Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Day 37: A class without water

A fellow blogger (thanks Wendy!) inspired me to try a class without water after reading her post.  I have kicked the idea around before, but never tried it.  Funny thing is I put on my facebook today "Michelle is going to do a class without water today" and got some very concerned comments from non yoga friends (isn't that bad for you!).  So let me do my little disclaimer here before I write about how it went:
Begin disclaimer:  Nobody goes and runs a marathon without training for it.  This "no water class" is the same thing.  You need to be a seasoned yogini who knows her body and knows how strong she is during class.  I would not recommend that any new people try it, or people who struggle with the heat.  End disclaimer.
Ok, how did it go you say?  Well, today was 530 with Connie.  I went into the room without the water bottle at all.  Just me, my mat and my yogi toes, ready to rock and roll!  Kneeling down Japanese style, 5 mins before class, watching everybody come in, I had a moment of worry.  What if I can't do it?  What if I have to leave the room? I never leave the room!  Then I took a deep breath, reminded myself that I had drank THREE liters of water throughout the day (overkill, but I wanted to be hydrated!) and that I could do this....I pushed the worry out of my mind then knew I'd make it fine.  Might have some suffering, but knew I'd do it.  How did it feel?  Well,  after eagle, we have the only official water break.  The sounds of all those caps and bottles caused me to smile a bit in the mirror.  I was standing there quietly thinking, "this isn't so bad".  Fast forward to fixed firm.  After a tough but strong standing series (I felt great today!) my throat was burning a little and I wanted water bad.  So then the sounds of those caps and bottles going as most yogi's took advantage of the "unofficial" water break almost drove me to the brink.  Ugh.  I really just kept trying to bring my focus off my throat and back to my breath and made it through the rest of the class just fine.  During the spine series I realized I was noticing the heat much more than I do when I have the nice little cold water distraction as a crutch.  It's not that it bothered me or caused me suffering, I was just more aware of it.
So I made it.  Will I do it again?  Probably not!  But I will try to be more disciplined with my water from now on.  I used to drink after eagle, during fixed firm and after class ONLY.  Lately, like a small child, I've let my focus and discipline wander and I've taken the liberty of drinking in between alot of the floor series postures and I don't need to.  I'm just distracting myself and losing precious focus when I do that. 


  1. Congratulations. Three liters may sound like alot to you, but to me it sounds like a drop in the bucket. If you were really thirsty in class, then of course you should probably drink. But at fixed firm, it won't make much difference, because it takes 20 minutes to start absorbing any water you drink, which means the water you have at fixed firm starts doing you good only after the class is over. In the end, if you need to drink in class, that probably means you didn't have enough water in you going in.

    Anyway, getting through a class without water is a nice feat. The point, of course, is to stop using water as a crutch. The second point is to learn that when you think you need water, you probably really need air. It sounds like you've taken a great step to that kind of mindfulness.

    Also, it's even more impressive that you would try doing this in the midst of a challenge. You already have quite a bit going on your yoga dance card.

  2. Hey there, congrats on your first waterless class! It's a nice little experience huh! :) I agree with everything you wrote in your post and Duffy wrote above.

    I knew I was ready for the challenge since I drink so little in class to begin with, and I majorly hydrate during the day. I get around a half gallon of liquids in, including coconut juice, sea salt and lime. By the time class rolls around, I'm pretty good on the hydration front, and I found the water bottle to be a distraction. Like you, I never thought about not bringing it into class with me! LOL!

    Awesome job on talking yourself through the tough spots!

    Reading Duffy's comment I had to chuckle. You'd think we'd settle for just one challenge huh? Now we're doing challenges within a challenge! It does keep the practice fun and interesting though. :)

  3. inspired by your waterless practice, I skipped water after eagle and lasted til we moved to the floor. Wow. Tough but helped me stay focused! I had very unfocused practice this evening and I was feeling like lazy bones..
    Keep up the good work!