Ok – clearly I’m stretching the truth a bit. What I should say is I haven’t had water for the last five classes I’ve taken (Sunday was class five). My challenge is to go 10 classes without water and see if I feel a difference. Class ten will be this Saturday.
For the record, I feel a difference. A very positive difference.
The first three days were tough, but it was all a mental challenge. Class One was the most difficult mentally. None of the other classes have been that challenging. All the way through class four it was hard once I got to the floor. Remember of course that I am in the process of breaking habits. I am used to always drinking water at the first savassanah. I am used to taking it right before fixed firm. I enjoy a nice sip after camel. But these are all habits of mind. I’m not drinking the water because I need it.
Through class four fixed firm to the end was mentally taxing. My thought was I should just lay in savassanah until everyone finished up. I had a major bad attitude. Of course I didn’t do this. If anything savassanah was clearly the most challenging posture. When I’m in a posture I am focused on doing the posture. When I am in savassanah? Sure, I should be focused on doing savassanah, but it is far too easy for my brain to wander over to thoughts of water.
Oh – and that’s the other thing. It was easy for my brain to think about water because I was surrounded by it!
I had brought my hydro flask in with me which was not too distracting. What was more distracting though was everyone else drinking their water. No one is to blame of course. This is just my own issue to contend with. But I noticed that I could hear bottles open and close. I could hear people drinking water. Suddenly, I became hyper aware of who was drinking water and when just by what I heard. The sounds associated with drinking were magnified for me, and it drove me nuts.
But then yesterday, on Day 5, things opened up a bit. My brain didn’t think about water at savassanah. I just got in the posture. The cravings for water were gone at fixed firm. From fixed firm to the end is still a bit of a mental challenge, but it was easing up. I could tell. Class was nice, smooth, and easy.
As I said in the beginning, I am noticing positive differences. These include:
(a) my belly doesn’t feel full of water (duh), and I generally feel better throughout class.
(b) I am more focused on my breathing. I am starting to fixate on water less.
(c) I get into postures and savassanah quicker since I’m not stopping along the way for water
(d) I *think* some of my more challenging postures (like awkward and triangle) might have some a marked improvement over the last five days. I’m withholind judgment for now
Mentally, this has been a challenge, but it has been worth it. I think too often we focus on the physical challenges Bikram yoga brings. A good mental challenge is a nice change of pace now and then. I can say that because I’m not in the hot room right now, and I’ve crossed a line into a better space. But it really has been worth it.