Managing your water consumption in a Bikram environment
So you all know you must come to class properly hydrated; come in de-hydrated and it is downhill all the way. You can’t do the serious job of hydrating during your practice; that is not why you are there. Your job is to arrive hydrated and then all you will need is top-up sips now and then ~ you can do a big re-hydration afterwards. As per our policy, new practitioners will not be admitted if they cannot confirm they have hydrated before their first class. Whilst the new person may not understand this, anyone who has ever done even one Bikram class will.
YOU ALL KNOW YOU MAY DRINK DURING A BIKRAM CLASS
Bikram is one of the few schools of Yoga where you must have water with you. Wait until after Garurasana (Eagle ~ the 4th pose) for your first sip (unless you have particularly dry throat/cough and feel it absolutely necessary). If you have properly hydrated waiting until after Eagle will not be a problem. After Eagle new practitioners may drink their water as and when they feel like but do not gulp it as too much will swill around your belly and make you feel uncomfortable.
Now, I am not the water police and you are not expected to surrender your free will when you walk into our Yoga school but if you have been practicing for a while you may wish to hone the timing of your water consumption during class to get the most out of your practice.
Remember in Yogasana you are not just working your musculoskeletal body you are working all your bodies including your Pranic body and there is a school of thought that says you can quench the subtle fires that you are actually trying to create when you drink too much water during practice and this interferes with the flow of prana. The subtle energies and prana flow are a Yogic thing as opposed to a ‘proved by western science’ thing 🙂 but from my own experience I would suggest you just go with this until you find the truth for yourself 🙂
Here are our suggestions for better timings for having that sip if one really needs it:
- Balancing Stick (finish set of 3 balancing postures)
- Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee (finish set of 3 separate leg stretching postures)
- Spine strengthening series
- End Savasana
- before Eagle
- between first and second set of asana or between right/left side asana
- if you are taking a rest and others are working (water drinking especially distracting during balancing postures)
- if you fall out of an asana and do not intend to get back in (just stand still)
- before floor strengthening series (lying on your belly)
- before/during Kapalbhati
- during end Savasana
Whilst some of these habits are integral to the practice (no water before Eagle, between sets or if you fall out) the rest are suggestions to help you and the choice is yours.
We want our students to have every freedom in a class environment that can be very challenging for the new person but nonetheless we will discourage the ‘water bottle as a crutch/mis-focus’.
IF YOU ARE READY TO TRY MINDFUL DRINKING
TRY it for one or two classes and you will quickly stop being preoccupied by your water bottle and your next drink which is often just another external distraction/ habit that you may have fallen into. It will be a surprisingly easy habit to break – just test it! And you will be saving your energy for where you really need it.
Ultimately, drink if you need to and don’t feel guilty about it but do it mindfully.
Namaste ~ Trisha
For more information on Proper Hydration see my other blogs: