Yes, sweating is the point of yoga, but sometimes it gets out of hand.
In life, if something makes you sweat, I am generally all for it. When you sweat, you are being active and releasing toxins, which are both good things for the body. Even from a philosophical standpoint, when you sweat because of anxiety, its because something scares you, which will most likely only help you grow.
That being said, sometimes you sweat too much, and this can be bad or embarrassing, especially during yoga.
I remember once I accidentally wore thermal pants to a hot yoga class, and was slipping around on my mat so much I could barely hold a pose. This is an example of how sweat can get in the way of an otherwise perfectly healthy yoga experience.
So, if you find yourself sweating a lot during yoga so much that it impedes your ability to gain benefits from it, here are a few things you can try, to fight back:
Breathe through the nervousness. Sweating a lot will likely give you anxiety, which only causes more sweat. You are in a yoga class, and everyone else there either came there to sweat, or is too busy holding their downward dog to notice. So don’t ‘sweat it’, and breathe through the anxiety.
Bring a towel. This one is pretty obvious, but try not to wipe away fresh sweat. Let it cool for a minute, so you aren’t just wiping away sweat that will immediately be replaced with more precious hydration.
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Wear the right clothes. My thermal pants snafu should be enough to get this point across. Light clothes that fit loosely are your best bet, or athletic gear with plenty of ventilation panels.
Get the right mat. You can either buy a skid-less yoga mat if this is a regular problem for you, or turn your mat over halfway through a sweat session. Either way, if sweating is an issue for you, find a way to get more traction.
Fan yourself. Wiping away sweat with a towel works, but fanning and cooling yourself works better. If this is a real problem for you, try bringing a silent electric fan with you for breaks, or aiming it at your mat as you go through the motions. That extra ventilation will not only help you stay cool, but work as a placebo to decrease the anxiety sweats.
Of course, if sweating profusely is a larger issue for you, you may suffer from hyperhidrosis, and benefit from a visit to your doctor.
Either way, sweating is a good thing, but too much of a good thing can ruin an otherwise perfectly relaxing yoga session.