Question: Ask Aunt Yoga Advice Column: When to Return to Yoga Class After an Illness
Dear Aunt Yoga,
I go to my yoga class at least three times a week. Unfortunately, I've caught a cold with a cough that's lasted about a week. To be on the safe side, I haven't gone to any yoga. Do I have to wait until my cough is completely gone or can I continue to go to my classes?
Answer: Dear E.,
You've touched on a personal pet peeve of mine here. I cringe whenever I hear students say, "I was so sick, but I dragged myself to yoga." Even worse is when I hear yoga teachers say the same thing! You've done well to keep yourself away from others for a week when you have a cold. Generally speaking, you should return to class when you are feeling better and are no longer contagious. Would you attend a friend's birthday party in your current condition? Go out on a date? Play tennis? If the answers are yes, then it's OK to go to yoga class too.
If you decide to wait to go back to class, it should be fine to do some gentle stretching on your own when you feel up to it. Something like this daily stretch routine would be appropriate.
Now, keep in mind that I am not a doctor, only an aunt, so if your symptoms persist beyond the normal lifespan of a cold, you should probably see your health care provider.
In the meantime, drink some yogi tea, dear, and get cozy with your TiVo. Yoga will still be here when you feel better.
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