Top 10 Ways to Deal with Sweat During Yoga

Girls don’t sweat, we glisten!”

It was the last thing I wanted to hear after a particularly humid class. Carefully grasping my friend’s slightly dewy hand with my immaculately pruned fingers, I peered deeply into her eyes through the slowly evaporating fog of my glasses.

Men don’t sweat, I gently replied. We marinate.

I then proceeded to wring my shirt out on her foot. It was very gratifying, and I truly felt one step closer to samhadi (feeling one with the world). I was younger then.

Sweating is awesome. The physical practice of yoga is designed to purify the body through a series of folds, twists, stretches, and balances. As the body moves, the muscles and organs release toxins. One of the main escape routes for these toxins is through sweat. The more toxic the body, there better chance you’ll get your sweat on. If you’re a meat-eatin’/ beer-drinkin’/ cigar-chompin’ yogi, your body might have a little more to work out than others.

Combine the fact that you’re wringing out your insides with the accumulation of heat from other bodies in a poorly-ventilated room, throw in a dash of genetic predisposition, and we have a prime candidate for rapid perspiration. It often isn’t pretty, especially if you’re one of those glisteners.

Sweating is a double-edged sword. We want to sweat because we feel the benefit of the practice. We don’t want the sweat because we’re vain. We do want the sweat because it’s healthy. We don’t want the sweat because nobody likes carrying home a soaked yoga mat (sponge) or a sopping wet shirt clinging to body hair.

At least I think nobody does….

What To Do?

1) Don’t panic. You aren’t the first yogi to sweat profusely, you won’t be the last, and it’s safe to say you probably aren’t the worst. If you freak out, you’ll probably just sweat more. The most important thing to remember is that it is perfectly OK to sweat during yoga. Don’t let it stop you.

2) Wear proper clothing. The long/short here is to find what works for you. Light, loose-fitting clothing that allows the skin to breathe will be the best. If you go cotton, expect that cotton to soak up sweat. If you wear sports gear, that gear will become very smelly. Avoid business suits, denim jeans, wool anything, and polyester everything. If it’s appropriate, consider not wearing a shirt. There, I said it. You don’t have to be the first guy to run into the studio bare-chested and ready to kick asana. If you’re cool with it, give it a try.

3) Bring a towel. This is a no-brainer. Don’t assume the studio is going to provide one. If the teacher gives adjustments, bring a separate towel just for them. You feel less self-conscious about receiving and they’ll be more inclined to give.

4) Yogitoes! Purchasing my first Skidless yoga towel literally changed my life. Before, every class was a dangerous mix of Twister and Slip-n-Slide. Essentially, it’s a thin beach towel with silicone nubs on one side that grip into the yoga mat. What really got me was that it doesn’t really start working until it gets moist. Most people like to pre-wet theirs before class. I prime mine with a stern glare and lascivious smile.

5) Flip your mat over. Drat…yoga soup again! Wait for the right time, quietly step off of your mat, flip it over, and then drop back into the class. Don’t make a big deal about it. Just do it. There, isn’t that better? Your hands don’t hate you anymore.

6) Grab a yoga strap. It’s looking pretty grim. You’ve forgotten your towel. Your shirt is completely soaked through. The mat has already been flipped to no avail! Your hands are squirking around like two angry oil wrestlers. Drastic times call for drastic measures. Grab a yoga strap and lay it across the top of your mat, running a few inches parallel to the front edge. When in downward dog, place the base of your palms below the strap, and the knuckles above it. It ain’t fancy, but it will definitely save your sweaty asana.

7) Clean up after yourself! If you really want to be that guy, I suggest leaving a few puddles on the floor after class. Bonus points if you don’t hang or wipe down a borrowed mat. Soon enough, you’ll be getting noticed for all the wrong reasons. Proper studio etiquette prevails here. They don’t swim in your pool, so… don’t sweat… on their mat. Yeah.

8) Use your own equipment. The idea of rolling around in sweat can be a little unsettling—especially if it’s not yours. Using your own mat has many benefits, ranging from hygiene to function. Most loaner mats get slick after a few drops—go buy yourself a fancy non-slip magic carpet (see #4), and see how your practice benefits..

9) Keep practicing and eventually it won’t matter. So what if you sweat profusely? Big deal. Yoga isn’t about how you look; it’s about how you feel. These tips should help you feel a lot better once the heat rises and the sweat starts to fall. Whether your body eventually sweats less or you end up getting used to that perpetual shine, the most important thing to remember is to keep going. A little sweat can go a long way.

Stand-up paddleboard yoga in the Cook Islands

RELAX with a week-long retreat to the Cook Islands with prices starting at $1999, inclusive of flights, resort accommodation and a chance to do yoga on the water.

1 Retreat to Rarotonga

LOOKING for a holiday with a difference this winter?

Stand-up paddle-board yoga instructor Charlotte Piho is hosting three retreats in the Cook Islands over the coming months.

The week-long retreats will start on July 20, August 17 and September 7.

Prices start from $1999 a person, quad share, including flights from Sydney for bookings before June 30. The deal includes your stay at The Rarotongan Beach Resort and Spa, daily breakfast and lunch, three dinners and airport transfers. Twin share rooms are available at an extra cost.Ph 1300 370 792 or see coralseas.com.au

2 Forte is luxury

A LUXURY resort will open at a restored fort in India this year.

Boutique Asian hotelier Alila Hotels and Resorts will open Alila Fort Bishangarh, about an hour from Jaipur in Rajasthan, and three hours from New Delhi.

The 230-year-old fort is perched on a granite hill with 2m-thick ancient walls that have openings for firearms and turrets.

Once restored, it will have 59 suites with large bay windows, day beds and footed bathtubs, a pool, two restaurants, a bar and cigar room and wine cellar.

