It was a beautiful morning here in North Texas. Not a cloud in the sky, light breeze, temperature in the high 50's (13-15C). I mention this because it will probably be the last really cool morning around here for a while. Like, until October. The weather is warming; summer is on the way, and proper hydration becomes even more important - Bikram or no Bikram.
Before I started practicing this yoga, I lived mainly on sodas, coffee, and energy drinks. Water was rarely consumed in its pure form. When I started my practice in April 2009, that lack of water became painfully evident in a very short time. I started by drinking two or three liters of water each day.
Not enough. So, I would drink four liters per day.
Still not enough. Some days, five liters wasn't enough. For the first week of my first Challenge, I was downing almost SIX liters of water each day. I drank so much water I thought I would drown. A few days later I actually had to leave class to use the facilities, something that never happened before. After that class, my instructor said, "Your body is now properly hydrated. You can back off a bit now and see just how much water you need."
Now I'm not going to bore anyone with how to figure out your proper water intake -- you can find that anywhere, or ask your physician or dietician. However, I am curious about a couple of things:
* How much water do you take into the room? For me, it is a one liter bottle. For some, I see half-liter bottles, or those big mugs that keep their ice water cold.
* Is it cool, cold, or frozen? During the cooler months, I have been able to simply wrap my bottle in my hand towel to keep it cool enough throughout class. Today, however, I have resumed the ritual of freezing my water bottle. About 90 minutes before class, I take it out, wrap it in my towel, and throw it in my bag. By Eagle pose, it has melted enough for me to drink some. Now, I understand that this is a controversial practice for some: that having that frozen bottle is a distraction or a crutch. However, when the thermometer is nearing triple digits outside, the chamber becomes even hotter and just being able to clutch that icy cold bottle allows me to stay in that cauldron.
* Special to those who have gone through (or are working their way through) teacher training: How much more fluid do you consume during training versus at home in your regular practice?
* Finally, it has been difficult for me to drink enough water during the winter months simply because I rarely feel thirsty when I'm cold (plus the coffee is SOOOOOO good on a cold day). This week, I have met my four liter goal on three out of five days. Small wonder that my last two classes have been much better than the past month! Does anyone else have this problem? How do you combat it?
As I mentioned, my last two classes have been pretty decent. My current favorite posture is Eagle -- I am able to hook my foot around my leg more and more and I am beginning to really feel things open up. My least favorite (aside from Triangle)? Awkward, 2nd part. I just cannot get up on my toes and stay there, and I'm not sure whether I'm supposed to stand on the balls of my feet, or all the way up on my toes. I must ask tonight. As for Triangle, I know I'm not taking a wide enough step to start, which makes it even more difficult. Slowly, but surely, I am trying. I think the biggest change over the last two classes is that I'm NOT THINKING. I was just listening and trying to match my body to the words -- I was amazed at how fast the Standing Series went by....
Finally, I am rethinking this 200 class "goal". I have found that I think about that number too much. When I miss a day, I get upset because the math gets tougher -- you know: 150 classes with 185 days to go. Just adds pressure that I don't need -- and does nothing but interfere with my practice AND my life outside the room. I will still go as much as I can, but I'm not going to go insane if I don't get to that number.
No judgements, no expectations.
Time to get set for class. Hope you have a great class!!