by Yoga Digest | December 1, 2017 3:03 am
As with many other types of exercise, it’s not ideal to practise yoga on a full stomach. Not only might you feel bloated and uncomfortable, but you might also be worried about your tummy rumbling or gurgling in a quiet class.
It’s best to make sure you’ve eaten your last full meal at least two hours before a class and, if possible, make sure that it’s a small meal that will be easily digested. Choose a salad or a soup, for example. Foods to avoid at this time are meats which take a long time to digest. You may also want to avoid eating food that gives you wind or leaves a strong aftertaste in your mouth.
Fit food around yoga
One of the best times to practice yoga is first thing in the morning. In many households, it’s the quietest time of day, and will minimize the chance of interruptions or distractions. However, if you’ve had a big dinner, this could still interfere with your morning workout, so try and eat something light the night before. While you might be used to eating a big dinner and eating a quick snack for lunch, consider turning your mealtimes around and making lunch the main meal of the day.
Bring your evening mealtime forward so that you can have a good few hours between eating and bedtime. Avoid snacking later in the evening. Switch off electronic devices earlier so that your mind has time to quieten and so that you are ready for sleep earlier. If you’re bored without screen time, use the evening to get some chores done or go for an evening stroll.
When you wake up, opt for a smoothie or a small bowl of porridge to give you an energy boost before you go to yoga class or practice at home. And, of course, you can always enjoy a proper breakfast after exercising. If you’ve stopped en route to the office for your yoga class, you can always use a service like Deliveroo to get breakfast brought to your desk.
While having an empty stomach before a yoga class might eliminate embarrassing digestive gurgles and noises, you may find that you’re too hungry to concentrate on the yoga. If so, try eating a snack about half an hour before the class. Choose something that suppresses your appetite and gives you an energy boost. A handful of walnuts or some pumpkin seeds can do the trick. Similarly, a portion of dried fruit or a banana can fill the gap, staving your hunger so that you can concentrate on the class. Keep track of what you eat before a class and how you feel during it. Experiment and see what works best for your body.
Smoothies make for excellent snacks both before and after a class. Having everything blended into a tasty drink means that they’re no effort to consume and you can get some really healthy ingredients in there; even stuff you might not usually like eating, like spinach.
It’s also important to keep hydrated so that you can avoid cramps and muscle aches. It’s not just during class that you need to drink. Keep hydrated throughout the day with plenty of water. If you find it too boring to drink water on its own, add a slice of lemon or lime to inject a bit of flavor.
Getting the balance right around food and exercising may take a little time, but you’ll appreciate the difference once you get it right. Not only will you feel better during the time you’re doing your yoga, but your body will be supplied with sufficient energy to work out well too.
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