See alilahotels.com

3 Old-school sailing

THE tall ship Lord Nelson arrives in Australia this year on a round-the-world voyage. Trips are available between Fremantle, Hobart, Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne and New Zealand.

No sailing experience is needed.

Prices start at $1770 for eight days from Adelaide to Melbourne in August.

Ph 1800 331 582 or see outdoortravel.com.au

4 Join the club

JETSTAR has launched its Club Jetstar membership program offering exclusive sales and discounts, with flights from $1.

It costs $39 to join, plus an annual fee of $39.99 after the first year. Jetstar chief commercial officer David Koczkar says more offers will be introduced as the program grows. The club is in addition to the airline’s JetMail weekly email offers.

See jetstar.com

5 Christmas comes early

SEVERAL Blue Mountains hotels are offering packages to celebrate Christmas in the colder months.

Mountain Heritage Hotel and Spa Retreat at Katoomba has a Saturday night package, from June 30-July 28, priced from $299 a person that includes pre-dinner drinks, five-course dinner, Christmas songs and a cabaret show. Two-night packages are also available.

Redleaf Resort at Blackheath and Fairmont Resort at Leura are also offering packages.

See visitbluemountains.com.au

“Like” Escape.com.au on Facebook

Follow @Escape_team and @Angela_Saurine on Twitter

Yoga Sharpens Your Brain

You know that yoga is good for your body—it increases flexibility, tones your muscles, massages your internal organs, and even helps your body detox—but now new research is showing it may be seriously good for your brain, too! In fact, it might sharpen your brain even more than other exercises.

According to research by the Exercise Psychology Laboratory at the University of Illinois, a single 20-minute Hatha yoga session can improve brain function better than moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise.

In the study, researchers measured the reaction times and accuracy on cognitive tasks of 30 female participants after they’d done yoga for 20 minutes, and after exercising for 20 minutes on a treadmill. After doing yoga, the women were better able to focus and process information quickly and more accurately. They were also better able to learn, hold and update pieces of information than after the aerobic exercise.

The reason? Breathing! According to Professor Neha Gothe, lead researcher: “The breathing and meditative exercises aim at calming the mind and body and keeping distracting thoughts away while you focus on your body, posture or breath….Maybe these processes translate beyond yoga practice when you try to perform mental tasks or day-to-day activities.” The breathing and meditation also helps calm anxiety and reduce stress, which can also help cognitive function.

Help Promote The Smithsonian’s Yoga Art Exhibit

Yoga lovers – Yoga: the Art of Transformation is coming this Fall to the Smithsonian! Read on to learn how you can help promote this unique event ….

From a Smithsonian Press Release:“The Art of Transformation,” on view through Jan. 26, 2014, explores yoga’s philosophies and its goals of transforming body and consciousness, its importance within multiple religious and secular arenas, and the varied roles that yogis played in society, from sages to spies.

To support the exhibition, the museum is launching the Smithsonian’s first major crowdfunding campaign May 29. “Together We’re One” will run through July 1, raising funds for exhibition production, Web content, catalog printing and free public programs for adults and families. Beginning late May, supporters can learn more, donate and download campaign materials—including e-cards and desktop and smartphone backgrounds—at asia.si.edu/yoga or by contacting yoga@si.edu.

Check out more art from Yoga:The Art of Transformation.

How Lululemon Keeps Bouncing Back

Next Monday, lululemon athletica (NASDAQ: LULU  ) will release its latest quarterly results. Already, though, investors have put a lot of confidence in the yoga-retailer’s recovery from its see-through yoga-pant controversy just a few months ago.

Lululemon has taken full advantage of the soaring interest in athletic apparel in recent years, catering to the high-end yoga market by appealing largely to women. With the stock having hit all-time highs recently, the retailer needs to demonstrate that its growth trajectory is intact, and that shoppers have stayed loyal despite the setback. Let’s take an early look at what’s been happening with Lululemon over the past quarter, and what we’re likely to see in its quarterly report.

How will Lululemon’s earnings fare this quarter?
Analysts had to mark down Lululemon’s earnings prospects substantially in recent months, with estimates for the April quarter down by almost a third, and a greater than $0.25 per share markdown for results for the full fiscal year. Nevertheless, the stock has vaulted higher, jumping 17% since early March.

The big news for Lululemon during the quarter was undoubtedly its voluntary recall of its black Luon yoga pants after finding that the material was too transparent for customers’ taste. Lululemon’s quick response to the embarrassing situation helped it make the best of the incident, but the episode raised concerns about how fast the company can grow without losing quality control and other key elements of its past success.

Yet, Lululemon has faced other challenges, as well. Largely lost in the yoga-pant controversy was its fourth-quarter report in March, which revealed that growth slowed substantially. A gain in same-store sales of 10% was dramatically lower than that seen in past quarters, and, with expectations that April-quarter comps will slow even further, investors justifiably sent the stock lower.

Competition is also an important consideration. Rival Gap (NYSE: GPS  ) has seen a lot of success lately with its general retail business, but one big component of its growth strategy involves its Athleta athletic-apparel stores. Meanwhile, Under Armour (NYSE: UA  ) has targeted yoga clothes as part of its overall plan to increase sales to women. Those retailers haven’t yet done much to capitalize on the situation, but Lululemon’s missteps could eventually give Gap and Under Armour the openings they need to make gains in the space.

In Lululemon’s quarterly report, watch for how well the company is able to put the yoga-pant episode behind it and, instead, emphasize its plans for future growth. Investors shouldn’t penalize the stock for the recall, but you should be aware that the share price puts the onus on Lululemon to demonstrate its ability to return to its former growth glory.