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Yoga For When You Are Sick

For me, the practice of yoga is all about listening. You might be saying "DUHHH ADRIENE, DUH" right now but I say this because sometimes we forget to listen. We go to class, we do what we are told, we check it off the to do list and we keep going and going and going.

For me, the practice of truly listening to the mind, the body and the heart is what leads us to dance on the path of wellness and well being.

When we are truly listening to our body we are able to find what feels good, keep the system happy and balanced, and immunity boosted up high. Listening is paying attention and when you are paying attention you are less likely to let shit get out of hand and less likely to get ill.

HOWEVER, it happens, and if you are anything like me you waste a lot of energy trying to figure out HOW you got sick ("WHY GOD WHY, WHY NOW!?")  instead of focusing energies on acceptance and nurturing yourself back to well being. 

We've been getting a lot of emails from people who are sick with winter colds and other ick. You can practice this sequence when you are feeling sick OR when you are just feeling down and need a little nurture to the system. Whether immunity is down, the heart is heavy or the mind is a muck - it is important to remember to listen and to nurture. Practice this sequence or use it as a rubric. Listen to your body and remember to REST. Rest for heavens sake!

Adriene's top 5 immune boosting reminders:

  1. Drink lots of water - this seems like a no brainer but really, if you are starting to feel sick, HYDRATE! And stay hydrated.
  2. Make sure you are getting enough sleep
  3. Cut the caffeine and booze.
  4. Practice healing affirmations
  5. Wellness Formula. I swear by this. Take on the onset or once a day as a preventive.

wellness formula


26 comments on “Yoga For When You Are Sick”

  1. Hi Adriene,

    Thanks for this video! I am recovering from an illness, and now I can move a bit I thought it'd be good to do some stretching so I came to your site to find some light yoga. What a pleasant surprise! It's so great you made this. Usually I do your sleep time yoga video.

    In fact, I do it so often I embedded your video on a website I made to help people and myself fall asleep better. It's pretty basic right now but I use it a lot. I hope it's okay.

    Anyways I really appreciate your videos! And found your ice cream eating + watermelon one very funny!


  2. This was perfect for today when I am feeling under the weather but have to many school runs and mummy jobs to do to totally give into it. 20 minutes of just being was doable and enough to keep me going for the rest of the day.


  3. I'm just getting over a pretty nasty cold and this is exactly what I needed to unwind and unkink my still sick body. Thanks Adriene, I'm really enjoying your videos. If you could do one for headaches that would be awesome!

  4. What an absolute treat this was. I am currently in Thailand where I am supposed to start teaching high school tomorrow and I have tonsillitis so I'm in so much pain and haven't kept up with my practice for a few days. This was exactly the pace I needed, thank you!

  5. I am under the weather - have been for a few days - and really needed to take extra care of myself today. I really enjoyed this video and feel more "ease" with being sick today. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  6. Thank you for sharing, Adriene. My partner and I have done a couple of your yoga sessions together, and love your style of teaching. A slow and nurturing 20-minute yoga session was exactly what I needed today to untangle my knotted body and feel like I can kick the cold I've had for a few days now. I took your advice and repeated your immune-boosting mantra at the end 🙂 It helped. xo, -L

  7. Thank you so much for this! You have no idea how much this helped. I feel a million times better. I had almost forgotten that my immune system worked perfectly :]

  8. Thank you for this yoga session. Just right to help nurtur myself after being ill. If I catch any more lurgies I'm going to follow this video everyday to help me remember my immune system CAN fix me! Great to have something easy to help ease me back in to regular yoga practice.

  9. Hi, I have CFS and have been using your complete beginner and beginner videos this year to start exercising again. I tried this video today as I have a touch of the flu as well and I love, love, love it! I'm going to share it with my CFS/Fibro page as I think it is perfect for those who want a little exercise but have very little energy and movement to work with. Thanks!

    1. Hi, Emma,
      So glad to find your comment here! I have ME/CFS and am looking for some gentle yoga videos. Your recommendation was so helpful. Thanks so much!

  10. I feel a little bit more open and warmed up after this. It's lovely after spending a few days on the couch being all mucus'y. (Bonus: My cat curled up in front of me on the mat and went to sleep 5 minutes in to the video. She's recovering from an infected incision and needs lots of rest and calm.)

  11. Adriene, thank you so much for this and all other videos. You are the first I found that makes my yoga enjoyable.

    Unfortunately I couldn't follow your 30 days yoga challenge. I have chronic bronchitis and every time I start on a yoga challenge, I have to stop after few days. It is even worse with any cardio exercises. Specially all downward positions are bad, they block my nose immediately. Do you maybe have any suggestions/routines that would help me stay on track?

  12. I have had the flu for the past 2 weeks, but have been able to do this sequence all but 4 days of the duration. It has helped so much with that awful flu ache and general feeling of "kill me now, please". Mentally, it has been a life saver because I have avoided sinking into the dark side and instead feel like I am somewhat in control of my own healing. Amen. Thank you, Adriene!

  13. I'm not an active yoga practioner presently - but I have been at different times in the past. Getting over a stomach flu, laying in bed all day - I searched yoga for when you're sick- and I found your video. I really enjoyed it - just needed to do something different in that moment than distract myself.

  14. I am on my second upper respiratory infection in about three weeks (SIGH) and this practice has been a godsend (or goddess-send! 😉 ) You are an inspiration and I love all the videos of yours which I have followed so far. I love by the way when you refer to practices like this as yummy. You need to market that. Yummy yoga! I would buy a shirt that says that. 😉

    Anyway, you have a new fan! Thanks for your great videos.


  15. I've had to take a break from your Yoga Revolution thanks to a horrible, achy cold, but this is perfect to help me get better. Love your affirmation too.

  16. This beauty is in my top ten favorite Adriene videos. It's perfect for what ails you, even if it's just a "soul sickness" or a need to slow down and rest your body BEFORE you get sick!

    Thank you <3

  17. Wow, thank you, thank you, thank you. Sending you a huge love filled hug across the ocean.
    Love xxx

  18. Oh wow! Only made it half way through, but I couldn’t move at all 10 minutes ago so it feels incredible. Thank you so much.

  19. Thank you! I’m working on building my at home practice this year and have been set back by the flu. Finally felt good enough to move today and this was a great way to loosen my muscles up after 4 days in bed.

  20. Not only was this video helpful for all the body soreness I've been experiencing from being stuck in bed the last two weeks from this cold, but you made me laugh multiple times. Thanks so much!

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