Why You Shouldn’t Drink Water While Practicing Yoga

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Please click the text below to read what Sadhguru has to share with us about how to grow in our yoga practices.

Thanks again to Isha Foundation for educating those of us who are serious about your yoga.  Namaste.

Why You Shouldn’t Drink Water While Practicing Yoga.

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147 responses »

  1. It is interesting to think about how any distraction through the practice of yoga can potentially hinder the state of being we are constantly trying to cultivate. I suppose the same way I try to stop my mind from wandering during Isha Kriya is the same kind of experience you try to avoid while doing yoga, which in this case can be using the bathroom or drinking water. It is important for the body to expel of liquids naturally. It also makes sense to me to not drink water because when I used to skateboard a lot I realized that when I over hydrated it made me feel worse – I sometimes felt bloated or simply more exhausted than I would have felt otherwise. Patience, time, and a control over our urges are all integral factors for me to consider moving forward in this class.

  2. “Why do we become envy? Because we compare”
    This statement spoke very much to me. When I heard this in the listening I paused it to repeat it to myself numerous times. I typically find a deep understanding to this because of the art I study in so I would like to use it as an example. It’s unfortunate to say but the world of dance can be so competitive and hurtful. You see it in all ages. I have seen so many relationships between people collapse because of being so envious. When dancers become jealous of each other it is because they see a quality in someone else that they feel they don’t have or they don’t have their body type or even if another dancer is getting more recognition than them. Now I know that experiencing jealousy is completely human because that’s in our nature. I admit to having these feelings before but it takes a strong to mind to accept who you are as a person. In dance, no one will ever be the same. Everyone has a unique quality to themselves and I feel that if people were more willing to accept that we wouldn’t create such hateful thoughts towards each other. This doesn’t just apply to dance, but in any situation. Then again, saying this is much easier said than done but I have been practicing this thought for a while now and I feel that I have been getting much stronger mentally and appreciating my own unique ways of living and moving. It is an easier way to live and it will cause less stress to the mind. People will give so much time and energy worrying about someone and they will not realize it is only hurting themselves at the end of day. In order to grow and live life to the fullest is when you can accept to love yourself and be proud of the person that you are because I believe that everyone has something positive to give to the world.

    -Melanie Ramos

  3. There are different climates in which ones practices yoga. I find it very interesting that water can create such a rift when working through regular yoga routines. All the sweat that accumulates on your head is important because you’re hydrating your body as you sweat and working on your frame as it goes. Any distraction can cause you to lose concentration. I personally have left the room during practice and it was a little difficult to get back into the groove of things. Everyone operates differently and it is really a personal thing for me.

    Talia (Rosie) Evans

  4. Wow, this is really good to know I have practiced yoga while drinking water many times before. I will try to limit that now, and to see how my body feels without. I don’t tend to sweat in hatha yoga though. I always feel rejuvenated after though, just this week I went to the food court on campus after class and one of my good friends told me that I seemed to be glowing, radiating light. That really puts a smile on my face because I hope to radiate light and inspire others to do the same.

    • My hope for students is that they do complete the assignments in a timely fashion so that they have ample time to understand about the bio-chemistry aspects and can apply them early on. I hope that you may now be advised and continue your personal yoga after this semester and can have time to fully experience with this new knowledge. OM

  5. Tyler Schrader

    Ive both done my yoga practice while being hydrated and without water. Out of both those experiences Id have to say i really do notice a difference in energy and concentration while fasting. Last week i tried using the grapefruit juice to ease the the hunger which helped a lot. Its interesting when Sadhguru talks about rising the ushna in the body and when you introduce cold water the ushna will rapidly fall, causing various other reactions. Such as becoming more susceptible to allergic conditions, excess mucus and other things. I see this as if you were to take a hot glass out of the dishwasher, then put cold water directly into it. The glass is likely to crack and brake. So i thought what if you were drinking warm or room temp water? This will not break the glass. Although this could still potentially interrupt by filling the Blatter resulting you using the bathroom. Aside from that i feel as if drinking room temp water will despise the sidefects and not affect your ushna in the body. I also found the info helpful when he spoke about containing our sweat and rubbing it back into our bodies to create a certain aura and strengthen the body – a “cocoon of your own energy” This is intriguing, I’ve never thought of sweat to be a protective agent to the body and was unaware of all the benefits it can be used for. I will keep this in mind during our next practice.

