I don’t want to characterize myself as a fair-weather yogini… or, to be more precise, a fair-sinus yogini… but in the spirit of full disclosure, I do believe I am.
The first signs of a cold are one thing. I work through it, snuffling and snorting a little, until I get back my breath. Several minutes into Sun Salutations I can count on the excess runny boogers fluid draining away… somewhere.
However, once I am suffering with full-fledged head congestion, I give up the yogic ghost. I just have no patience for struggling for breath through a narrow passage in my snot, the diameter of the head of a pin… and only one nostril. Nothing cramps my Ujaii style like a nose full of sticky goo.
I recall asking a new yoga instructor years ago, having spent an entire class fighting with my stuffed head, what her best recommendation was for getting the most out of a practice when congested. After first a long hesitation, and then stammering, her suggestion was ‘well, maybe, holding Downward Dog?’
Erk! Yes. Nothing like draining all of the fluid clogging my head…. back into my head! And so, in the years since, I have managed through congestion, or more often, bagged it altogether once the thickness in my head and the gasping and choking for breath just became too bothersome. Ahhhhh… holding Child’s Pose… now, that I can see.