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Lessons I learned from having a cold

Updated: Apr 5

Last week, I was forced to spend a few days lying on the sofa and in bed, nursing a cold. Feeling a bit miserable and frustrated that my plans would have to be shelved, including having to cancel my yoga classes, I reminded myself that if I embraced it rather than trying to fight it all the time, feeling unwell can be a profound teacher offering helpful insights. While I did get glimpses of the insights, they have emerged more clearly now that I am feeling much better. 

As I couldn't do my usual practices, I focused on my breath as much as possible (with the help of the wonderful Breathe Right nose strips) when I wasn't napping and also listened to iRest yoga nidra recordings. These recordings proved to be really nourishing. This was such a joy as I haven't been enjoying these practices recently as much as I did in the past.

So last Monday morning, when I started writing this, while still wrapped in a cocoon of blankets, surrounded by tissues and another comforting cup of lemon, honey, and ginger, I reflected on the lessons that have surfaced.

Firstly, the art of surrender. When we are unwell with a cold or similar and have to step back from our daily routine, we are invited to discover the healing power of letting go. We may even find that we can simply "be" or rest in "being."

Following on from this, our second lesson: embracing stillness. Confined to bed or the sofa can feel like a punishment, but can we learn to appreciate the strength in stillness? When we appreciate this, it can transform our perception of rest from weakness to inherent strength.

Breath, our third teacher. Even amidst coughs, sneezes, and sniffles, if we can try to focus on the rhythmic inhales and exhales, we can find some calm amidst the chaos, even if it's for a brief moment.

Gratitude, the fourth lesson. Expressing thanks for moments of relief, the warmth of blankets, and the healing properties of lemon, honey, and ginger can shift our perspective from complaint to appreciation.

Then, as strength starts to return, can we embrace a mindful comeback? In our yoga practice, we are encouraged to be patient, emphasising gradual progress and self-compassion. Instead of rushing back to daily demands, can we phase our return, attuned to our body's signals?

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