Yoga Practice & Eating

There are plenty of misconceptions and myths floating around about the best way to eat (or not eat) when it come to your yoga practice. Anyone that’s ever eaten a heavy meal and then headed down to their yoga studio can testify to the fact that large amounts of food and yoga do not mix well at all. However you don’t want to get midway through your class and feel like your dying of hunger either. They key here is balance and smart food choices both before and after your yoga classes.

For the most part its a good idea to avoid eating a full meal within a couple hours of when you have class as this will usually cause you to have an upset stomach and can even ruin your yoga class for that day depending on what you ate. It’s also wise avoid and foods that are spicy or oily prior to class as these don’t sit well once you start doing a lot of physical activity. Also don’t drink a huge amount of liquid before class because this can be very uncomfortable and you’ll probably end up having to leave class several times to use the restroom.

However if you find yourself feeling hungry within a couple hours before your yoga class  you don’t want to head into your studio with a growling stomach so starving yourself isn’t a good idea either. If you’re running on empty during class the odds are good that you might start feeling sick or that your ability to do your poses will be affected.

So instead of going hungry find a healthy snack that will tie you over until class is done. For many people a granola bar, a handful of nuts or dried fruit, or a few pretzels will do the trick. If you need something a little more nourishing try some fresh grapes or an apple or even some plain toast. Be sure not to overindulge or you’ll probably regret it by the time you’re done with class. Also try to avoid any dairy or really heavy starches as these can cause upset stomachs fairly easily during a class. Stay away from citrusy fruit and really varied combinations of food. You want to just keep things really simple and light.

After you’ve finished with your yoga practice it’s important to make sure your body is hydrated - sometimes we can feel really hungry when our body is actually just dehydrated so always start with pure clean water. Don’t drink huge amounts right after class as you don’t want to overwhelm your body - just a few drinks here and there until you no longer feel thirsty. After class light but nourishing meals are recommended. Think veggies and fruit and some whole grains too if you feel up to it.

Keep drinking water and focus on eating foods that really serve and uplift your body. You only want to eat things that will replenish you after your yoga class so junk food and sweets are not a good choice here. Many studios have small cafes or juice bars attached to them nowadays and they usually provide healthy options for you to eat after class - just be sure that you take a good look at what’s in them before making any decisions as sometimes natural and “healthy” foods can have lots of hidden sugar in them.
The most important thing to remember is to be kind and take care of your body so that you can stay healthy and continue with your yoga practice.