Don’t Go in the Water! [Yoga eCourse Instalment #2]
In my yoga training programs I always give a few general rules of sorts for yoga practice … I mean things to be aware of for the physical practices sessions that we do. …
One of the things I tell my students is to avoid contact with water for about 1½ hours after a yoga session.
Yes, invariably I get a lot of frantic emails!
… “Does that mean I shouldn’t drink any water for 1½ hours?”
… “Does that mean cold water only, or can I still take a warm shower?”
… “Should I avoid washing my hands too?”
… “What about soap? Can I use soap?”
AND inevitably there are the obsessive esoteric cravers that want to know the deep mystical meaning behind my apparent cryptic command!
It’s a good reminder for me of just how easy it is to worry folks, even with such an innocuous little comment like “avoid contact with water for about 1½ hours.”
OK, I know I’m going to get emails from a few of the more experienced yogis out there who will reprimand me for brushing aside any deeper mystical implications. Let me just acknowledge that YES, there are more subtle yogic aspects to this directive of avoiding water after practice … but for the time being I want to keep this on a very practical level.
So, by all means, drink water, before, during and after yoga! It’s all good. But it’s a good idea not to shower for a short time afterward. On an ideal day, 1½ hours would be perfect, but let’s face it, most of us don’t have that kind of extra time. We’ve probably got to have a shower, eat, then get to work!
What we’re really getting at here is avoiding anything that will have a sudden or strong energetic effect upon us right after we’ve finished yoga (and are in a nice, energetically balanced state).
If you’re tired, you know that a quick shower can give you an instant energy zing. It’s that type of thing we want to avoid immediately after yoga.
If you have to take a shower soon afterwards, then so be it. Just remember to try and avoid really strong stimulation immediately after yoga as much as possible. Avoid physically demanding work, stressful situations, and even eating (which requires energy for digestion) for a short time after your yoga session.
Here’s a Few Other Practical Guidelines That Can Enhance The Benefits of Our Hard Yoga Work Too:
- All the physical techniques of Yoga should be performed on a “somewhat empty” stomach. We should not be completely famished, as we’d be lacking in sufficient energy to practice adequately, yet we shouldn’t practice too soon after taking food either. This is one of the reasons why early morning is the best time for practice … we’re well-rested and energised (you should not have to eat for at least a couple hours after waking!).
- When you practice yoga techniques, take off jewellery, glasses, hairpins and any metallic objects, which may create interference, disturbing the flow of your subtle energies.
- For this same reason, metallic objects such as piercings or jewellery can negatively affect energy fields throughout the body and should be avoided altogether.
- Avoid wearing clothing made from synthetic or artificial fabric as these may serve to insulate you from the energies of nature that you are striving to be in harmony with. It is best to wear comfortable, all-cotton, linen, silk or other natural fabric clothing (a lot of the trendiest modern yoga wear does not fit the bill!).
Of course, there are several other pieces of advice we can consider too, but these are a few good things to start thinking about for now. The main thing is to practice yoga!
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