7 reasons why alcohol is a BIG no-no for extreme yogis

Let’s talk about yoga – extreme yoga, to be precise.

Now, you might be a devoted yogi who loves a glass of wine at the end of the day.

But here’s the thing – alcohol and extreme yoga?

They just don’t mix.

It’s not about being a killjoy, but rather understanding how alcohol affects your practice.

It’s about making informed decisions that help you get the most out of your yoga journey.

So, let’s dive into the seven reasons why for devoted yogis, especially those into extreme yoga, saying no to alcohol can be a game-changer.

1) It messes with your balance

Let’s start with the obvious – alcohol can throw off your balance.

And for extreme yogis, balance is everything.

It’s not just about holding a pose or not toppling over.

In yoga, balance is a metaphor for life.

It’s about finding harmony and equilibrium – in your body and mind.

Alcohol, as much as it may seem like a way to unwind, disrupts this balance.

It can affect your physical stability, yes, but it also clouds your mental clarity.

Both of these are crucial for any yoga practice, let alone extreme yoga.

So, while you may think that glass of wine is helping you relax after a strenuous yoga session, it might be doing more harm than good to your balance – in more ways than one.

2) It hampers recovery

I learned this one the hard way.

After an intense yoga session, I used to think a cold beer could help me relax and recover.

Boy, was I wrong.

Alcohol is known to slow down the body’s recovery process.

It dehydrates you, and dehydration is the last thing your body needs after a rigorous yoga session.

I remember this one time, after an especially challenging routine, I decided to unwind with a couple of beers.

The next day, instead of feeling rejuvenated and ready for my next session, I felt sluggish, with my muscles aching more than usual.

That’s when I researched and found out that alcohol actually inhibits muscle recovery.

It can increase inflammation and delay healing.

Ever since that experience, I’ve been alcohol-free post-yoga, and the difference in my recovery rate has been night and day.

3) It disrupts your sleep cycle

Sleep and yoga go hand-in-hand when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

A good night’s sleep is essential for the body and mind to rest, rejuvenate, and recover from the day’s activities.

Now, here’s where alcohol comes into play: Despite the common belief that alcohol helps you sleep better, it actually does quite the opposite.

It might help you fall asleep quicker but it significantly reduces your rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.

Why is REM sleep so important?

Well, this is the stage of sleep where dreams occur and it plays a vital role in learning and memory function.

In other words, less REM sleep can lead to poor concentration and memory – not ideal for a yogi looking to perfect that complex pose or master their meditation techniques.

So for a deep, restful night’s sleep – essential for any extreme yogi – it’s best to say no to the nightcap.

4) It affects your breathing

Yoga isn’t just about the poses.

It’s about the flow of energy, the focus of the mind, and most importantly, the rhythm of the breath.

Pranayama, or breath control, is a key aspect of any yoga practice.

It helps to calm the mind, reduce stress, and maintain focus during complex poses.

Enter alcohol – a respiratory depressant.

What does this mean?

Simply put, alcohol slows down your rate of breathing and decreases the amount of oxygen that reaches your brain.

This can lead to shortness of breath and even disrupt your ability to maintain a steady breathing rhythm during your yoga session.

5) It clouds mental clarity

I’ll be honest.

There was a time when I thought a glass of wine before my yoga session would help me unwind, to let go of the day’s stresses.

I figured it would help me focus more on my practice. But the reality was quite different.

Instead of helping me focus, alcohol actually made it harder for me to clear my mind.

I found myself struggling to stay present, my thoughts wandering, my concentration wavering.

It was as if a fog had descended over my mind, making it difficult to fully immerse myself in the practice.

That’s when I realised that alcohol and yoga just don’t mix.

Yoga is about mindfulness, about being fully present in the moment.

Alcohol, on the other hand, dulls the senses and clouds the mind.

It’s like trying to see clearly through a fogged-up window.

Since giving up alcohol, I’ve noticed a marked improvement in my ability to concentrate during yoga sessions.

My mind is clearer, my focus sharper.

6) It hinders progression

Let’s face it, yoga is a journey.

It’s a continuous process of learning, growth, and self-improvement.

Whether you’re trying to master a challenging pose or deepen your meditation practice, progression is key in the world of yoga.

But here’s the catch – alcohol can slow down this progression.

It affects your balance, your cognitive function, your sleep, and recovery time – all of which are vital for progressing in yoga.

When your body and mind are not at their best, it becomes challenging to push your limits, to improve your flexibility or strength.

It’s like trying to run a race with weights tied to your legs.

So if you’re serious about your yoga journey and want to keep progressing, it might be time to reassess your relationship with alcohol.

7) It disrupts the spiritual aspect of yoga

Yoga is more than just a physical practice.

It’s a spiritual journey of self-discovery, mindfulness, and inner peace.

It’s about connecting with your inner self and the universe around you.

Alcohol, however, disrupts this spiritual connection.

It dulls your senses, clouds your judgment, and leaves you feeling disconnected from your inner self.

Yoga encourages us to be present, to be fully aware of our bodies, our breath, and our thoughts.

Alcohol does the opposite – it takes us away from the present moment and hinders our ability to connect deeply with ourselves.

In essence, if you’re seeking the true essence of yoga – the spiritual growth and deep connection – it’s best to avoid alcohol.

It’s not about being restrictive, but about making choices that support your journey towards a deeper, more meaningful yoga practice.

It’s about harmony

The path of yoga, particularly extreme yoga, is not just about physical prowess.

It’s a journey towards balance, mindfulness, and inner peace.

It’s about creating a harmonious relationship between the body, mind, and spirit.

Alcohol, in many ways, disrupts this harmony.

It affects your balance, clouds your mental clarity, hinders your progression, and even disrupts the spiritual aspect of yoga.

But remember – this isn’t about demonizing alcohol or turning it into a villain.

It’s about understanding its effects on your yoga practice and making informed choices.

Leo Warner

Leo Warner

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