This has been a pretty slow blog week for me: I finished up all my reading last week, so this week I completed my homework assignments, which involved working backwards from my blog posts to create papers I can hand in. This was kind of challenging, as I’ve been generating an awful lot of content on here. I easily had over 10 single-spaced pages on the yamas and niyamas, and that was after I’d cut some stuff. I had to do a lot of work to edit that down to something reasonable for the assignment. So a lot of my blog energy went toward finishing the homework, and then it was nice to take a mental break from all the yoga. I still practiced this week and went to class, but I also read a romance novel and an Agatha Christie mystery, had a haircut, and went out for dinner with friends. It was nice to have some non-yoga energy to spend on the rest of my life, especially since this is a yoga weekend and I’ll be at the studio tonight and all day tomorrow.
In lieu of your regularly-scheduled yoga post, let’s talk allergies. Spring has come to the R & F household, and both of us have been itchy-eyed and sniffly all week. (We also live across the street from an arboretum, where all kinds of things are joyfully blooming and spewing pollen into the air, so perhaps allergy season hits us a little hard here.) When I get allergies, I’ve found that they’ll often develop into a cold, so in the interest of staying healthy, here are my tips for cold prevention:
- The Neti pot. Seriously, it works. I got colds all the time last winter; this year, not one cold, and I chalk it up to the Neti pot. It’s like a little teapot. You fill it with warm water, then dissolve in a little packet of powder that turns the tap water into a salt water mixture. Then you lean over the sink and pour the water up your nose! It will flow in one nostril and out the other, cleaning all the gunk out of there. Clean out one nostril, and then switch sides. It sounds totally gross, but Swami Rama actually did advocate for nasal cleaning in The Royal Path (on page 51 in fact). Do this a couple times a week, or more often if you actually feel a cold coming on, and it will help. I hated it at first and now I’m a total addict. You can get a Neti pot in the pharmacy section of Target.
- I also use Flonase spray. I got a prescription from my doctor because I’m one of those people whose nose just gets clogged up at night. I love the Flonase and use it every morning. Our bedroom gets really dry at night, so I also keep a saline nose spray by the bed so I can moisturize up there. (Now that I think about it, I’m kind of amazed at all the crap I pour in my nose, but it’s obviously working.)
- For sore throats, try using oil of oregano. You can get this at a natural foods store. Drip 2-4 drops of the oil under your tongue, and hold it there for 30-60 seconds. It will burn. Practice tapas. Then swallow the oil – try to do it in such a way that it hits the sorest spot on your throat. This will also burn, and you will probably flail about making unpleasant noises, but for some reason it really works. Try to do the oil of oregano as soon as you feel even a hint of a sore throat.
- If the sore throat sets in, give it a burst of vitamin C with cayenne pepper and orange juice! Yeah, you heard me. Fill a juice glass with OJ, and then sprinkle cayenne on top: enough to have a little cayenne lid floating on top of the juice. Then take it like a shot, so the peppered juice will hit your throat. It will burn. You don’t have to drink the whole glass of juice at once, but each sip should be taken in a gulp so the juice hits your throat. I learned this one from the daughter of hippies, and now I swear by it.
- My eye doctor wrote me a prescription for Pataday eye drops. Put ’em in once a day and they really help with the itchy watery thing! I was never able to try allergy eye drops before because I wear contact lenses (and it’s a bad idea to drip medicine into your eyes while you’re wearing contacts – the medicine will cling to the lens and not get into your eye where you need it). However, the Pataday drops can be used first thing in the morning or even right before bed – you just have to allow 30 minutes before putting your contacts in, to allow your eyes to absorb the drops, and then you’re good to go all day.
- You’ve probably heard this before, but local honey is supposed to be good for allergies, because the bees in your area are using all that pollen to make their honey, and, theoretically, consuming the pollen in honey can help you build up a resistance. So while you’re at the natural foods store looking for oil of oregano, pick up some local honey to help you ward off the sneezes.