Water – a symbol of purity, clarity and serenity. It replenishes the body, cleanses the mind, and rejuvenates the spirit.
We all know what happens to a grape when the water is extracted, it becomes a raisin. Imagine what happens to muscle when you extract the water. Would the muscle tissue remain buoyant and resilient while flowing through your yoga poses? Or does the muscle feel tight and tired with minimal elasticity? Dehydration has a profound effect on muscle strength and flexibility. It can also be the cause of many body aches and pains.
Water hydrates the tissues of every organ, muscle, and bone. It lubricates the joints and keeps everything moving and flowing with ease. This wonderful life source allows every cell in our body to grow, reproduce, survive and thrive. Water flushes out toxins, regulates our body temperature, and acts as a shock absorber for the brain and spinal cord. Water helps to promote weight loss, reduce the appearance of wrinkles andtransform our skin with radiance. This magical thirst quencher awakens and energizes the body and helps keep us alert. We are able to think more clearly and focus better.
Drinking Water in Yoga Class
Dehydration is an issue with many people in our society due to the large quantities of caffeinated drinks, sugary sodas, and alcohol that are being consumed instead of water. Side effects of medication can also contribute to dehydration. As we move and breathe, while practicing yoga, toxins are being released into the body and we need water flowing through the body to flush them out.
I encourage my Chogaflow® students to drink water during class when thirsty, this helps to avoid any symptoms of dehydration that may occur while flowing through their practice, including light-headedness, nausea, and muscle cramps. I also suggest that they be plenty hydrated before they arrive for class and to definitely re-hydrate again afterward.
There are some yoga practices that discourage drinking water during class. The reason being, while flowing through the yoga poses we are creating inner heat. This inner heat is what helps to detoxify the body and clear the energy channels. Drinking water during class is said to cool the inner heat and disrupt the flow of energy.
Soothing the Senses
We are naturally drawn to the sight, sound, and feel of water. It helps heal and harmonize body, mind and spirit.
Our senses are constantly being overstimulated with unnatural sights and sounds in our high rise, high tech, fast paced world. Everything that enters our body comes in through the senses of sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell. To obtain balance in our life, it is important that we to take time to bathe our senses in the rejuvenating, healing wonders of water.
Think about how you feel when you rest your eyes softly on the rhythmic dance of rolling ocean waves or when your inner ear awakens to the peaceful melody of a trickling waterfall. When the vapors of a fresh spring rain tickle your nose with delight or how a warm bath magically sends soothing sensory signals to the brain as you relax into the quiet stillness of water. How quenching your thirst with a tall glass of water on a hot summer day refreshes, rejuvenates and awakens your inner happiness. Water is like love for your physical, mental, and emotional health. It is awe-inspiring.
Take time to drink in the beauty of life and soothe your senses. When we quiet the senses and begin to find calm within, we are then able to ride the waves of life without disturbing the deeper, inner peace of our ocean.
- For proper hydration it is recommended that you drink half your body weight, in ounces, every day and more than that if you are active. Example: If your body weight is 150 lbs, drink 75 ounces of water. When you replenish your body with water it helps to decrease arthritic joint pain and relieve low back pain. It aids in alleviating muscle cramps and also helps to relieve chronic fatigue syndrome and depression.
- 16 ounces/16 minutes-If you have a headache or a body pain drink 16 ounces of water and then wait 16 minutes, many times the issue will have resolved itself. If the pain is not completely gone drink 16 ounces more. Can the simple solution of drinking more water help to alleviate our aches and pains? Try it!
A wonderful organization that I support is I Am Waters. They deliver bottled water free of charge to homeless shelters. 100% of the net proceeds go back to helping IAW with its mission to hydrate the homeless.