How To Eat Before Hitting The Mat

As I was doing a forward bend in yoga class this evening, I began to regret how much Propel water I had drunk a half hour before.  Lately, I have been so immersed in teaching, rather than being a student, that I have become lax about practicing yoga on an empty stomach.

Yoga is such a unique form of exercise where you are twisting, bending and stretching the body in many different ways.  This being so, I have always been taught that it is typically most effective to refrain from eating two hours prior to practicing.  But what is the rule about drinking water before class?  As I was reminded of this evening, it’s probably best to refrain from drinking a large amount of water for a couple of hours before class, as well.  It has been said that it takes about five minutes to two hours for water to digest in the body. So it would seem that refraining from drinking a large amount of water for two hours before class is a good time frame to follow.  Of course, sips of water before class is fine; however, the primary goal is to stay so well hydrated throughout the day that the need to chug water during class becomes unnecessary.

An effective and successful yoga practice requires discipline and focus.  I have noticed that practicing yoga on a full stomach seems to detract from this.  Sips of water, a piece of fruit or even a granola bar are reasonable to consume less than two hours before class, if you feel your body needs something to carry it through.  Every human being is different and each person should listen to their own body and see what it needs to be healthy.  From my own experience, I have found that being disciplined in my eating/drinking habits and schedules is essential to an effective yoga experience.  It’s all about minimizing unnecessary distractions so you can put your focus on maximizing your potential on the mat.

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