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: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