Hot Yoga Session 3 : How to Lose a Liter of Water (quickly)

This was originally posted in January 2012 to document my 30 days of hot yoga. I was recently inspired to be more self-reflective after a terrible flu season which sent me to the ER twice. Doctor’s orders were simple: start taking care of yourself (again) or you’ll need surgery. Well, that’s all I needed to propel me into living a healthier, more personally sustainable life amidst balancing a busy career, volunteering, and figuring things out with our new baby.

Join me here, on Sundays, where I re-blog reflections from 30 days of hot yoga and hopefully inspire you to embrace change positively with passion and find opportunities for personal growth wherever you can find it.

Ever wonder how to go through a liter of water in 75 minutes? I’ll give you a hint: it involves Day 3 of hot yoga, a hangover (dehydration followed by excessive hydration), and a liter of water. Mix the three together and you get pools of sweat on your yoga mat significant enough to twist an ankle.

60 minutes into class today I was sneaking glances at the empty water bottle, as if to confirm that it was, in fact, still empty. It was empty. It remained empty through the entire class. But I couldn’t leave. I was in the FLOW. Every move flowed like water, each posture was a small movement towards the next. It was blissful. It was blissful AND I was fairly confident that any sudden movement would cause me to throw up.

Trapped on my mat, I worked through it, knowing that every motion, every breath, brought me that much closer to shavasana (and the end of class). And I kept repeating ‘flow. flow like water. flow’ in my mind. Which, again, brings me back to the thirst.

Did I mention I was thirsty?

To avoid staring at the water bottle, I looked at my mat only to discover the new location of my water: a puddle as long as my mat and as wide as my torso. My shirt soaked through. The drips were still dripping. And all I could think was – I want that back!

But upon further examination, I wondered: was I sweating through my feet?! and How did this mat get so wet?? And while we’re on the subject, why do we sweat anyway?

Amazing how long you can trail into a stray line of thinking when it helps you lose track of the task at hand: hard work.

And, even more so, how quickly we can pick of that thought trail when a false move, an unsteady placement of hands or feet, reminds you of that time, the night before, when you hurt your wrist and ankle or you slip on your sweat puddle and are reminded once again that you are really, really thirsty.

Note to self: Next time bring towel and two water bottles.

But I made it through class. And I was able to do more than the day before and concentrate more than the day before and feel more comfortable in myself than the day before. So I treated myself to some coconut water – two, actually – and brought my now-hydrated self home with a sense of awakening, a sense of purpose, as if I’m starting to get into this thing. And I think I like it.

My lesson from today’s practice is to have the resources you need to get through class: it’s one thing to show up, mat in hand. You also need be prepared for the task at hand. Reaching your potential is far more attainable if you have the tools you need to be successful – and a hand towel and full liter of water is a good place to start.

(Article on 10 things to know about Bikram yoga)