On the weekends, please enjoy the Retro Throwback where I share my favorite posts from some time ago. No Water in Class? was originally published in September 2012.
At the beginning of the year I did a week – seven straight days – of doubles. Except for the day when I essentially did two classes back to back (with maybe an hour break), it wasn’t that bad (my suggestion – never take two classes back to back like that unless you enjoy laying on the floor and praying for the class to end). Somewhere around day three or four I began to examine my water intake. Why was I drinking? Did I really need the water? I began to think I didn’t, and I was right. By the end of the week I had learned how to take class without water.
I continued on for awhile taking class without water. I started leaving my bottle outside the door or in my cubby in the lobby. I even managed to take a 3-hour class taught by Mary Jarvis with no water (I bolted for my bottle as soon as she was finished – no final savassanah for me, thanks!). I learned a lot about myself and my practice during this period which lasted for maybe two months.
First, I learned that my mind is constantly trying to convince me that I need water when I don’t. The water is yummy. I do agree with my mind on that point. But I don’t need it. It is simply a distraction. Pay attention and see how much you think about water during class to gauge how much of a distraction it really is. Removing it can minimize the distraction, but not necessarily. I found myself daydreaming about my water even when it wasn’t in the room.
Second, I learned how to be more disciplined. I learned to listen to my body and not my mind which is really, really hard. My mind is a whiny brat. It want what it wants now and will pull out all sorts of tricks to get it’s way.
Third, I learned how much different my practice could be without water. I felt so much better in the postures when I didn’t have water in my tummy. I am sure I probably did some of them better as a result.
But I lost my way and eventually got back on the bottle in class. What happened?
Well, I went to class one day without my water as was normal for me at the time. I am sure I had hydrated properly. I am not stupid enough to go to class without hydrating properly. The problem was that my period was getting ready to start. When I enter the 24 hour window of it starting I can sometimes end up with a very wonky yoga class, and that’s where I was.
That class was sooooo awful I still remember it to this day and it happened at least six months ago. I thought I was going to pass out in class. It got so bad that a teacher who was taking the class left the room and got me a coconut water. I think I was down for thr count for the entire floor series.
Having a bad class and not having my water with me really freaked me out. I started bringing my water back in as a security blanket. What if I have another bad class? It’s so much better to just have the bottle with me. I was scared.
Recently a lot of the other women that are in the November competition with me have started examining their own water use in class. I think two of them go completely without now. There actions pushed me to realize that I don’t have to be a prisoner of this one bad experience. I still bring my bottle with me to class, but it doesn’t command my attention anymore. I’ve learned to live with it alongside me and deal with the minimal distraction it might bring.
I’ve also learned not to be fearful of the next bad class. Oh, it’s out there. It’ll happen. No need to worry about that! But all I need to do is pay attention to today’s class.
I’ve also started getting back in the habit of not taking water. In general, I’ve gotten comfortable taking no water in the standing series. Yesterday I pushed through to fixed-firm before I took some. I’m going to work myself back into the no water during class zone. I liked being there when I was doing it before. The trick is not to hold myself to that standard every day of the week. If I’m having a day when I need water, then I take the water. No shame. But if I don’t? If it’s just my mind playing tricks on me? Press on.