What should I eat after yoga class?
What should I eat after yoga class?
As yogis we want to lead a healthy lifestyle and that means eating foods that are mostly sattvic in nature. We do our best to avoid processed foods and choose a diet that is deeply nourishing instead. What we put in our bodies after our yoga practice is an important consideration. So what do you eat after yoga? Well, that depends on what time of day it is. (Read how A Plant-Based Diet Makes Better Yogis.)
If you’ve attended an early morning yoga class you’ll want to get some protein into your body to stabilize your blood sugar and make sure you have enough energy for the rest of your day. Some options are:
- Scrambled eggs, or tofu, with a side of avocado slices and black beans
- A bowl of oatmeal, lightly drizzled with maple syrup, topped with your favorite organic berries and sprinkled with a tablespoon of flaxseed meal
- A bowl of kitchari with a side of unsweetened whole milk yogurt (Learn A Simple Kitchari Recipe.)
If you’re planning to attend a yoga class during your lunch break, be sure to have a light snack beforehand. A handful of sprouted almonds or some gluten free crackers with hummus are a good choice. After class, you’ll want to have an easily digestible lunch. Some good options are:
- Steamed veggies with brown rice and half a sweet potato drizzled with a tahini lemon dressing
- An organic mixed green salad with lemon juice and olive oil dressing topped with a slices of hard boiled eggs
- A piece of grilled sustainably caught fish, like salmon or mackerel, with a serving of basmati rice. Both fish are high in protein and Omega-3 fatty acids
For meals after an evening yoga class, consider having something relatively light so that your body has time to digest your dinner before you go to bed. Sattvic foods are a particularly good choice for dinner because they are naturally light and easily digested. (Learn 5 Ayurvedic Recipes to Stoke Your Inner Fire.) Good options for dinner are:
- A quinoa salad with chopped carrots, bell peppers, green onions and avocado satisfy hunger and is easily digested.
- Baked turkey breast with a side of sweet potatoes
- Steamed swiss chard or kale with grilled soy sauce marinated tofu
If you find yourself hungry before yoga and need to grab a snack, reach for whole foods that are naturally hydrating such as oranges, watermelon or bananas. You can also nibble on protein-rich nuts and seeds or blend up a mango lassi with a pinch of sea salt to boost electrolyte reabsorption. (Learn How to Stay Hydrated Before and After Yoga.)
As a rule of thumb, yogis avoid eating at least 1-2 hours before yoga class and 30-60 minutes after yoga. However, listen to what your body needs. If you feel light-headed right before yoga, it’s ok to eat a handful of nuts. Likewise, if you get done with class and feel your blood sugar crashing, eat an apple or drink some coconut water. Yoga is about communing with the Divine, but it’s also about learning to commune and listen to your body. The key is to become more aware of what foods feel authentically nourishing to you and give you the life force energy you need to live well. (Read more in How to Eat for Your Dosha Type.)
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Written by Alina Prax
Alina has been an avid yogi for over 20 years. After completing her Sanskrit studies at the University of Texas-Austin, she traveled to northern India on a pilgrimage to various holy sites to celebrate. She holds a 300-hour yoga teacher certificate from Dharma Yoga, a Buddhist-based asana practice. Over the years, she has had the honor of studying with some inspiring teachers such as Richard Freeman, Shannon Gannon and the late Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. She is thrilled to be part of the Yogapedia editorial team, helping to craft beautiful and meaningful articles about yoga and the spiritual path.Full Bio