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Ashtanga Yoga: Why Avoid Drinking Water?

If you've ever walked into an Ashtanga Yoga class, I'm sure you've noticed that it's warm in the room, but not even close to as hot as Bikram. The warmth helps your muscles to loosen up slightly, but the quick-paced and strength building vinyasas between poses is what really heats up your body. Think of it as creating an inner fire that heats your body from the inside out, which helps you loosen up tight muscles. It also makes you sweat a lot, which helps in detoxification.

Drinking water during the practice prevents that heat and puts that internal fire out. Not only that, but if you stop every 10 minutes to take a sip of water, you interrupt your breathing and the flow of the sequence, which in turn will disrupt the moving meditation you've got going on.

It is very important to drink 10-12 glasses of water throughout the day so that you are well hydrated by the time you arrive at class. If you've been drinking all day, you shouldn't need to drink during class, however, if you are feeling nauseous, overheated, or dizzy - definitely listen to your body and drink water if necessary.

Fit's Tips: Depending on the class you go to, some Ashtanga Yoga instructors are very strict about this, which I personally don't agree with. As an instructor myself, I trust that my students are better able to make decisions about their own bodies. If an instructor you take class from makes you feel uncomfortable about your need for water (or anything else for that matter), talk to them after class about it. I'm sure they'd want to know how you feel.


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nnayap nnayap 9 years
heat yoga pretty much rocks. if you've never done it and it makes you nervous, don't be! just go to the class prepared and realize that you're allowed to take breaks whenever you need to. if you ever feel lightheaded, then sit down and take a break. if you really can't handle the heat and feel sick, then you can step out for a moment. for my bikram classes, i always freeze water in a huge nalgene bottle and it melts in no time. that way, i have cool, refreshing water whenever i need it.
mwmsjuly19 mwmsjuly19 9 years
I'd smack somebody who tried to keep me drinking water if I needed it. Eff that!
Fitness Fitness 9 years
In Bikram Yoga, the room is heated to about 100°F or higher. In Ashtanga Yoga, it's usually between 75 and 85, which is a lot less.
Emiily Emiily 9 years
forget heated yoga. i love water, nice cold water, all the time! especially after a run.
diorbaby diorbaby 9 years
I am afraid of the heated yoga!
dcartjunkie dcartjunkie 9 years
I'm scared of Bikrim yoga. I don't think I'm ready for it. BUt I drink water during Ashtanga yoga classes, and feel like I've gotten a really good workout afterwards.
wiggle wiggle 9 years
I just doen't feel good to have all that water sloshing around in my stomach when i am moving that vigorously. In Bikrim, I remember there were regularly scheduled water breaks since the room was so HOT!
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