Yoga is not a sport as such but is a functional strength, mobility and special skills training. It doesn’t require lots of energy but the right kind of fuel will help you move and feel better.
1. You should leave at least three hours between a main meal and practicing yoga. A full stomach could make some yoga poses downright impossible or might make you feel sick.
2. If you need a pick-me-up before a yoga class, have a banana, smoothie or tea and a few dates about 30 minutes before you start.
3. Hydrate but not during class – unless you do hot yoga. Bathroom breaks can disrupt your experience and knocking water bottles over during class is no fun for anyone. Have a drink ready for after the class – water is fine, as is tea, or a fresh fruit smoothie full of antioxidants.
4. Make sure you eat enough and include good protein sources. You may be tempted to eat light after yoga practice and that’s ok but do make quality protein sources staples of your diet – beans, lentils, soya, nuts and seeds, and wholegrains.
5. Nut and fruit energy bars or balls are excellent for both before and after yoga practice. They pack a lot of nutrients in their small size so won’t be heavy in your stomach. Buying them can be expensive but they are easy to make at home if you have a food processor – give it a go and find your favourite combination!
Inspiration: Rina Jakubowicz, Annelina Waller, Stewart Gilchrist, Nico Sarani, Silke Dewulf, Jessica Sticker, Tia Blanco and many, many more!
Rina Jakubowicz, professional yoga teacher and author: “I was vegetarian for seven years before I became a vegan in 2013. I saw how my decision to eat meat and dairy supported a brutal act of violence toward animals and my conscience couldn’t live with that anymore. I had to admit that my habits were fully selfish (a 3-second enjoyment of taste on my tongue). Plus, my habits could be changed if I had the will to change them. It was an ethical and empowering decision for me. In addition, a great side effect to becoming vegan was that I lost some weight and my body got healthier. I now have more energy and better digestion—a win-win situation.”