What to Eat Before and After Yoga

Take time to think about what you eat and when before and after doing yoga.

Eating Right to Get the Most Benefits From Your Yoga Routine

To get the most benefits from yoga, poses should be done on an empty stomach.

Not only do poses work the outside of your body, but certain ones also work the inside, and if you are full or still trying to digest a big meal, you can’t do many of the poses properly.

What to Eat in Regards to Yoga

The Yoga diet is different from other types of diets in that it is not centered on counting calories or quantity of food. Instead, it relies heavily on the quality of certain types of food in their natural form, such as:

  • whole grains
  • seasonal fruits
  • vegetables
  • milk
  • honey
  • dried fruits

As you look at the list, notice nothing on it is processed or refined. Everything is just as nature provides it. Also, the diets of yogis stress balance and to achieve that goal in their eating, they eat select items from each food listed.

When to Eat in Regards to Yoga

As noted, yoga is best performed on an empty stomach. If you eat a meal from the recommended items, make sure you do not eat later than 1 hour prior to your practice. That way what you ate has time to digest and will not interfere with your yoga experience. If you are eating a meal heavily laden with meats or other processed and refined foods (which you shouldn’t be in the first place), allow 3 to 4 hours before doing your workout routine.

Eating Before Yoga

While not recommended, sometimes you have to have a little something to eat to carry you through the workout – especially if you are just coming from work and have not eaten in a while. A small serving of yogurt along with some fruits or vegetables a ½ hour to an hour before class would give you the energy and stamina you need to get through your poses.

Eating After Yoga

If it takes you a while to drive home after your yoga class, bring some unsalted almonds and dried fruit with you to eat on the way home. For your evening meal, concentrate on eating healthy protein like eggs or fish along with some whole grains and vegetables.

Hydration is important. Keep yourself hydrated by drinking water throughout the day and after your yoga class, but try to avoid drinking water just prior to your class. Doing yoga immediately after drinking 8 ounces of water can produce nausea in some students while others experience stomach cramps. Some yogis benefit from drinking a glass of organic juice after class to help replenish nutrients and electrolytes lost during the practice.

By eating smart and adhering to the timelines in this article, you can get the most benefit and fulfilling experience from each of your yoga classes.

To Learn Yoga at Home or in a Class?

Learn yoga at home or in a class, here are the solutions.

Learning Yoga at Home or in a Class is a Matter of Personal Preference and Convenience

Yoga has been proven to reduce stress, help relieve lower back pain, increase longevity and deliver a host of other positive and beneficial health attributes. And you may want to get started practicing yoga at home, versus in an organized class. There could be many reasons for this.

The available yoga classes offered in your town may be far away from your home, or you might have young ones to tend to. Maybe you just prefer to exercise alone, or feel sensitive about your body weight or shape, and would like to get started on your own at first. Whatever your reasons for learning and practicing yoga at home, there are a few things you need to know.

Practicing Yoga at Home is a Low Cost Option

First off, practicing yoga at home as opposed to some other exercise has never been easier. A home practice of yoga requires a sticky mat and you as a basic beginning. You can always purchase two blocks and a strap for modifications, and perhaps in the future purchase a yoga blanket.

Even if you buy all of those items, as well as a meditation cushion, the physical space you need and the financial outlay you incur to practice yoga at home are both minimal. And classes offered outside your home can be costly.

Remember that when learning yoga at home, you will have to be your own strict teacher. Regular classes are attended at a particular time, and you should probably set up a space and time which is dedicated to yoga in your home. Make sure your yoga space is uncluttered and serene, and one tip here is to add images and objects that create a sense of peace and tranquillity.

Since there are literally hundreds of forms and modifications of this ancient spiritual practice, choose a yoga style which fits you best, and stick to it. Beginners can start off with forms like Iyengar or Kripalu yoga, which help you learn proper positioning.

A Yoga Instructor Can Show You How to Do Yoga at Home

While learning yoga at home can save on financial and time investments, you can get great training in a class. That means that if you want to practice at home you may want to contact a yoga teacher or instructor to ensure your efforts are correct, so that you can receive maximum benefits.

After a time you can then begin to develop your own personal practice privately at home. And if no instructor is available, the beauty of the Internet provides helpful yoga DVD courses, books and even yoga flash cards which you can purchase and have delivered to your front door.

What if you find certain aspects of both home practice and out-of-the-home structured classes attractive? Then you may want to look into joining an online yoga club. This gives you access to podcasts, user guides and video direction from trained yoga masters, available in your particular time frame, and in the privacy of your home. And there are smart-phone applications which allow you to complement your at-home yoga practice with on the go, anywhere availability.

