A lot of students ask me ‘How long do I have to wait after eating, before I can do my yoga practice?’
It is most unpleasant to find yourself in downward dog with acid reflux and the urge to regurgitate your meal.
So, does that mean you should forgo your meal and practice on a growling empty stomach? No way!
Although it is important to keep food as far away from your yoga practice as possible, we do need to find a happy balance.
Ideally you should practice yoga with an empty stomach.
Most yoga traditions suggest waiting 2 or 4 hours after meals. More often than not, this is not realistic.
Both a full stomach and an empty stomach can zap your energy levels. Therefore, it is more important to look at what you eat.
Here are some practical guidelines for managing your hunger before class without ruining your practice later on.
A FEW HOURS BEFORE YOGA, avoid the following..
1. Curry and rich sauces
2. Acidic fruits and juices
3. Pizza or meals with dairy
4. Deep fried or oily foods (including salad dressing)
5. Meat (allow 3-4 hours)
6. Grains and veggies (2 hours beforehand)
IF YOU MUST EAT, follow the suggestions below an hour before your class.
1. A non citrus fruits, like a banana, pear or melon.
2. A small bowl of oatmeal with a dollop of yoghurt
3. Half a glass of light non-dairy smoothie (no acidic fruits)
4. Light raw super food bar
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
Depending on your metabolism your digestive system may need more or less time than the suggestions above.
It is important to keep hydrated, so have your water bottle on hand if you are doing a long and vigorous practice.
Firstly, rehydrate with water. It is advisable to wait 20 minutes before a larger meal. If you are ravenous, stick with vegetarian and lighter food options.