To wipe or not to wipe?
By Barbara Schuette on September 9, 2021
It’s hot. You’re dripping buckets of sweat. You have just finished taking a shower from the inside out of your body, and the river you’ve created is a moat of DNA surrounding your yoga mat (I love using that visual in class lol!)
Your studio offers towels. Aren’t you supposed to wipe off all of the droplets of sweat on your face, neck, arms, and every other surface of the largest organ in your body until you stop sweating so much? Nooooo!!!
That is the one thing you will never hear this instructor say in one of my hot yoga classes—“towel off!” How many times have you heard me say, “Just let that sweat drip!” or as we do Eagle prep, “Sling some sweat at your neighbor!” as we twist our arms into wet ropes? I want my students to enjoy getting into and out of their poses, not make their bodies work harder thereby increasing their heart rates even more than they already are! Whaaatt do I mean?
Sweating is your body’s natural way of cooling down. Think of sweating as a natural air conditioner for your body! If you wipe away the sweat with a towel, your body will have to work harder to produce more sweat to cool you off again. You won’t win this race! Wiping off the sweat will only disrupt your practice and steal the precious few moments of stillness between poses that you have. If you’ve ever practiced in front of a mirror during a hot yoga sesh, you may have noticed the all-embarrassing hardening of your nipples underneath that adorable Fabletics sports bra. Yes, that’s your body doing it’s JOB trying to cool you off from the inside out—let it!
Early on in my years of practicing, my yoga instructors encouraged us not to wipe the sweat away during class, to just ignore it, let it flow. Again, it’s there for a reason—to help cool your body! The only thing I wipe during a hot yoga class is my eyes so that I can see, and I usually just swipe the sweat away with my fingers.
Class is over. Toxins are excreted. Room is beginning to cool off (a small tad!) After class it’s a different story—wipe away and please help your teacher by sopping up as much of your “mat moat” as you can with your yoga mat towel.
And drink lots of H2O the day prior to and after your class 💦💦—keep track of how much you’re drinking with this awesome 1/2 gallon water bottle.