.