Follow Good Diet For A Great Yoga Practice

  • 11 Nov 2019

Yogasana or yoga work out cannot be done without proper preparation. One of the most important is avoiding meals prior to and after a practice session.

On a general note, practitioners are encouraged not to eat one to two hours prior to performing yoga and breathing (Pranayama) exercises. The same applies to an hour or two after practice. 

According to many scriptures, food in the digestive system can disrupt one's overall practice since the digestive process requires energy.

Yoga postures such as twists and bend, compresses the torso food portions in the digestive system and push them outwards against the lining of the tract. 

This can lead to damage of the digestive tissues or aggravate conditions linked to disgestive disorders. 

So, remember to begin your yoga practice in an empty stomach to allow you to tap more quickly into energy stores (muscles, liver, and body fat). 

Here are the types of food you should avoid prior to asana practices: 

  • Processed food, which are high in sugar, salt, flavour and colourings
  • Spicy and pungent food, such as garlic and onion, as they are hard to digest and cause gas and cramps
  • Fried food as they leave you feeling sluggish and fatigued
  • Dairy products, including cheese, because they are hard to digest and cause cramps or stomach upset
  • Coffee and energy drinks as the overly stimulating for the body
  • Meat, which is heavy in the body, high in salt and take up to 6 hours to digest
  • Certain fruits that are high in sugar and fat, such as avocado. The same goes to smoothies and fruit juices too!
On a long-term diet plan for yoga, it is not necessary to practice vegetarianism, but consumption of non-vegetarian food, especially meat, is not encouraged. It is because animal protein contains too much uric acid and other toxins. Though some get eventually eliminated from the body, the rest get deposited in the body tissue and joints and this can lead to arthritis and cancer. 

For vegetarians, legumes, green leafy vegetables and dairy products are good sources of protein.

Some yoga practitioners practice fasting once a week. On those days, they choose to fully fast (no food, no water) or take pure fruit juices or only water intake as part of the diet. This is believed to purify the mind and body, besides letting the digestive system 'rest', and energise one's metabolism to burn through calories more efficiently.

However, before making any long-term decisions on your diet, consult a doctor or a nutritionist.

Nizha Periaswamy is a yoga instructor and freelance writer.

Photo source: Pixabay, Sakthi school of yoga


Suggested Articles

Know-Your-Yoga-Bandhas-And-Their-Benefits Lifestyle
  • 30 Jun 2020

Know Your Yoga Bandhas And Their Benefits

These are the four types of bandhas (locks) used in yoga and their benefits...

Can-t-Meditate-Try-Mindfulness-Instead Lifestyle
  • 29 Jun 2020

Can't Meditate? Try Mindfulness Instead!

Are you facing issues practising meditation? Consider doing these simple mindfulness exercises instead to keep your mind focused...

Open-Your-Heart-Chakra-To-Build-Stronger-Relationships Lifestyle
  • 28 Jun 2020

Open Your Heart Chakra To Build Stronger Relationships

Facing issues in your relationships? The blockage of your heart chakra could be one of the reasons. Learn how to "unlock" it, here...

Winners-Of-Dairy-Champ-s-Rajini-Tarik-Challenge Lifestyle
  • 25 Jun 2020

Winners Of Dairy Champ's Rajini Tarik Challenge!

Congratulations to the winners of the Rajini Tarik Challenge!

Go-Shop-s-Mid-Year-Sales-Offer-Up-To-60-off-Products-Below-RM19 Lifestyle
  • 24 Jun 2020

Go Shop’s Mid-Year Sales Offer Up To 60% off, Products Below RM19!

Enjoy up to 60% off and products below RM19 from now until July 15, 2020, with Go Shop’s Mid-Year Sales. 

Why-Do-We-Chant-Mantra-During-Yoga Lifestyle
  • 24 Jun 2020

Why Do We Chant Mantra During Yoga?

Every wondered why yoga practitioners chant mantra during practice? Here's why...