Why I Got Sick.

Hi. I was in Boston last week. Boston. You know, that place where they declared a health emergency because of the flu outbreak. I was there for a work conference and everything was held in our hotel. I wasn’t sure if I should breathe on my coworkers (since most were not from Boston either) or if I should get outside and breathe. And then I remembered germs don’t really exist in Ayurveda, so what was I worried about? I was an Ayurvedic champ! Invincible. Totally gonna skirt this flu – watch me! Then on Friday, I got sick. It’s not terrible by any means but my throat burns, my nose is running, and my skin hurts when water touches it. And my knuckles ache.

I don’t know if it really is the flu or not, but what I do know is why I got sick. If any of the below sounds familiar and you have these as frequent habits, you will want to adjust your schedule immediately. The following habits deplete our best friend, ojas. Ojas is our life vitality, immunity, and strength in fighting off disease.

Why I got sick:

Two long flights. Air travel very vata increasing which dries us up, makes us cold and shrivels warm, gooey ojas. People get sick on flight not just from germs but because our immunity goes way down on the flights and we can easily catch what people are sneezing. Gross.
A packed schedule. Days went from 8am-10pm, nonstop. Well, there were pauses, but I didn’t want to miss out on anything so I just kept going and talking.
Limited fruits and veggies, and too many muffins, croissants, rolls, and potatoes. Not enough vitamins, digestive spices, or healthy fats in the food.
Coffee, daily because I wasn’t sleeping. Coffee is very dehydrating and gives a false sense of energy.
Wine, nightly. If there’s a way to instantly deplete ojas, combine wine + flying + packed schedule + not sleeping. Hello, sick.
Insomnia, only getting about 5 hours of sleep each night. I was so amped when I hit the pillow! Insomnia was a result of high vata from travel, busy activities, and dehydration.

Some of you might be thinking, “You wuss, MonicaB! You can’t even handle 4 days of a busy conference!?” To that I will say, “No, no I can’t. Not me. I have high vata to begin with and this sh*t wears me out.” Because I know myself, I could see that I was in trouble with this schedule. So, now I encourage you to do the same. Does your schedule include any one (or more) of these on the list? If so, do you get sick often? It’s a fun puzzle once you understand what influences (besides germs) can make you sick and so many of it is within our control.

Next up is part 2 and I’ll tell you how I made it through the sickness. :)

12 Responses to Why I Got Sick.

  1. Veronica says:

    Thanks for the burrito idea Monica. That’s one I hadn’t thought of at all. I will do it for sure. I did also read the article on jet-lagging and will be sure to follow your tips. Thanks again!

    • Monica says:

      Awesome Veronica! Have a wonderful trip! And enjoy all that fabulous olive oil – that will keep your vata in check for sure – you’ll glow when you come back! :)

  2. Veronica says:

    Speaking of air travel, can you recommend some foods to take on the plane that won’t increase vata or pitta? I am 52 years old Pitta Vata and will be taking a long flight to Italy from Oregon next month. Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

  3. eJ says:

    if possible for people near the ocean taking a dip in salt water does wonders for your health. And even if your not tired and cant sleep for some reason, laying on the floor and listening to calming music helps allot

    jim sims on pandora always works for me

  4. Steven says:

    I have been there many times myself as I travel almost once a month for work. I rub a bit of ghee inside my nostrils before a flight and while staying in hotels/conference centers. Has cut travel illnesses way down!

  5. Holly says:

    I’d love that you’re so willing to stand up and say, ‘enough!’ Hopefully, more and more of us will be willing to do that, and we’ll end up with a whole society of people who knows how to honour themselves instead of being on that nasty old hamster wheel. Go Monica!

  6. Lisa Munger says:

    I’m always vata-ed out with the above too, lovely. I’m sure you took care of yourself and I hope you are feeling better!

  7. Elle says:

    Ugh! I totally got sick this week too! I’m vata to the extreme and winter is being sooo harsh on me this year! Still, when all my friends got sick I thought I wouldn’t. I’ve been so healthy! Even my friends said “Elle’s the healthiest person I know, how could she get sick?” I know! I was at a conference too! The Yoga Journal conference (while fun!) meant lots of cramped quarters, recirculated air, and six hours straight of yoga. Yeah that’s probably overkill :) Guess I’m not a conference person either!

  8. Kibby says:

    AAWWW! Monica, I hope you are back to feeling your fantastic self REAL SOON! I too am a high Vata and have to be UBER careful. Feel better and look forward to part 2. :)

  9. Marsi says:

    I always travel with a sinus rinsing kit and “hose my nose” as soon as I get to my hotel. I always used to get sick in my destination city after flying there — but no more. It may not be the be-all and end-all, but it certainly helps a lot. Feel better!

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