Category Archives: Mary Jarivs

Hot Yoga, Hot Talk: Mary Jarvis on why you DONT need water in class

Last week, senior Bikram Yoga Teacher Mary Jarvis shared her “Dairy of a Yogini” full of wisdom about Bikram Yoga and discipline. Most of us were inspired, but others were hesitant to heed some of Mary’s techniques such as not drinking water in class. This week, Mary returned to quell some concerns and set the record straight. We hope you too will join the discussion!

February 5th, 2010

YogiJ wrote:

It is hazardous to one’s health not to take in liquids over a 90 minute Bikram class. It amazes me that anyone adheres to this ancient thought process. The body needs liquid to operate, and furthermore it needs more than just water. I love Bikram Yoga, but hopefully all Bikramites can get into the 21st century and realize that fluids are essential.

February 10th 2010

Mary Jarvis responds:

Dear Yogij,

No offense …but you are wrong…..
There is nothing hazardous about not drinking water in this class.

Mary Javis in full expression of Locust Pose. Photo: Global Yoga

There are five reasons why people drink water in class…..

1) They do not know any better……someone just said….”bring water to class”….

2) Lack of discipline and concentration and focus “in great relaxation at the same time” while practicing.

3)Boredom……they cannot maintain stillness “IN the posture” and “NOT in the posture”

4) It is EMOTIONAL….. They think they are going to DIE if they do not “Hydrate in Class”. You were probably already “dehydrated” before you came to class anyway…..beer,wine,liquor,processed food,etc. It all is already stealing fluids from your body!

Let me tell you that, depending on what science book you read, if you drink 4-6 ounces of water in class, it will take 15 to 50 minutes for the body to absorb it. It sits in your stomach like a pastrami sandwich and you body must go into digestion to deal with it. Digestion takes a lot of energy that should be used for the yoga!

It took Lance Armstrong 2 days to recover from dehydration in the Alps in one of the Tour De France that he rode….and they had him hooked up to an IV of Fluids!


Don’t you notice how many people tank around triangle or cobra?

Their energy dropped right after the water guzzling!…Ha Ha Ha and then they will blame it on the HEAT in Class! So Silly!

5) Which is the biggest reason of all…..
….they do NOT know how to BREATHE! Yet…..

Yes everyone breathes…thank God it is the Automatic Nervous System that keeps us breathing!

Can you imagine if we had to consciously tell ourselves to breathe EVERY moment of our lives? Ha Ha Ha! I know I would be dead by now.
But, with our yoga, we have the opportunity to live in the present moment EVERY moment in class. We have the opportunity to “go beyond nature,” in every posture, every side, every set, every time, every class. And if we get really good at it, we can start to be and live that way outside in the real world!

When I take class, I breathe once in a posture. One slowwwwwwww inhale and one slowwwww exhale. I am not holding my breath. I am in great relaxation “IN the posture,” NOT in the posture -going into the posture -coming out of the posture. I am not trying to do the posture. I AM the posture!

I do not emotionally struggle with ANYTHING in class when I practice.

Even now at the time of this post, I am carrying extra weight on my body after suffering through a couple of difficult personal years. Let me tell you when I practice I am NOT suffering in my extra heavy body because of my great discipline of breath.

I feel neither heat nor cold in the yoga room. I do not have to “deal” with them. I do not know they exist when I practice. I am beyond the temperature of the room. I am suspended animation. I am the Present Moment.

I do not have to throw an emotional hissy-fit about the room temperature because it does not exist to me. It is NOT yoga.

If you want to race getting oxygen, hydrogen and nitrogen into the body, I am game.

You with your water….me with my breath.

OOOOOPS I already won!

I just took a big inhale while you were reaching for your water.

You have a Middle Man of digestion and I have Pure Prana.

Oxygen carries Prana, Chi, Life Force, call it what you want. It is all I am looking for.

Please discern the difference between ‘House Rules” and “Yoga Rules”. House Rules keep new people in check, but do not think that it is fundamental to practicing yoga. Any kind of yoga for that matter! I just happen to be grateful for Bikram and this Yoga that I practice so I am talking about it.

Yessssss… a pregnant girl should have water nearby, an insulin diabetic, etc….I know the extreme exceptional cases.

I am almost 26 years practicing this yoga and no offense to anyone, seriously, but I know what I am talking about with this water thing.

This is not a debate. I know I am right.

If you disagree with me you probably fall into one of the five categories I have listed.

I have high hopes for you and your practice in the future.

You are on your way!

Stopping to drink water stops people from living in the present moment in yoga classes.
I do not think you are a worse student because you might drink water…

You just might be the only one moving around in a class at my school !

Ha Ha Ha!

Yoga J, Yes….for sure this is an ancient practice…..as ancient as the Earth.

I am okay with that.

69 Comments

Filed under About Bikram Yoga, Bikram Yoga Issues, Guest Blog, Mary Jarivs, Nutrition, Tips and Tricks

Diary of a Yogini: Mary Jarvis on the early days of Bikram Yoga

by Mary Jarvis

Senior Bikram Yoga Teacher and owner of Global Yoga San Fransisco joins OMB with a story of practicing with Bikram in the early days of Bikram Yoga. Find out more about Mary by clicking here

I started practicing what is now called “Bikram Yoga” over 24 years ago. It was not “BIKRAM YOGA” back then. It WAS yoga. When asked about it by friends and acquaintances, I would say, “yoga is 26 postures,practiced twice in a 90 minute class,in a heated room …There is no exercise in the world that makes me feel as great as I do when I practice this yoga…Yoga kicks running and weightlifting’s ass…”

“Bikram?!??…what’s a Bikram?!??”
Bikram is my teacher from Calcutta,India. His guru told him to come to America to ‘Heal the bodies and lives of the people of The West’ with his yoga. He has a school in San Francisco and Beverly Hills”.

Mary Jarvis in Standing Bow-Pulling Pose

“WHAT!!!….the room is heated??!!?”….yep…that freak out statement has been going on for a long time.


When I first started practicing, there were no Hand Towels in the room. There were no water bottles in the room. The Yoga Mat companies didn’t even exist.

We used to cut open large black garbage bags and put them under our towels to try and keep the sweat off the rug….which was a failure, by the way. When you stepped out into a triangle you would slide or surf on the carpet. We did use baby crib liner mats for awhile….still not very long but no surfing.

I bought yoga mats for my school in 1996 and it was a big deal . We could choose dark ugly blue or dark ugly green for colors. They were NOT to be used for a prop. It was only to keep the sweat off the carpet. I still hold true to that even today.

When taking class….YOU DID NOT MOVE !
Hold still in the posture….
Hold still NOT in the posture.
If you moved around in class, Bikram would kick you out. He wouldn’t even tell you why.

It happened to me once.

“Get out!”
“What??..”
“GET OUT!!!”

Continue reading

16 Comments

Filed under Diary of a Yogi, Mary Jarivs