Whether learning yoga at home versus in a structured class setting, you can access the many mind and body benefits this simple, spiritual and physical exercise delivers.

Men Do Yoga

Men do yoga the same as women.

Men in India Originally Developed Yoga

While that may seem like a weird question at first, it is not. Think about it, even though the majority of photos we see today are of women doing yoga, or modelling yoga clothes and accessories in commercials, yoga was developed by men in ancient India. So we know that men can do yoga, and at one time not too long ago, dominated the yoga field.

So the better question frequently asked is “Why don’t more men do yoga?” The real answer is the perception of it in the male mind. Men are wired differently than women; most male sports are based on competiveness. Because yoga is non-competitive, many males view it as something not worth doing and therefore a “girly” sport.

In reality, their skewed perception couldn’t be further from the truth. For example, being the whole LA Laker basketball team does yoga, it must be something worth doing.

But in general, the real question remains: “Do men do yoga?”, especially in a mixed-gender setting.

Two misconceptions exist that prevent many men from participating in mixed gender yoga classes:

  • First would they be welcome in a yoga class dominated by females?
  • Second, are they flexible enough to participate in yoga?

Can Men Do Yoga in a Female Dominated Yoga Class?

With 77% of yogis being female, it can be overwhelming at first walking into a co-ed yoga class, especially if you are only one of a few, or even the only male in the whole class. But in most cases, it is not the women that is the problem – it is you.

Just remember all of you are there for the same reason – to improve both your physical and mental well-being. In most cases, gender is immaterial; the women will put out the welcome mat; you just have to graciously walk across it.

While still in the minority, male-practiced yoga is catching on; according to Yoga Journal’s own research, the number of males practicing yoga is increasing at the rate of 5% per year.

If for some reason you are uncomfortable practising in a female dominated class, search out a studio that offers all-male classes. Many of them now do.

Men Do Yoga But Flexibility is the Real Question

Because the postures or asanas were developed by men, many of them are more suited to men than women because of the upper strength needed to complete the pose; something most women lack in the beginning. But the flexibility question is real – women by nature are more flexible than men. Researchers aren’t sure why, but it is true. Also, men differ from women in that they tend to develop more muscles in some areas of their body while not in others – depending on which sports they practice. This muscle development can actually reduce flexibility.

Yoga not only loosens up developed muscles thus making them more flexible, men can increase their overall flexibility through yoga. And that is only one benefit; others include:

  • Increased mental sharpness
  • Less stress
  • Increased blood flow
  • Detoxification of the body, just to name a few

So the answer is yes, men can and should do yoga for a number of reasons. Check out a studio near you and join a class. Your body will thank you for it!

Learn Yoga at Home

Now you have the tools to learn yoga at home.

Have you ever experienced repeatedly going all the way to a yoga class, only to find it impossible to reach total Nirvana? While it isn’t really that easy to become enlightened, it can be a pain having to deal with packed studios, traffic and parking nightmares.

And of course, if you’ve taken up yoga only recently, it will take some time before you can stop comparing yourself to other practitioners who can practically balance off their noses, while you struggle to stand straight and hold a pose.

It’s great that the option to learn yoga at home is always a possibility for everyone.

To fully maximize and harness the power of the Yoga experience, you must be careful with preparations, including getting an easy-to-understand guidebook like this one, along with its accompanying videos.

Once you have your guide materials in hand, you can turn to preparing other requirements such as the ones listed below:

  • Space

A dedicated space for your yoga exercises should be prioritized. It is your Zen, a place where you can relax. Just remember to move furniture away as they could be potential hazards.

  • Props

Choose a mat with a sticky underside home yoga experience. Consider a blanket to keep you warm and fuzzy, with a secondary purpose of being rolled up to help you balance in different positions. A bolster would also be really handy.

  • Instructions

Whether or not you prefer to watch the accompanying videos first, then try out the exercises or poses later, or do you skip the pre-watch and go straight into following the audiovisual dimonstations – that’s a matter of personal choice. What’s important is for you to feel at ease while going through the poses. Keep in mind that you are not competing with anyone. As such, you can be as focused or as relaxed as you want.

Learn Yoga at Home: Maximize Opportunities to Practice

When you have chosen to learn yoga at home, it doesn’t mean that you only have to be in your residence while doing the poses. Yoga is versatile, and for the most part, you can do some of the preliminaries on the go. For example, you can practice your deep breathing techniques while driving or taking walks.

Once you have familiarized yourself with meditation, embrace the tranquility of the discipline and be at one with yourself. During your break at work, you can sit with a straight spine and close your eyes, then focus on your breathing to meditate. Good meditation can lower your blood pressure and relieve stress, as well as improve your mood.

