The phrase, “Take a sip of water – if you need it” is pretty common where I practice. I have heard it hundreds of times. However, it only really struck a chord with me in the last week. I usually hear this phrase at party time and then at the initial savassanah.
Sometimes I am in a space where I have no desire for water. Other times I really do believe I NEED that sip of water. But recently I owned up the fact that I don’t really need it, not usually, on a physical level.
Let’s be honest. If you need the water for physical reasons then you are dehydrated to some degree. That water will help you eventually, but your body won’t be able to process it in time to make your class any better. We all know you have to come into class properly hydrated. We all know that we don’t really need the water in class. I do believe there are exceptions to that. If you find yourself dehyradated then good grief, take the water. If you are sick or recovering from an illness taking some extra sips of water is probably a good idea.
So if I don’t normally need the water physically, why am I drinking it? Mental. It’s all mental.
I don’t think I’ll die or become dehydrated or ill if I don’t drink my water. I’m not concerned with anything bad happening to me if I don’t drink water in class. Mentally however, I enjoy the water. I swear it’s fulfilling some psychological need. Or is it? If I don’t need it physically, then why am I drinking it? Why does my brain kick in and say things like “Yummy, yummy, water. Must have it!” and other junk like that? Is my water fulfilling a psychological need – which we could argue is just as valid as a physical one – or is the water serving as a distraction to my practice? Because my brain will totally go to the water and start thinking about it. It likes to wander around. It often has it’s own agenda.
I did go through a period where I was taking classes with no water. I even reached a point where I didn’t bring water into the room! I liked that. It gave me a lot of freedom in my practice. But then I hit a bad class where I crashed out on the floor in dire need of electrolytes, and I think I just panicked. From that day on I thought I should bring water in just in case. Of course during my bad class someone left the room and got me what I needed, but I thought I should play it safe. So I think that part of the reason I bring the water in to begin with is fear although rationally I know there is nothing to fear.
Why do you drink in class? Do you need it? Why do you need it?