Shari Eberts is a dedicated student, and regular practitioner, at Bikram Yoga NYC.

To wipe or not to wipe, that is the question. Now, don’t panic, I am talking about sweat! In Bikram yoga class! Sheesh. I am a closet wiper, but only on my face at a few key moments in class, otherwise I leave the sweat alone, letting it do its job to cool my body naturally, which is the recommended method. I would prefer to leave the sweat alone on my face as well, but sometimes self-care take precedence.

It’s hard to argue with the science of it. Sweat is the body’s primary method of cooling off in warm environments, but in order for the cooling effect to work, the water must evaporate. If it drips off or if you wipe it off, you will not benefit from the cooling action of the evaporation. I also enjoy the feel of the sweat on my body during class. It helps lubricate things when trying to wrap my leg in Eagle pose and gives me a visible sign of my hard work as the sweat drips from my fingertips between standing series postures. I even like the occasional drip of sweat on my lips, which lets me sneak a tiny sip of water (read “sweat”) before party time. The level of saltiness gives me a sense of how healthily I have eaten or not in the past few days.

Despite all that, I do dry my eyes and ears a couple of times during class. Teachers ask us to push ourselves, but only to the point that it is productive. If you can, you must, but if you have lost control of your breath, it is time to back out of a posture a little bit. Or if you are dizzy, it probably makes sense to sit out a posture or two. Self-care during class is important and that is why I wipe the sweat on my face. Let me explain.

I wear contact lenses and not only does the sweat sting my eyes, it can sometimes dislodge a lens. I would rather keep the sweat out of my eyes than be distracted by a roving contact lens during class. And I wear hearing aids deep inside my ears. I need to keep these as dry as possible so they don’t short out. That would make it hard for me to hear the dialogue during class, let alone all the other important sounds I need to hear throughout the day once class is over. I just can’t risk it.

Yoga isn’t perfect, and neither is my practice, but maybe that is what keeps me coming back. In so many ways, yoga is like life, and I believe in both, it is only through self-care that we can stay safe and grounded, while we continue to push ourselves forward, to enjoy, and to grow.

Half-Moon pose gives quick energy and vitality; improves and strengthens every muscle in the body’s core, especially in the abdomen; increases the flexibility of the spine; corrects bad posture; promotes proper kidney function; and helps to cure enlargement of the liver and spleen. It increases the flexibility and strength of the rectus abdominus, latissmus dorsi, oblique, deltoid and trapezius muscles. Half-Moon also firms and trims the waistline, hips, abdomen, buttocks and thighs.

Posture Tips:

  • Remember that when you do the Half-Hoon pose your body is not warmed up yet. You might not be able to bend sideways as much as you would like, so don’t be discouraged.
  • Keep your leg muscles and torso as engaged as much as possible when you bend sideways.
  • Keep your tailbone tucked under slightly when bending backwards. You should feel a lift in the chest not just in the lower back.

Blayne Zucker decided to give Bikram Yoga a try in 2006 when she heard it was one of the best solutions for healing pattelar tendonitis. She discovered that after years of trying different solutions such as physical therapy and orthopedic steroid remedies to alleviate her knee pain, Bikram Yoga was the only cure! Blayne decided to combine her love for performing, teaching, and helping to heal people by becoming a certified Bikram Yoga instructor. She completed Teacher Training in the Fall of 2013, and is honored to be working both as a teacher and weekend manager for Bikram Yoga NYC!

Blayne on working through discomfort:

One of our biggest challenges in the hot yoga room and in life in general, is working through discomfort. When I finally learned to stay on my mat and breath through the discomfort, I was able to face uncomfortable situations in and out of the hot room much more effectively and productively. This is a lifetime practice of learning to find breath and relaxation within the discomfort.