Tuesday, November 30, 2010

December Daily Practice (Health Practice): Hydration

Really, it’s not only because I live in a desert that I’ve thought to share this practice! In winter, we tend to spend more time indoors, with windows closed and the heat on (unless we live in the tropics or in the southern hemisphere, where it’s getting on summer now but then you need to hydrate there just as well). If you are finding yourself in such a situation, you know that your sinuses can dry out, and this in turn can lead to sinus infections. Dehydration can also lead to headaches, fatigue, constipation and many other imbalances.

As well, December can be a pretty stressful time, with the holidays and family gatherings, so I thought I’d offer a simple practice, that won’t take much time, but may help you weather the season in better health and spirits.

The Practice: After waking in the morning, before your morning shower, or brushing your teeth, or coffee, or asana or mediation practice --  before just about anything else other than peeing – drink a glass of water (about 6 – 10 ounces). THEN, after showering, or whatever else your morning ‘get-me-up’ routine is, drink another glass of water.

That’s it. Simple.

If you’d like, you can write this gatha in your own handwriting and past it above your sink, or memorize it so that you can say it to yourself as you take that first glass of water:

Water flows from high in the mountains.
Water runs deep in the Earth.
Amazingly, water comes to us,
And sustains all life.

Some folk believe the big wars to come are not going to be over oil as much as water. Already thousands of people throughout the world lack access to fresh water. And yet, our bodies are about two-thirds water. This water is not separate from the water that falls as rain and snow, that runs in our rivers and streams. As our waterways become more and more polluted and overdrawn, what will this mean for our bodies? Are not the waterways of the Earth our external arteries?

To be mindful of our water, our need for water, and to celebrate the gift of water is to cultivate awareness and help preserve and conserve this precious source of life for all beings.


  1. Thank you Poep Sa Frank Jude. I am very excited about this, partially because it is already part of my routine. I notice that a glass of water opens the slight congestion in my brow and awakens my system.
    I welcome the gatha.That completes my routine of a glass of water.

  2. The timing of this is impeccable! As I sit here with a sinus infection in all it's raging glory, I am writing the gatha to post over my sink and look forward to December's mindful hydration!!

  3. I've started this practice this morning and realize how wonderful to have water within our reach so easlity. Thank you for a practice that is good for the body! (and spirit to awaken to the gift of water)

  4. do you know what's funny?
    i have the little gatha cards from thay..and this is the one i chose last week to put atop my glass of water next to my bed so i can read it before i drink it in the am...

  5. In the last couple of months, I have been feeling extremely dehydrated, completely unable to take in enough water, no matter how much I drink. I am very excited to make hydration a part of my practice, to not have to frantically take in water, but rather use mindfulness to nourish my body...what a beautiful practice! :)

  6. I too had chosen to do this before reading your post. Connecting with the element of water first thing every day is very much healthful for the body and also a very good mindfulness practice. Adding this gatha makes it and even better start of the day.