Why You Shouldn’t Drink Water While Practicing Yoga | Isha Sadhguru

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Sadhguru looks at the importance of maintaining the right body conditions during hata yoga, and explains why we shouldn’t drink water during practice.

Source: Why You Shouldn’t Drink Water While Practicing Yoga | Isha Sadhguru

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24 responses »

  1. This was a great reading. I never knew there was so much information on body sweat. I have been unconsciously wiping sweat back onto my body during intense workouts or dance classes. I am now wondering if the same effect happens when you use these method during workouts at the gym, taking cardio classes, or just naturally sweating in the heat. Can you take these practices outside of yoga? Does not drinking water while practicing control where your sweat comes from (referring to the mention of being a “fountain head”)? I am someone who sweats often and wanted to know if the difference of when I drink water controls that. When we do deep abdominal breathing in the crocodile pose my stomach tend to make noises even if I already eaten two hours before, if this process can help to limit my hunger that would be great. I am looking forward to seeing the changes especially when we are able to do the more intense poses in yoga class.

    • Great questions…yes you may think about your sweat for all activities similarly, however, it will be a result of your Hatha yoga when you begin to organize your energies in a specific way wherein the sweat will mostly be in your head and neck. Not drinking water during yoga will keep your fire building so that it can be useful for transforming your energy, even healing as a purification from the heat build up. Try having a banana 2-3 hours before class and ask me about the Apple cider vinegar regimen.

  2. I think so many of us have the habit, and have been taught in this society to simply drink something colder when your body over heats, and to actually wipe away sweat with a cloth when there is extra. But this article has taught me sweat is actually very good for you, so much so that it’s good to simply rub back onto your back when there is water waste. It’s really cool that sweat is the best way to work the water waste out of you rather than going to the bathroom during practice. I loved this sentence when referring to this action, “A cocoon of your own energy.” It makes a lot of sense now, how our own energy, in this case our own sweat, is being dispelled when it’s a natural thing for the body to produce.

    Another detail I didn’t know about was where exactly on the body is was best to sweat from in this practice. The article tells us it’s the top of your head rather than evenly all over the body. It’s clear now that the energy used for a practice like this could influence physical changes like how the sweat would produce in the head area for a sign of targeting your energy in the right place.

    I remember a past assignment from this class was about how physical our world has become, and loosing touch with our mental worlds. I think that idea applies to this tip in a way. This article informed me that when the asanas are done regularly physical compulsions/necessities aren’t needed to be taken care of as urgently during this practice, which would be good if the physical world distracts you from practicing yoga to it’s full extent, to become yoga as a way of living. I would love to not be governed as much by my physical needs like hunger, the cold, etc, but of course it can’t be eliminated completely when to an extent these are all needs. The question I have is this one, paraphrased sentence, “If you suddenly drink cold water you could catch a cold immediately.” Colds are caught by many kinds of viruses, so how would that apply to this in particular? Or were they implying how a cold is used as the literal word it means, cooling down the body immediately when it isn’t good for you to do so?

    -Sabrina Geffner

    • Drinking cold water is a shock for our interior organs that are quite warm when we are balanced. This shock can deplete our immune system and a whole host of things can go wrong from just choosing cold water vs. room temperature water.

  3. I never thought about how drinking water and going to the bathroom would effect your body that much in order to mess with you practicing yoga. I used to work out and play a lot of sports. Cold water always felt abnormal drinking. Your throat was dry and hot and the iced cold water always was a disturbance to my body. Instead of Cold water, I would choose to drink room temperature drink.

    The article made a really good point, that I never thought about. When you go to the bathroom during yoga, all of your energy is wasted in the toilet. Your sweat gives you more energy and thats a beautiful thing. When becoming Yoga, you don’t want any distractions. Having to go to the bathroom disturbs your concentration and releases your energy in a wasteful way. Drinking water and even eating food will keep your inner organs working when you want to be sitting at peace with the world.

  4. I agree with the article that drinking cold water is harmful to the body as highly differing temperatures can shock the body and harm you. Reading about how you should sweat was interesting because I hadn’t noticed before but it’s true that you only sweat from the head from the yoga exercises not the whole body.
    I also really liked this line from the article “To become yoga means that your level of perception is such that there is no distinction between you and the universe.” It is just a good line and says, what I feel, is the whole point of yoga in general to rise yourself up and be at peace with everything you can.

  5. This was a very interesting read indeed. Every time I sweat from a work out or a run I wipe it on my body. Now that I think about it, every time I finish an intense work out I do feel like the sweat around me is like a cloak or kavacha as they call it in the article. The fact that sweat coming out of the forehead is good for the body is amazing and also very funny, at least the fact that eventually I can control where i sweat seems funny. I am very willing to try it during class and my practices, even keeping my ice cold water bottle away from me as I practice. The revelation about no bathroom breaks during practice strangely makes sense to me but admittedly it is very hard for me to give up the water. Water is my favorite drink and anywhere I go I love to have my bottle on me and stay hydrated. As the article pointed out though, drinking the cold water will flush all of the energies that I gain from the yoga practices out of my system in a way that isn’t good for my body, so I am willing to oblige. For next class, I will leave my water bottle at home.