Learn Yoga at Home: Your Body, Your Temple

In sum, remember that yoga is a practice that lets you honor yourself and your temple – your body. Take the time to rediscover yourself and take away those stresses that’s been hounding you all day long. Feel the slight muscle burn as you flex and assume various poses, then feel the gentleness, and watch your spirit soar to new heights.

Overall, yoga doesn’t require any specific location, or any kind of environmental conditions. All yoga requires is a temperate location where you can be really focused. Whatever makes you relax or focused is what you would need, but don’t forget the importance of a smooth and level place to exercise on. These are all that matter when you are determined to learn yoga at home.

Integral Hatha Yoga Poses Overview

Now that we’ve gone through the basics of Hatha Yoga, it’s time to go much deeper and get acquainted with some of the most integral Hatha Yoga poses that you will need to practice on your way to becoming fit and maintaining your health and wellness.

Remember that Hatha Yoga poses will not only develop your physical fitness, they will also increase your capacity to be more understanding of what’s actually going on around you, instead of just seeing it and reacting to it from a surface level which could be stressful to you.

Relax and have fun while you are trying out the poses described in the articles that follow. Keep in mind that the accompanying videos of the Hatha Yoga poses can be referred to, as you go along. You can get the full set of Hatha Yoga poses on video when you subscribe to the MyFitnessNut.com Newsletter.

Remember to take your time and avoid rushing. Dedicated practice will lead you to perfecting your yoga exercises and attaining your fitness goals. If you’re ready to learn yoga at home, grab the videos and follow along with the “Child’s Pose” to begin your workout routine.

Beginners Yoga Class

Good advice when you want to take a beginners yoga class.

By now, you’re already aware that there are different poses and styles of yoga that you can practice. In preparing yourself for a beginners yoga class, it’s important to know which type you’d like to do and what you want to happen. You need to know your fitness goals and keep them to heart so that you’ll also know what poses or styles are good for you.

Here’s a quick introduction to the different styles consisting of the most common and popular types of yoga that can be incorporated in a beginners yoga class.

Popular Types of Yoga in a Beginners Yoga Class.

  • Bikram Yoga – Start yourself with this very hot yoga stance. With 26 poses, you’ll have many opportunities to work on the alignment of your body. This is a very good style for beginners.
  • Hatha Yoga – This is what we’re focused on in this guide and the accompanying videos. Hatha Yoga focuses on slow and gentle movements. This provides many very relaxing poses that are good for getting a good night’s sleep.
  • Vinyasa Yoga – Also known as the “Vinyasa Flow” or just plain “Flow.” This entails move from one pose to another effortlessly, like the wind. Along with Hatha Yoga, this is one the most popular styles of yoga in America.
  • Kundalini Yoga – Kundalini comes from the energy of the root Chakra, which surrounds the area around our lower spines. This hits your core area, and classes should be pretty intense. Great for lower and upper torso toning. Note, however, that there is plenty of controversy associated with Kundalini yoga, particularly because of the way it strives to unleash or awaken the “coiled serpent power” at the base of the spine. This type of yoga has been promoted more for spiritual purposes, rather than for fitness goals.
  • Ashtanga Yoga – This is also known as the “Power Yoga.” This style is physically demanding and requires a highly reverential attitude concerning the poses. This is often preferred by people who want to push their bodies to their limits.
  • Iyengar Yoga – This style uses a lot of props, from: blocks, harnesses, cushions, straps, and so much more. A great focus is emphasized on the alignment of your body, which makes this also great for physical therapy.
  • Anusara Yoga – This is characterized by back bends, and is dependent on directions coming from the instructor of the class.
  • Restorative Yoga – Would you like to unwind after a long day of work? Some peace of mind? This style focuses on deep breathing and relaxation.
  • Jivamukti Yoga – This has very strong and obvious Eastern influences. It features a mix of “Flow” sequencing that is infused with a lot of chanting and a focus on a vegetarian diet advocacy.
  • Prenatal Yoga – This is great for all excited mommies-to-be. A lot of people agree that this is the best type of exercise for expecting mothers, because it concentrates more on the core and breathing techniques, which are very reliable aids in giving birth.

When choosing to participate in a beginners yoga class, make sure that you understand the goals of the class before you sign up, to avoid any conflict with your own goals. Remember also that while a structured class ambiance could be helpful for absolute beginners, it is also possible to learn and practice in the comfort of your own home.

That’s what we’ll be discussing in the next article titled “Learn Yoga at Home” and before starting go get your subscription to the MyFitnessNut.com Newsletter to get the free set of Hatha Yoga videos. These videos will be of great value for doing yoga exercise at home without having to join a beginners yoga class.