Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Sweat - Should I Sweat During Yoga?

The other day, a couple of students asked, "Should I sweat during Yoga?"

If you're in a hot Yoga class, I sure hope so! Vinyasa and Ashtanga will most likely bring some droplets to your forehead, but what about Anusara, Para, or any other general Hatha class?

My response in class, was that it really depended on the person. Some folks walk into a "normal" temperature room and are already perspiring. I knew a fellow that used to sweat profusely after just 2 sun salutations. Personally, it's very rare that I sweat, but I can even run a few blocks without any dripping.

So, in the end, sweating or not does not determine if a practice is working for you or benefiting you. The real question is, are you over-efforting? Are you putting forth so much effort, that you forget your breath or worse yet are holding it unconsciously? If your breath is steady, full, and even, then go for it.

The breath, not the sweat, is the most wonderful sign post to tell you if you've strayed from the path of beneficial or not.

There have been a number of folks posting about the breath lately. To read more about it, check out Just Breath & Yogademia.

One final note: I just read in International Association of Yoga Therapists Newsletter that sweat should be rubbed or massaged back into the body! If you'd like more about this, let me know and I'll post it.

Take care and happy sweating (or not),


Lisa said...

Oh, man, I totally sweat. I've never seen anyone who comes anywhere CLOSE to sweating like I do. Like the guy you mentioned, I'm profusely sweating by the 2nd Sun Salutation. If I didn't have a Yogitoes towel, I couldn't even DO yoga. Seriously. By the end of class, my towel and clothes could literally be wrung out like a washcloth.

I am able to stay in touch with my breath though. I wouldn't say I'm overefforting. My main disturbance is that I have to stop my flow often to wipe my face with a towel, as the sweat dripping on my face drives me crazy.

Cupcakes & Yoga said...

Sometimes I get annoyed with how much I sweat. It makes arm balances pretty slippery. I once had someone tell me that I'm sweating more BECAUSE I'm breathing more.

Great blog!

Regina Clare Jane said...

I sweat, too, after a couple of sun salutations, but not dripping. I rarely get there... but it feels good to sweat! And I find that my breath gets deeper and fuller and I am able to really focus on it during an especially difficult pose. Down here in FL, most studios don't have the air on during practice, so although it may not be a hot Yoga class, the room gets pretty warm just because- I like it that way because my muscles loosen up so much quicker!
Good post!

Linda (Sama) said...

I can sweat standing still. personally, I like to sweat because I feel "cleansed". Despite the fact that I drink a gallon of water a day in India, it all comes out in sweat, and I rarely go to the washroom -- which is a good thing when you're on a three hour bus trip in India, believe me!

The first and only time I did a Bikram yoga class was the day after my 50th birthday just to see what all the hype was about, and just to see if I could do it, in general. When the class ended I looked like someone threw about three buckets of water on me.

and all those toxins? they sure smelled like tequila that day...:)