Do you go to the yoga studio to practice while coughing or phlem-ing profusely? My suggestion is please don’t! The last two times I was teaching Mysore style Ashtanga, and students attended openly admitting that they were very ill, I came home with a cold. Even though they graciously suggested I de-germ my hands after touching them, we still must consider that many communal germs are airborne. Reminder: In yoga practice breathing is priority and we share the air! Not to mention, in Ashtanga yoga teachers are generally very hands- and other parts of the body-on and work in close proximity with students. So, even if they de-germ they’re hands, they can’t very well douse themselves from head to toe with hand sanitizer. While you will be very missed, I’d like to encourage any student who knows you are really ill to please do your practice at home during the acute (i.e. infectious) stage of your illness. Yoga is healing, and while yogis are generally healthy people they are human and therefore not invincible. After a couple or few days, when you know you’re no longer contagious, return to the group without compromising the health of the group. Please honor your teachers and fellow yogis by practicing at home if you’re icky sicky. Namaste.
Question of the day: How do you decide when to practice at home vs. at the studio or in a group setting?