When Is It Smart To Take A Sick Day From Class?

Today I took the day off from class. I hate to do that, but I was fighting a cold, jet lag, a sore hip, and I couldn’t stop coughing!  I needed the day to recover and rest so I could return to my practice strong and ready for action tomorrow. Let’s hope it works. I might have to wait another day or two with this cough… I guess it is that time of year.

I often waffle on whether or not to go to class when I am feeling under the weather. Obviously, if I have a fever or am contagious with something I don’t go, but what if I just feel a little bit sick. Will class help or hurt my prospects for a quick recovery? In my experience, it can go both ways.

Sometimes if I have a little bit of a head cold, the heat and the sweat just clean everything out and I have an almost miraculous recovery. Plus the compression postures help fire up my immune system, which has to help a little bit, right? I take the class a little easy and see how it goes. Usually I am happy I went.

But other times, going to class can be the kiss of death. My muscles are so sore I can’t really do the postures properly. I become dehydrated and weak, and my body just shuts down. I often spend those classes recovering on my mat. At least the heat usually feels good, but truthfully, I wish I was home in bed.

I have yet to find a full proof strategy, but maybe the difference is like the old saying — starve a fever, feed a cold. If it is just a cold, class will probably help, but if its something more severe, with aches and fever, it is best to stay home. For now, I usually just go with my gut. And this morning it was saying “Go back to bed!” So I did. Let’s hope tomorrow is a better day.

Fellow yogis, do you go to class when you are feeling under the weather?

12 thoughts on “When Is It Smart To Take A Sick Day From Class?

  1. Oh, I’ve pondered this one a lot. When I have a cold, I generally don’t go to class and use that time to rest, or take a walk for some light exercise/vitamin D. As you mentioned, the dehydration issue is one reason, plus I feel like I’d be disturbing the class with all the nose blowing/nasal sounds, and possibly giving the cold to other students (considering how easily the cold virus spreads around my office!) But perhaps the biggest reason is that when I’m feeling icky and sick, even without a fever, I just don’t want to be in enclosed room with other people. And I figure the studio isn’t going anywhere.
    But the bottom line, as you said, is to go with your gut when making the decision. Hope you feel better soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great blog! I had a cold and went but I wouldn’t do it again. The teacher encouraged me that I SHOULD go when sick, something to do with producing a thousand more white blood cells that help fight… I don’t know exactly what she said, I was concentrating on not fainting. Besides that, the students in the room made it clear that I shouldn’t have been there by the amount of space they set around me. Not the best feeling and not my best practice anyway, but always listen to your gut. Nobody knows you better than yourself.


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