  6. I think this post is an interesting read because I have always replenished in a yoga class by hydrating with water throughout class. But after this read, I gained a lot of knowledge on the overall goal of “Yoga,” and systematically raising the ushna in the body. By drinking water, or using the bathroom, one is disrupting the water levels and purification in the body. By pushing beyond physical compulsions, you embody your yoga practice by becoming united with your practice. I learned that by directing asana from the head, you are able to send energy like a fountain from the top of the body. This is where sweat should be produced. Additionally, not using the bathroom during your practice will enhance your system and transform your water buildup into sweat! I enjoyed this post because it opens your mind to higher dimensions and possibilities that you can reach within your body!

    (I practice the Isha Kriya every other day. I have found it very relaxing and therapeutic. My body seems to crave this practice now that it knows its pattern and flow. This practice helps me clear my mind before I embark on another portion of my day.)

  7. I never understood the request to limit water intake during my yoga practice even when I would practice in my hometown. This is very interesting information, and, quite honestly, makes perfect sense when put into context like this. I assume any water is not as beneficial, cold or not, but I’ve definitely noticed after practices catching that seemingly unexpected “cold”. Biologically it makes sense, too; if you’re warming your body up, that shock of cold would most certainly affect it.
    This was a wonderful little article with such useful and clarifying information 🙂

  8. Sadhguru says one should not consume water during yoga because it extinguishes the body’s energy. It is important to use the body to its full potential and maximum efficiency during the process. This entails that the body expels fluids through the form of sweat as opposed to urine. As someone who personally sweats a lot in any circumstance, I know it is important to drink a lot of water before and after physical exercise, but to let my body natural expel as much sweat as it needs to cool down my body.

    I have been able to keep up with the Isha Kriya practice four times a week, usually at night. When my day is over it is nice to relax with deep breaths. I can recollect myself and destress from long days of work and obligations.

  9. More and more with these journals, it has become clear to me that one huge goal in yoga is to gain a better understanding of your physical compulsions to escape them. In this talk, it is explained that giving into what the body wants in a short-term moment takes away the ushna created in the practice. These short-term needs include thirst, hunger, and having to use the bathroom. We may even count needing to change our seating or position as a type of short-term physical need. By engaging in anything outside of the practice, we are essentially wasting the practice itself. This is something Sadhguru touches on when talking about a non-wasteful way of sweating. Taking a break to urinate during the practice definitely decreases the ushna that has been built. If we combat this urge by sweating instead, we are still allowing the expulsion except the energy built can be redirected to the top of the head, where we should be sweating during the asanas. This way of sweating is “slowly grow[ing] beyond your physical compulsions”. Basically, we maneuver our physical compulsions by directing the appropriate energy built to our crowns. We do not let these compulsions take us away from the practice, but rather integrate them into it.

    Regarding this week’s Isha Kriya I hope with time I am able to practice without the video because I feel it is somewhat distracting for me to a certain degree. At the very least the video somewhat breaks my focus and I feel the need to skip ahead or am tempted with looking at how far along I am in the practice. This practice should be a fully immersive experience and not a daunting one. I want to remove the feeling of obligation when doing the Isha Kriya and make it a part of a normal routine I do after work. I was a little better this week in terms of going to bed at a decent hour so practicing did not feel as “obligatory” as it did in weeks past. I think with each week and each day I go to bed a little earlier I will find myself being able to find a more focused practice. As for doing the Kriya without the video, what are some ways to keep track of the time? Does anyone care to share? Also, does anyone practice with some soothing music in the background?

