While most exercise forms suggest that you nosh a bit beforehand, with yoga, you are well-advised to refrain from eating 2-3 hours before down-dogging. This recommendation is due to yoga’s deep breathing and postures which together can cause undigested food to bother your stomach or travel upwards and result in acid reflux. But when it comes to eating after your yoga class, you’re free to replenish your energy.
Here are a few pointers to consider for your next post-yoga meal.
1. Hydration: Rather than reach straight for a granola bar, chug some water. This is especially true if you engage in highly intensive yoga classes like Bikram, Ashtanga or power yoga. These forms of exercise will cause you to sweat, and particularly in the case of Bikram yoga, you’ll sweat a lot. So you’ll want to rehydrate before you assess your level of hunger. Avoid expensive flavored waters or sugary sports drinks. Good ol’ fashioned water will do the trick.
2. Nourish not Gorge: Using yoga to curb emotional eating urges or even to prevent over-doing it is an effective way to capitalize on the calming effects that yoga imparts on your mind and emotions. Rather than running through the fast-food lane after class, continue to tap into the inner awareness that you just cultivated and apply it to your body. Listen to what your body needs, not what it wants, and then choose a dish or snack that honors what your body is seeking.
3. Simple is Better: Yoga helps make your life less harried and more simple. If you’re hungry enough for a meal, then opt for a uncomplicated dish: soup and salad or steamed vegetables and a lightly-seasoned wild fish. If all you need is a quick snack, reach for some reduced-fat Greek yogurt with a few crushed almonds and drizzled honey on top, a piece of fruit like a banana or apple spread with sunflower seed butter or an all-natural granola bar like one made by Kashi.
When choosing something to eat after yoga, let your body’s requests guide you. You’ll ultimately be drawn to food that is nourishing for your physical, mental and emotional self. Here are some delicious healthy recipes that are ideal for yogis.
Om Namah Shivaya