Warning: This might be TMI for some of you. But I decided to write about it anyway, because it might be useful information for some of you who have to make the decision as to whether or not to practice on a day when you are feeling less than fully well.
I woke up with a bad stomach this morning. Had to run to the bathroom immediately after I woke up to, well, discharge the somewhat watery contents of my bowels into the toilet. Not sure why this happened. It could be a stomach bug. Or it could be the fact that I had forgotten to turn on the heater in my apartment last night before I went to sleep (cold weather sometimes does things to my stomach). Or was it something I ate yesterday?...
Whatever it was, I found myself having to go back to the bathroom a few minutes later to repeat the same discharging process. By this time, I was debating whether to practice, or to take a rest day. If I practiced, there was a chance that an "accident" might happen at a moment when I have less control of my bandhas. After a few moments' deliberation, I decided to take the chance and practice anyway. After all, I was already up, and I didn't feel the need to get more sleep; in any case, sleep probably wouldn't be very peaceful, given the state of my stomach.
So I started practicing. There were a few close calls during the standing postures and the first few postures of primary, but the bandhas prevailed :-) I got through primary, and then second. Actually did a very nice heel/ankle-grabbing kapotasana. Got all the way to Ardha Matsyendrasana before deciding to wrap up the practice.
Moral of the story? I guess it is that it is possible to practice on a bad stomach, if one is conscious of the bandhas. In fact, having a bad stomach forces one to be more conscious of bandha engagement from moment to moment.
For now, I'm going to eat less today, and let the digestive system clear out whatever needs to be cleared out.