    • Another good essay….about marking time perhaps a timer on your device? Music is okay but if possible its better to practice without music as we may become captured by the soundtrack and miss our own stillness and kriya’s effect. OM

  10. Engaged throughout the passage, these findings about yoga were very interesting. I feel through most practices, people talk about the importance of hydrating especially while working out. This practice of yoga is contrasting to other bodily movements. The way fluids travel in the body can be released through different energies and paths. I never thought of these paths as something spiritual. I remember being young, going to practice and remembering of having this sensation to use the bathroom. Suddenly as practice continued and I began to sweat, that sensation had gone away. I used to laugh with my friends and make jokes about this. I was quiet young, so it was silly. We did not necessarily think it was true; that we were sweating it out. But now, putting it into perspective, after reading this article, we were not far from that truth. Although it was not through the practice of yoga or spiritual terminology, we can direct our fluids through different paths. I do believe this.

    Throughout my practice of the Isha Kriya, I have gained a strengthening and focus in my breathing. I no longer have trouble continuing these breathing patterns. My thoughts seem to remain in the meditation not where I will be in 2 hours or where I was. When I start feeling my feet and becoming aware of my body, I do not think about these movement. I simply readjust, and I am okay with this. I do not feel my mind drifting any longer. My practice continues at 7 am every morning along with the video. I still have not developed a way to practice without the video.

  11. This was an interesting read. I normally find myself leaving Yoga class to either drink water or use the bathroom. I thought that since my body was thirsty, I would go and drink water. But, now I know it’s about discipline. I have to discipline myself in order to maintain the right body conditions during yoga. It is actually interesting that this is mentioned because I usually am told that it isn’t good to drink water while working out as well. Not only is it bad because its disrupting the moment where you are raising the ushna in your body, but it also turning your energy into the wrong direction. That is why we should put forth our energy into becoming more disciplined in order to keep our ushna energy up and going into the right direction.

    In my personal experience, usually when I drink water during yoga, I do feel like I am disrupting the energy I built up in that moment during yoga. But, now I am aware of how I am actually lowering the ushna in my body. This has taught me that self discipline is vital. Also, it is well needed to help grow beyond our physical compulsions. This is also another part that piqued my interest. It is true, we are so busy trying to do yoga that we don’t become yoga. We are so in tune with the practice, that we forget what we are actually doing this for which is for us to become yoga itself.

    I remember practicing one time on Wednesday, and more this weekend than I did this week. I felt like doing it during the weekend helped a lot because I actually had time to sit down and make time to learn it again. I was wondering if it was possible if I could do it more during the weekends rather than the week to fully devote myself. But, then I thought to myself that the Isha Kriya is vital to do everyday if I want to be yoga like the article stated. I did notice that sometimes I can be a little distracted by other things and that is why I have not fully committed myself into remembering the Isha Kriya. But, I did practice and study the Isha Kriya more during this weekend in order to make sure I was doing it correctly this time. I did notice that watching the video, made it much clearer than the paper. I am still working on learning the three vital steps by heart in order to successfully do the Isha Kriya.

  12. I found it interesting to read about why you shouldn’t drink water during yoga. I did not realize that it has so many bad effects, such as catching a cold immediately. I am used to doing bikram yoga, when I am home and during bikram you are allowed to drink water during the practice because the room is often so hot and the yoga is often intense so if you do not drink water you may pass out.

    During all of my yoga practices my instructors do tell me to not leave during the class but it is often because it if bad for your practice. You should stay in the room and do what you can in order to get better at yoga, if you leave halfway through a class it is often hard to start back up again once you return. I read in this article that going to the bathroom during practice is also bad because you should be exerting the water from your bad through sweat.

    In my Isha Kriya practice I have been finding that is going very well especially lately because I have been stressed about midterms, but through the Isha Kriya I can calm myself down, and before bed I can clear my mind in order to start fresh the next day.

    • Please do give yourself permission to leave the room for the bathroom if you need and to drink water. Perhaps this information may help you to better prepare yourself for class by fasting and drinking water all week long but not in class unless you really need to, OM

  13. Sadhguru says you should not consume water during yoga because it extinguishes the body’s energy. During yoga, the warm energy generated by the yoga can be doused by drinking cold water. It is important to Capture and save the energy produced by the body. “waste energy” should be expelled by the body through sweat rather than urine, as urinating may release some of the bodies essential energy that has been generated during the yoga practice.

