Take the 10 Class Challenge

The 10 class challenge? What is that? It’s not about going to class 10 days in a row. I actually think it’s way more interesting than that.

Recently, Esak Garcia blew through North Carolina visting a number of studios (not mine, but others in the general area). I was unable to see him, but several people from the studio went. Esak is a student of Mary’s so you might follow that train to conclude that he doesn’t drink water during class, and you would be right. He argues that your practice will improve, and you will physically feel better, if you do not drink during class.

His suggestion is to just try it out over a period of 10 consecutive classes. This doesn’t have to be 10 classes in 10 days – just the next 10 times you take class. Try it for 10 days, and if you don’t see any improvements, then feel free to go back to drinking your water during class. But if you DO see improvements, well, I guess you’ll be forced to ponder if you should go back to drinking water during class or not.

I’ve done plenty of classes without water, and I used to be in the habit of not drinking it during class. But I fell out of that habit. I had one very bad class, where I must’ve not been properly hydrated, and is scared me back into drinking water during class. Logically, I know that drinking water when I am dehydrated will not save my butt in the room, but my mind isn’t always interested in logic.

Anyways, I thought this suggestion of a 10 class challenge was a great way to get myself back on the no-water train. Notice I did wait until I had completed my doubles this last weekend! I was not in the mood to start this up when I knew I had a double planned. But today will be class one of ten with no water. I will take my bottle with me to class. I am capable of having it there without it being a distraction (I think). I would like water at the end of it all. I’m sure it will be fine, but fingers crossed anyways!


8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. MIke Mitchell
    Apr 16, 2013 @ 09:57:54

    Check out my blog posts for my experience with the water issue. I also wrote a good bit about my doubles practice as well. I assumed Esak was a “no water” guy but I haven’t seen him address it specifically on either of his FB sites. He’s coming to my studio in May for a posture clinic and class and I’m really looking forward to it. One of our teachers has been to his Jedi Fight Club trainings and raves about him. Once I made the rather sudden snap decision to leave the water bottle out of the studio I don’t think I’ll ever go back to bringing water in. Doubles or no doubles, makes no difference. I’ve done 23 doubles so far this year, some back to back, some early AM-later PM and I never considered bringing water in BECAUSE I was doing a double. Definitely hydrate well before and between classes, especially if back to back. One thing I have to try to be aware of is not drinking too much water between back to backs so my stomach isn’t too full in the 2nd class, but I’ve been able to manage. Its all about making class easier on you not harder, more focused, better concentration, less distraction, more time to recover through your breathing and not wasting those precious moments trying to gulp some water which will prevent/prolong the time it takes to regain control of your breathing. That was they key point in stopping the water in class thing for me. I realized the time after Eagle was better spent standing, breathing, focusing on the next posture rather than grabbing the water and then not having time to get set for Head to Knee. I still don’t think it should be a rule or a peer pressure thing. I think its something yogis should reflect on as they develop their practice and do what feels best to them. BTW, I’ve found the 2nd class of either type of double (back to back or early-late same day) to be among my best classes ever. Not every time but on the short list of my best classes ever would be a high percentage of 2nd classes of a double. Flexibility sooo much deeper, focus stronger probably because I realize I can’t just power through it but have to find the peace calm and stillness in every posture and then I find myself zooming through class. Of course there are days when it takes every ounce of determination to get through the classes and I dissolve into a puddle of sweat for final savasana…which is its own kind of “made it” joy.


    • leighahall
      Apr 17, 2013 @ 07:19:00

      Thanks Mike! Your response has given me a lot to look forward to. My first class back with no water was a mix of easy/strong and also some mental challenges. I was talking to someone after class Tuesday who also said the time after Eagle was better spent standing quietly and breathing. I agree. I often skip party time already as it is. Doubles are interesting aren’t they? You never know what they will bring. I had soooo much energy after my last one.


  2. M
    Apr 16, 2013 @ 13:56:28

    You’ll be fine, although it may take you a while of experimenting to see how much fluid you need to drink outside of class on a regular basis. I started taking Bikram classes the beginning of September 2012 and have completed something like 219 classes in 224 days. I’ve yet to being water I to class with me. When I do doubles, like this morning, I drink about a liter of water upon rising and head off to class. Then, between classes I drink 2 liters of water (really, about 1.5 liters water with about .5 liters of organic coco water mixed in). After the second class I repeat my between class beverage. The challenge I have is continuing to hydrate the rest of the day– especially when it is chilly like today. I really should have at least another 2 liters before I do a repeat again the next day. I usually lose around 6 pounds of water per class, which is about 5% of my body weight. So, 12 pounds per double means I need to replenish 6 liters of fluid just to get back to a baseline, not counting the regular fluid losses a human expels each day through respiration, perspiration, urination, etc. (an average of another 2 liters, depending on the outside temp).

    All that said, any easy way to figure out your fluid losses per class is to weigh yourself, naked, directly before and after class. Try not to pee or drink after your first weigh in or prior to your next, but, if you do, you’ll need to estimate how much you peed and add that to your final weight. Likewise, if you drink anything between your first and final weigh-in you’ll have to subtract that from your final weight. Better to weigh directly before and after class without peeing or drinking in between!

    Besides not having to worry that I’ll feel nauseous in class from drinking (since I struggle with that even on a completely empty tummy), I’m with Esak that the fewer distractions the better. I even take my glasses off in class, which makes it so that I’m not distracted by what others are doing either, since I can’t see anything! 🙂


    • leighahall
      Apr 17, 2013 @ 07:23:20

      I’m familair with how to measure fluid loss. I used to do it the way you described all the time when running. You lose six pounds of water in a single class? That sounds like a lot! I usually lose 1-2 pounds. If I lose 3 pounds (which sometimes happens but is rare) I am usually feeling very out of sorts. I am not all that worried about being hydrated for class. This going without water has become more of a mental issue for me and not a physical one.

      I am wondering about a back to back double I have lined up at the start of May. There is an hour between classes. Obviously I will drink water between classes. I just hope I can get enough back in me before the second class starts!


  3. lorahogan
    Apr 17, 2013 @ 13:42:34

    Take care!! How are you feeling?


  4. LeighAHall (@LeighAHall)
    Oct 17, 2014 @ 17:48:53

    Take the 10 Class Challenge http://t.co/lNJRqkVHAb #bikramyoga #yogaholicsmag


  5. LeighAHall (@LeighAHall)
    Dec 06, 2014 @ 06:30:09

    Take the 10 Class Challenge http://t.co/lNJRqlMuYn #bikramyoga #yogaholicsmag


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