Should you drink during a yoga practice ?
Updated: May 22, 2022
If we do not drink enough and adequately during the day, our body could be affected by various pathologies. The body gets dehydrated during practice but then why shouldn't we drink. If we already put the principles in their place. It is in this context that Ayurveda imposes itself in the practice of Yoga.
Practice should be constant at all times of the day. Drinking during practice and forgetting yourself the rest of the day is nonsense and you risk having problems in the short term or in the long term. Asanas are often not powerful enough on their own to maintain balance in the body and this is where the principles of Ayurveda make sense. In this modern life people usually only do postures like their daily gym, but it is disregarding yourself and the art of yoga to believe that the system stops here. But we will not go into detail about the principles of Ayurveda in this article. The question is: is it necessary to drink during practice ? If you have a practice that raises the body in temperature and you drink there will be a difference in temperature and cooling that will take place on the internal organs. The water stays on the stomach, the body will become heavy, and it will become difficult to move whether it is flexes, extensions, twists or inversions. With the continuity of vinyasa (synchronization of movement and breathing), the possibility of using heat indoors becomes problematic. Your concentration and perhaps those of others will be disturbed and this will prevent us from reaching the next steps. Yoga practice and energy work on prana. Also when practicing, an internal massage is performed, so it means that you have to leave your stomach empty before practicing. If you sweat a lot, you tend to drink water by reflex. You wonder, I think I am thirsty but you are not thirsty. But once you observe yourself, make sure you really want the water. Watching this feeling of thirst which is just a sensation, we turn it into a fact and our brain tells us that we cannot control, that it becomes an imperative. When you practice you are focused so you don't need to drink or you are not focused and your mind is racing to tell you what to do when you don't need to. Yoga is interior work, the body is a tool.
In fact often when you are seized with the urge to drink or absorb something else, if you observe it is often a way of turning away from the moment and from yourself. A way to turn away from the reality of something you don't want to see and face. There comes all the meaning of practicing yoga, of observing yourself, of entering into introspection. It’s therapy. When you get up in the morning, drink a cup of hot water 45 minutes before a good practice is of course sufficient if you respect yourself throughout the day to eat properly. For those who are just starting out, the practices will be much shorter and the body will have plenty of time to get used to the process of an adequate life before arriving at long practices, if the practitioner is of course invested so far. It is also best not to drink another 30 minutes after a practice and to drink hot water in order to take full advantage of the energy flowing and not to spoil the effects on the mind. Without forgetting to hydrate regularly throughout the day with water in small doses and not cold. The practice of yoga is far from being a physical practice, but it creates a whole environment. Let’s not forget that this must remain a spiritual practice. So this creates a different vision than the one we have to offer so far. It’s simple, but it’s not easy. This article is applicable to people who practice yoga in natural temperature conditions and who are followed by an experienced yoga teacher and who do not have a specific health problem. Jérôme Jaquier