DAY 6. (read to the end for your challenge today)
Water – the source of life.
Water is vital to the healthy functioning of the human body. Without water – which accounts for around eighty percent of our body mass – the body cannot eliminate toxins and waste matter or grow new tissue. Drinking the right amount of water is particularly important as you begin asana practice. The body responds to asana by eliminating built-up waste deposits, and it needs plenty of water to flush out the system.
Most of us do not drink enough water, and yes, it is possible to live in a state of permanent semi-dehydration without even knowing it. Dehydration can cause headaches, bad breath and many other minor health problems. If you regularly notice any of the following signs, you should increase the amount of water you drink on a daily basis: your saliva is sticky, you feel weak, lethargic or fatigued, you don’t urinate very often and when you do it is dark yellow or orange. Dry skin, of course, is another obvious sign of dehydration. Rather than trying to rehydrate the skin from the outside by applying moisturizing cream, rehydrate it from the inside.
Here are a few tricks to help you increase your water intake throughout the day.
- Have a small glass of water every hour from the time you wake up to the time you go to sleep.
- Drink as much as you comfortably can (about a litre is possible) first thing in the morning and then smaller amounts throughout the day.
Ideally, you should drink pure, uncarbonated water on an empty stomach because this maximizes the water’s cleansing and hydrating potential. The body treats other drinks, even flavored water, as something it needs to digest differently in order to extract nutritional benefits. It is inadvisable to drink lots of water with meals as this can dilute the digestive fluids and impede nutrient absorption.
Interestingly enough, drinking plenty of water can sometimes to overcome weight problems and, strangely, fluid retention. This is because we often retain water owing to a toxic or mineral imbalance in the body. By increasing the amount of water you drink, you can resolve this imbalance.
Since water contains a combination of different minerals which affect its chemical constitution and flavor, it is recommended you drink the best quality bottled water that you can afford. That said, tap water is definitely better than no water.
A side effect of asana practice is a refinement of your senses, including taste and smell. This means you may detect variations in the taste of different types of water, just as you can with wine. Have fun with this, try out different brands and pick a favorite. You may even begin to appreciate the taste of water and become quite a connoisseur.
Day 6 challenge:
Do you drink enough water? What step will you take TODAY in order to start increasing your water intake? Share your tricks and ideas in the comment box below.
All participants’ names will be entered in our 30 days of yoga with hipS-sister draw Oct. 1st.
Tomorrow, we have a look at fasting for health.