    I don’t find it difficult to abstain from drinking water during practice as I don’t consume or expel much fluid in my daily life. This is something I feel i should improve, as I know that drinking plenty of water is a necessary and healthy practice. I don’t find myself feeling thirst often if ever, and I believe this may be related to not eating too many salty or sweet foods. This week I am setting five alarms on my phone in order to remember to drink water. I realize that the recommended amount is eight full glasses a day, but as I can often go through out the day drinking less than three, i will see if this increase makes a positive difference in my life.

    I have Practiced the Isha Kriya four times this week. I have been generally having a more positive and relaxed attitude, even as I am faced with continually more challenges and responsibilities. I am so happy that my yoga and Isha Kriya practices are having an impact on my daily outlook. I have been keeping a gratitude journal, which has also been really changing my outlook. If I think about my days interactions and accomplishments in a conscious way then my attitude changes from feeling under appreciated to grateful for everything that I and others have done for me.

  14. This was an interesting read, I always thought it would be best to keep hydrated during exercise. I know that the practice of yoga is about strengthen your energy above anything, so the fact that water somehow goes against the building of energy during yoga was a surprise. During my practice I like to remove all distractions so I can focus on the energy. I don’t usually drink water when doing yoga but now I won’t. I want to be able to control my hunger and thirst and most importantly how I react to the weather. I will take this article and run with it so, I can continue to build up my energy during my practice.

  15. Name: Tyler L.

    Drinking water while practicing yoga wastes energy. I am glad to know this information now because when I practice yoga outside of class I find myself drinking a ton of water hoping that I will regain some lost energy but now I know that is not the case. It will not be difficult for me to eliminate drinking water while practicing because I know that it will just waste my energy. I will hydrate before and after practicing yoga instead.

    I have practiced my isha kriya 4 times this week, 2 times at home and now 2 times in my dorm, and i feel a lot more comfortable practicing it during the day now as opposed to practicing it at night. I still have an alarm on my phone to remind me to practice

  16. Normally, hydrating and maintaining a well balanced meal before any form of exercises is advised. So, while doing our yoga practices, I was always genuinely confused on why we were so strongly advised to refrain from consuming any form of liquids and or food. In the beginning of our classes, before the mentioning of fasting, I would most definitely find myself chugging down water and eating before our class, because that is what’s considered normal in almost any form of practice, but not Hatha Yoga. After taking the recommendation of fasting before class, and just reading the given article, It’s become more clear to me know the reasons i which why fasting is so important. As stated in the article, “When you practice yoga, you are systematically raising the ushna in the body. If you drink cold water, the ushna will rapidly fall, and this will cause various other reactions.” IN addition, Sadhguru states, “The idea is to reduce the compulsions gradually so that one day, if you sit, you become yoga – you are not just practicing yoga. To become yoga means that your level of perception is such that there is no distinction between you and the universe.” This quote is essential because it brings up the influence on the power of the body and the mind. And the concentration of adapting ourselves to control our bodies and water excretion and intake. For the idea of consuming water, and excreting water in Hatha Yoga through the form of sweat is essential to our success as young yoga practitioners.

  17. I’m not sure if this is meant to be taken literally, but some of Sadhguru’s reasoning/explanations were not exactly scientific. I’d like to see if there was real evidence to support his claims. He says that you should not drink cold water or go to the bathroom. The idea of going to the bathroom seems logical, because you are sweating out toxins. However, I think water should be ok. I attended a higher intensity yoga class last Wednesday and I needed my water, due to the heat and physical strain. I have been doing the Isha Kriya 4 times a week, but I’ve also been more motivated to eat better and get active. I also purchased some crystals with specific healing benefits. Overall, I think this yoga and meditation are having a very positive effect on my life.

