Last week, we were unfortunate to have the stomach bug run through our family. It started with Vera on Tuesday. Then it hit me early Thursday morning, Eve on Thursday afternoon, and Mark on Thursday night. We were a pretty sorry bunch. The biggest bummer of all is that we were supposed to celebrate Eve and Vera’s 2nd birthday with our family that evening. Instead, it took me an hour to eat a piece of toast, one small, cautious bite at a time. (Actually, Vera helped me 🙂 )
Kids are pretty amazing. Not to mention resilient. My kids barely skipped a beat despite the fact that they were sick. I, on the other hand, was completely wiped out. I was home alone with the girls until lunchtime and it took everything I could muster just to get them fed and their diapers changed. They were good sports though. We watched a lot of PBS, and for the most part, they never left my side. It’s like they knew something was wrong and they were comforting me. My little sweethearts. ❤ Then Mark came home and took care of us all. ❤ Love that guy. ❤
As unpleasant as being sick to your stomach is, for me the worst part was the aches I felt that evening. I was sedentary and in the same, pathetic-looking position most of the day and my muscles were protesting (not to mention the fever and chills that made me ache). I felt the same way when I was admitted to the hospital before Eve and Vera were born. After two days of being bedridden, everything hurt! At least this time, I didn't have two babies inside me insisting that it was time to come out. I only have one and this baby is hopefully content to stay put for another 20 weeks.
Once the queasiness passed, I started working out the aches with some gentle yoga. My-oh-my, what a difference it made! My hips eventually stopped aching and my body began to relax. In the middle of the night when the ache in my lower back returned, I flipped over into childs pose on my bed. After a couple minutes of that, I was able to fall asleep. Relief and comfort at last.
Like it or not, flu season is on us and my family won't be the only one affected by the bug. Hopefully, your family gets spared the unpleasantness, but if not, here are some yoga poses you can do to ease the discomfort and find a little relief when the aches overtake you.
Childs pose. I love this pose for general relaxation and back relief. I often start my day with it to work out the kinks of sleep. As you stay in this pose, you can feel your hips and lower back relax.
Pigeon pose. This is amazing for opening up the hips. My hips are chronically tight. It seems like no matter how much I stretch and try to get myself into this pose, I never get any loser. Still, this pose feels amazing. I love it after a run or workout and especially when my hips are achy.
Cat / Cow. Anyone who sits or is sedentary for a long time can appreciate this pose. It feels so good to allow your spine to move and stretch, instead of staying in that hunched position all the time.
Legs up the wall. I fell in love with this pose when I was training for a marathon. After a long run, it’s the only thing that made me feel comfortable and human again. Now, I love it for itself. Sometimes when I’m really tired during the day, I’ll get into this position. After a few minutes, I actually feel more rested.
Standing forward bend. Ahhh, blessed back release. When you reach down toward your toes, you can feel your lower spine release. On the days my lower back starts to hurt, whether from sitting too long or supporting a baby or whatever the cause may be, this pose makes me feel instantly better. I love it!
Seated forward bend. I feel like I get a better stretch to my hamstrings with this pose than the standing version. My hamstrings are often targeted in my daily workout (really, how can they not be?) so they quickly get tight if I don’t stretch regularly. When I was sick, my legs ached from the fever and chills. This pose gave me peace.
Puppy pose. This pose feels good in both the back and shoulders. It’s another one that I particularly like after sitting at my desk for hours on end.
The next time you get sick and feel achy, give these poses a try. If they helped to bring me some comfort, they can do the same for you!
FitTip: A lot of injuries are due to tight muscles. I can’t stress the importance of properly warming up and cooling down your muscles before and after exercise enough. If you’re someone who sits a lot, you probably have a lot of weakness and tightness in key supporting muscles. This leads to muscular imbalance which leads to pain. Try adding five minutes of yoga to your day to ease some of that tension and restore balance to your body. Believe me, your body will thank you.