Monday, March 28, 2011

A little practice report: It is possible to do a full practice on a not-so-good stomach

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.  


  1. Hi Nobel!
    I do Ashtanga Yoga at Sattva Yoga Shala with Darby in Montreal. I have been enjoying your blog for a couple of weeks now. I thought your interview with Kino was excellent and I look forward to the next one that's coming up. Good luck with your stomach! Perhaps when you're feeling better, you can take my Granola Quiz and replenish your innards accordingly!
    Take care, Erica. xom.

  2. Hello AYEA (don't you think that's a cool acronym?), thanks. My stomach is feeling better now, although it seems to have gone in the other direction; yesterday it was busy purging, today it seems to have clamped up (TMI?)...

    I just read a few articles on your blog. You have a beautiful writing style. I will take your Granola Quiz soon.

    I'm going to Kino's workshop in a couple days, but there's so much I need to get done between now and then that it seems so far away! Isn't this strange?

    I'm happy that you are studying with a great teacher. I've heard great things about Darby.

  3. Thanks for an idea, you sparked at thought from a angle I hadn’t given thoguht to yet. Now lets see if I can do something with it.

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