  18. It’s interesting that one shouldn’t drink water during yoga, considering how often we are told we need to drink water constantly- that we should be drinking 104 oz of it each day, 8 whole glasses, and absolutely must hydrate while exercising. However, it does make sense, as said in the article, that drinking cold water while doing yoga would disturb and dispel the body’s energy supply, and one should not go to the bathroom during for the same reason- instead, water should be worked out through sweating.
    Personally, I’ve never been a person who sweats a lot- outside of hot climates, I really don’t sweat too much at all, even when working out. I’ve always wondered whether or not this was something to be concerned about- but I’m curious if through the process of learning yoga, I could actually sweat from the top of the head, as the article says one should during yoga. (Perhaps drinking water more consistently throughout the day before yoga could help accomplish this.) I’m also curious if I could actually feel energy being replenished if this sweat was rubbed back into the body. It’s an interesting concept I’ve never really thought through before.
    Through the Isha Kriya I’ve been able to calm down a bit more, allowing myself to be in the moment more often, rather than letting my rapid thoughts from stress surround and encompass my brain, as I usually let them do. I’m still learning how to let the practice be a part of my everyday life, but I recognize the importance to do so, and am making time in my schedule to allow myself the freedom to practice it and escape my stress. Each time I practice, I leave feeling a little bit more centered, allowing myself to sort through and navigate those rapid thoughts a lot clearer. I’m looking forward to continuing making this practice a part of my everyday life.

  19. When we practice yoga, we create an environment that’s most beneficial for our bodies. Distractions are an awful hinderance to the practice of hata yoga, and water is yet another one, and even has health implications. We think cold water to be the best for us after repeated exertion, yet it can produce excess mucus and allergic reactions, and in severe cases, one can even catch cold. Also drinking water after much exercise can cause one to feel bloated, instead of providing the suspected relief. Our bodies’ natural reaction during such exercises is to sweat, and the best possible option is to sweat everything out in order to cool down, as opposed to wrongly drinking water.

  20. “When you practice yoga, you are systematically raising the ushna in the body.” According to Sadhguru, if you drink cold water while practicing yoga there will be a sharp decline in the ushna level. This rapid fall in ushna can open to up and make you susceptible to many conditions. Drinking cold water while you are doing intense asanas may cause you to catch colds. You would also be less likely to use the bathroom if you avoid drinking a lot of water before or during yoga. You need the least amount of distractions possible because they take away from the overall experience. Sadhguru said that if you can grow past physical compulsions you can become yoga instead of just practicing yoga. So the focus should be to limit your physical compulsions, whether it be food/drink or anything else that may hinder you during yoga. Sadhguru said that if you can conquer this you may have a level of perception like no other and there would be “no distinction between you and the universe.”

    My isha kriya have remained consistent, though i don’t follow the rules to a tee. I prefer not to vocalize the chants and only make mental note of them. Though i practice 4 times a week, i focus mainly on the breathing and relaxation portion of the exercise. I still am receiving the expected benefits from the practices. I prefer the silence to ponder over things and focus on the movements of my breath rather than reciting a chant. I’m sure i’m “limiting myself from achieving the full benefits” but i shall try the full practice in due time. OM

    • When we take part in a practice such as IK it is important to follow properly to get the full benefits, choosing to limit yourself by not chanting will not allow you to fully experience the process.

  21. The article states that we should not drink water while practicing yoga; I found that especially interesting because I was going to bring water to our class today, but decided against it because I figured I wouldn’t need it. I do not typically get thirsty during practice, which I am happy to see is beneficial; I want to really focus and make myself better at the practice of yoga so I understand how drinking water or taking a bathroom break interrupts this practice. Throughout the past few years I have made it a habit to drink eight glasses of water a day; whenever I have a chance I try to drink. I found it particularly interesting the mention of cold water, and how that can give you a cold or even make you lose your mind, according to the sadhguru.
    I don’t think it’s difficult to not drink water during the practice; I make sure I am pretty hydrated beforehand and that way I can put all my attention and energy into the practice.
    This week I practiced my Isha Kriya four times. I will admit, two of these times were kind of rushed in the morning and I felt a little disappointed because I had been doing six days of meditation in the last two weeks. I watched the video again tonight after class and it worked as a good reminder and incentive to not only try and practice everyday, but to devote my full attention and enough time to the practice.

  22. I have to admit that this is rather interesting. You usually drink water to keep yourself hydrated but now I learn that you shouldn’t drink water when doing yoga. And on top of that, if you drink water while doing yoga you actually do harm to your body. This is pretty messed up to learn. Now I am wondering if I should still drink water after learning about this.

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