Drinking water in yoga class is generally a no-no, but there are some exceptions.
"Yoga is about building prana, the energy of fire and vitality," says Kripalu's Jeff Migdow. "If you stop to drink water during yoga, you dampen prana," he explains. But people who get dehydrated easily or suffer from light-headedness during class should keep a water bottle handy, he advises. Likewise, if the session is extremely strenuous, the room is very warm, or you're sweating profusely, you may need a few sips during class to prevent dehydration.
Otherwise, drink up before and after your practice. The amount of water you need varies according to your metabolism, body weight, and intensity of practice (for instance, restorative yoga versus Bikram). To deduce how much water you lost during class —and will therefore need to replace— weigh yourself before and after. For every pound lost, replace it with two cups of liquid, says hydration researcher Ann Grandjean. Once you know how much water it takes to refill your tank, divide the amount by two and drink half before class and the rest afterward. (Note: Finish drinking liquids at least 30 minutes prior to class to ensure you're not crossing your legs during Savasana.)
About Our Author
Catherine Guthrie is a health writer and yoga instructor in Bloomington, Indiana.