February 1, 2014

Real Yogis Get the Flu & the Flu Shot. ~ Michelle Marchildon

Source: via Jil on Pinterest

I feel a certain amount of yogi-shaming that I have gotten the flu.

In addition to having fever, chills, aches, sweats, congestion, headache and overall disgustingness, I am deeply embarrassed. That’s because if I had consumed enough green drinks, or meditated more, this wouldn’t have happened to me.

Even though yoga is not supposed to be competitive, of course it is. We see the Instagram photos of the uber-yogic-yogis drinking green drinks and eating their nuts and berries. It is supposed to be inspiring, but some of us feel like schmucks.

I could do better with my diet. I am gluten-free, drink green drinks and eat healthy food. I am almost vegan—and by that I mean I eat a little bit of farm-raised, grass-fed, antibiotic-free animal protein.

However, I also drink vodka, eat Swedish fish and swallow enough Splenda to kill a Green Bay Packer.

Furthermore, if you practice Hot Yoga of any kind, Bikram or Power, you are not supposed to get sick. That’s what everyone says. I even take supplements and inhale essential oils.

I do all that stuff to thrive—but then I took a dive.

Therefore, when I got the flu, I was afraid. I knew it would cost me readers, respect, and of course, my students who are looking for a real yoga teacher.

Because real yogis don’t get the flu!

Now, and I know this is controversial, I have decided to get a flu shot.


Yes. I said it. You know I’m not afraid of controversy. I’ve written about kale and gluten. I’ve written about bad girl behavior, which apparently happens everywhere except in Denver.

I’ve written about the bad boy behavior of our gurus. I’ve written about rape in India and the Republicans in the U.S., and I have no idea why I put those two things in a single sentence but I might still be feverish. I have written about gun control and abortion. I even wrote about, gasp, what to wear to practice yoga.

Now I am venturing into the fray by saying that I am getting a flu shot. After this, I may go into witness protection.

I know that there is some evidence that the flu shot may be bad for you. It has mercury in it, but probably not as much as the tuna I’ve eaten. It costs around $25 in my area. And the last time I had it, in 2008, it made my arm hurt. A lot. I couldn’t do Crow Pose for six months.

On the other hand, this flu was really freaking bad. In fact, 45 people have died from it so far, and one was described as a very nice middle-aged woman with a great sense of humor. That could have been me!

I lost work from this motherf@#king flu. My husband and teenage children are shunning me even more than usual. My girlfriend came to visit and I had to hug her knees! So I bought Tamiflu to fight it, which costs around $250.

Now I am out $250, which in yoga-dollars is like an entire year’s pay. I am still sick, and I am ashamed. This little yogi cannot win, so I give up.

Crucify me if you will, but I’m getting the flu shot.

It has to be better than this hell I’ve been through with the flu.


Love elephant and want to go steady?

Sign up for our (curated) daily and weekly newsletters!


Editor: Bryonie Wise

Photo: elephant archives

Read 5 Comments and Reply

Read 5 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Michelle Marchildon  |  Contribution: 12,400