We come to our mat to find balance in our body and our minds. But what we do off the mat is just as important. Nourishing our bodies, for example, is one of the fundamental ways we can support our practice and our bodies.
That nourishment starts with food! And yes, to dispel, the myth it is okay to eat before a practice! In fact eating the right foods before a long practice can enhance the benefits of your asana.
Eating a full meal 2-3 hours before the class or small snack up to one hour before the class will help you stay energized and flying high.
Stick to foods that are easily digestible.
Animal based protein, foods with high fat content, and overly acidic foods are time-consuming and difficult for the body to break down. Instead, eat foods that are fresh and unprocessed; packed with water, nutrients, minerals, and plant-based proteins.
We love these delicious treats:
- Plain Greek Yogurt mixed with almond butter, cinnamon, and coconut slices
- Oatmeal with persimmon and peanut butter
- A small green smoothie. Throw in a handful of hemp or chia seeds!
Eat a meal that contains carbs, proteins, fats, and is dense in nutrients.
After a sweaty practice, our bodies need to replenish depleted stores of glycogen, electrolytes, and fluids. It also needs to repair muscle tissue and build new tissue for a toned, strong body. Eating the right foods 15 minutes to an hour after your practice will help you recover faster and build more metabolism boosting muscle.
Top picks include:
- Large green salad with cooked grains and sliced avocado
- Rice bowl with nut/tahini based sauce with lots of veggies
- Lentil soup with barley or quinoa
Remember, in yoga there are no guidelines set in stone on what and when to eat, so experiment and find out what works best for you! Yoga is a journey that brings you into greater intimacy with your body, allowing you to become more aware of what you eat and how it makes you feel.
About the Author
Ashley Zhang is a 22 year old fitness enthusiast, YogaClub Tribe Leader, RYT-200 yoga instructor, and health & wellness blogger. Ashley works as a social media specialist in Indianapolis and has a burning love for travel. She enjoys cooking for other people, bathing in sunshine, and being a lifelong student.