    -Matthew Peralta (Wed. 8:30)

  6. I found this reading very interesting. I didn’t know you shouldn’t drink water when practicing yoga due to the fact that I have heard sometimes that yoga is such a great exercise; and when we think of exercise we usually need water. While reading the reasons why we shouldn’t drink cold water during yoga practice it all makes a lot more sense to me. “The idea is to reduce the compulsions gradually so that one day, if you sit, you become yoga – you are not just practicing yoga.” I really love this quote from the reading. It really involves yoga as a part of you once you really start practicing it. Yoga is such a natural practice-and reading this article explaining why we don’t need water because the sweat glands are there to produce natural water within your body and self. It makes you so much more aware of your body with using your natural fluids to cool you down. I am going to be more aware now when doing yoga practices that the sweat is the natural cooling.

    Alexis Porcaro (wed 8:30)

  7. I thought this information was interesting considering it is quite the opposite of what most people normally think when they do physical activity. I typically try to be hydrated before physical activity as well as after, but it was interesting to read the different effects of hydrating before when it specifically comes to yogic practices.
    The belief that sweat is both necessary but also so oddly specific was confusing to me. The idea that sweat should only pour from the top of the head while doing yoga seems somewhat impossible to me and I am interested in doing more research and paying attention to how I tend to sweat while doing yoga in class, because from my experience I tend to sweat very lightly but all over the body.
    To expand on sweat being seen as necessary and helpful for the body, I find this interesting considering our bodies are naturally doing a process to get sweat out of systems, but this article seems to see the sweat as a coccoon of energy that shouldn’t be gotton rid of immediately.
    I did mostly agree with the idea that drinking very cold water may may cause you to be more susceptible to developing more mucus. I do find that this is perhaps true when I exercise after drinking very cold water and I do understand why this could be a negative process when it comes to practicing yoga, considering breathing correctly is so integral especially in the different positions we do in Hatha yoga in class.

  8. It’s odd to think that drinking water in general could interfere with something as practicing yoga and meditating. At first reading this I was kind of against the idea… I mean water is good for you! But moving forward I see how cool water can shock your system when you are trying to remain focused and present within your meditation and practice. We’re taught from a very young age to hydrate and that water is basically the source of our lifespan so without it we’re no good. It’s interesting to learn about this other perspective and see that that may not always be the case in all things in life.
    I can see how when meditating or practicing yoga you must be very in tuned within yourself, so when drinking water you are popping a bubble so to speak and awakening yourself from something that shouldn’t be awakened from.

  9. This article is very interesting to me because before I even knew one should not drink water while practicing yoga, I always made sure to have water with me. This happened frequently, until one day, immediately in between practices, I had to use the bathroom, which for me personally, threw my entire energy off. Having to get off of my yoga mat, walk to the bathroom in another room with a completely different setting than the one I was in, wash my hands, fix my clothes, etc.- this made me lose focus of what I was doing. I was not even able to get back into the same or similar mind state until ten to fifteen minutes later… which is a long time.

    After reading this article, I learned that one must sweat from the head, rather than the entire body, while practicing yoga. Also, in certain instances, if one drinks water during their practice or at the wrong time, one might get a cold. The idea of yoga is to “grow beyond your physical compulsions”, as stated in the article. This saying to me, is absolutely beautiful and represents the ideology of yoga perfectly, in my eyes.

  10. This article offered a new and interesting perspective that I never really thought about while practicing yoga. I was not aware about the importance of sweat and where it comes from in the body. Perhaps our sessions aren’t as strenuous as some different forms of yoga, or perhaps I haven’t been giving it that much conscious thought. In depictions of people practicing yoga I always see sweat coming from all around the body. I have been to sweat lodges, so I know about the importance of sweat in the body. Rubbing it back into the body to create a cocoon of sorts is similar to what we practiced there, except it was much more focused on sweat and connection with the earth. It is interesting to compare and contrast different rituals from different parts of the world, and how they share fundamental similarities to each other.

    I also thought it was interesting how cold water could have such negative effects while practicing water. It makes sense that a sudden change in temperature would be too much for the body to handle, as mixing hot and cold has generally been seen as a bad thing throughout many cultures. Still, constantly catching a cold is reason enough for me to not do it. I am curious though what the effects of hot water would be. I would assume drinking tea would be beneficial to the practice of yoga, would it not? Regardless, this was an interesting article that gave me a new perspective on the many benefits of yoga.

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