Don’t Make This Yoga Mistake When You Practice

Heather Larson
2 min readDec 23, 2022


I shouldn’t have been practicing yoga when I had a cold!

There I was, doing Ubhaya Padangusthasana or Both Big Toe’s Pose, when I slipped. I yanked my left big toe reflexively and it’s still sore a week later.

While I thought practicing yoga would be good for my body, I hadn’t realized how clumsy I was. I injured myself for the first time since I began practicing yoga in 1996!

Should you practice yoga when sick?

No, you may injure yourself when you’re weak, distracted, and not your best.

I manage pain from scoliosis through movement. This means I go to the gym to exercise and I do yoga. I was merely staying in my routine.

When you’re sick, you need rest more than routine.

What can you do instead?

If you’re like me and you practice yoga for its many physical benefits, like pain relief, you can skip practicing the asanas (poses).

Do simple warm-ups and don’t exert effort. You still warm up your muscles and it may be more than enough to keep your body comfortable.

Remember: yoga isn’t about asana!

There is more to yoga than getting on the mat.

Most of the benefits of yoga come from practicing it off the mat. Not to “should all over myself,” but I should have kept to my off-the-mat yoga by practicing breathing and meditation alone.

Let your body lead

It’s so important to listen to your body. While mine craves movement, I need to remember to listen to its other craving — the need for rest. What is your body telling you? Sometimes, we interpret the message wrong, as I did, and end up causing ourselves harm — which is very unlike yoga’s principle of ahimsa, or non-harming.

So if you’re sick, rest. I promise your yoga mat isn’t going anywhere!

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Heather Larson

Hi 👋 I’m Heather Larson! I’m data-driven content writer coming from traditional media. I’m a veteran broadcaster, radio personality, and journalist.