Can We Do Yoga After Breakfast? Does It Help With Digestion?

Can we do Yoga after breakfast? Or is it best to keep a gap between meals and exercise? Read on to know more.

When it comes to whether one should practice Yoga after meals, there are two very different schools of thoughts. One school believes that keeping a three to four-hour gap between meals and exercise is gospel and condemns any other ideas as heresy. 

According to the other school of thought, a set of yoga poses can improve digestion. Therefore, doing them after a hearty breakfast is a great way to absorb the food into your stomach. 

So is it sensible to do yoga after breakfast or not? Let’s talk about all of this and then decide if it is more beneficial for you to do yoga after breakfast or not?

Can We Do Yoga After Breakfast
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What Is the Best Time To Do Yoga?

Talk about the most widespread belief, and you will know that it is ideal to do yoga early in the morning on an empty stomach. However, with the twenty-first-century lifestyle, not everyone has the time to do yoga early in the morning. 

So, it is generally recommended that you do Yoga before dinner in the evening, provided you have the energy to do so. 

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Why Should You Not Do Yoga After Breakfast?

Let us begin by understanding the logic behind not doing Yoga right after breakfast. 

Your body needs time to digest food

Why can’t you eat before Yoga? Well, our bodies need a considerable amount of energy to digest food. When you eat something, your body needs time to use its energy for digestion. When you do a physical activity like yoga, you would want all the energy in your body to be utilized into performing your asanas so that you can make the most of them. 

Can We Do Yoga After Breakfast
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Breakfast: Heaviest meal of the day

‘Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dine like a pauper. ‘

Breakfast is usually the heaviest meal of the day. We also tend to overeat at times, not having eaten for as long as ten to twelve hours before breaking our fast.

Certain yoga postures require bending of the torso, which can be very difficult when you have a full stomach. It could lead to stomach ache or even vomiting. Following this recommendation, one should not practice yoga immediately after breakfast. 

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How long after breakfast can I do Yoga?

One can do Yoga after three to four hours of consuming a heavy meal. In the case of a light meal, two hours can be taken as the time limit. 

Have something small, if needed

Bite-sized portions or maybe a light snack (of course a healthy one) can be a good idea for those who can’t deal with an empty stomach once they are awake. After all, it would be best if you found what suits your body the best. 

Can We Do Yoga After Breakfast
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The intensity of Yoga postures

Usually, a 100 step walk is recommended after every meal to aid in better digestion. In line with the same, one can look for light-intensity yoga postures which boost the digestion process without causing any harm to the body. 

Can We Do Yoga Asanas After Eating?

Yoga Poses can help you in better digestion after dinner

Exercise or rigorous physical activity after a meal is generally not recommended. However, you can do certain yoga postures after dinner. Yoga can help improve digestion, relieve problems of indigestion, constipation, and the likes. 

Samasthiti (Equal Standing) 

To perform Samasthiti or Tadasana, stand with your feet together such that your posture is erect. Close your eyes and relax your shoulders. Stretch out your arms and allow them to hover without making contact. 

Samasthithi relaxes the body and mind and helps tackle anxiety. 

How to do Samasthiti (Equal Standing) | Ashtanga Yoga Tutorial | Karuna Yoga
Tutorial on How to do Samasthiti (Equal Standing)

Vajrasana (Seated Yoga Pose)

Vajrasana is one of the few yoga postures that you can do, even on a full stomach. 

As you stand straight, place your hands by the side of your body and slowly lower your knees. Place your pelvis on your heels and point your toes outward. While your thighs press your calf muscles, ensure your heels are close to each other. Allow your palms to sit on your knees and straighten your back while you look forward. Hold the asana for a while. 

Vajrasana is believed to aid in digestion and can hence be done after dinner.

Vajrasana / the thunderbolt / the diamond pose / the sitting asana in Yoga
Tutorial for Performing Vajrasana (Seated Yoga Pose)

Sukhasana (Easy Pose)

Sit with your legs stretched forward. Fold your right leg and drop your right knee to the right side. Fold the other leg and form a cross with your calf muscles. Slowly straighten your spine and place your palms on your knees with your fingers pointing outwards. 

Sukhasana is beneficial in improving body posture, coping with stress, anxiety and strengthening the spine. 

Since this yoga posture does not call for bending the torso, they do not lead to discomfort even on a full stomach. Also, dinner happens to be a light meal, and hence you can do these yoga postures after a 30-40 minute window of a light meal.

However, if you face any discomfort or uneasiness, discontinue yoga after meals and see a medical practitioner.  

Sukhasana (The Easy Pose) - Yoga With Adriene
Tutorial for Performing Sukhasana (The Easy Pose)

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Eat Right After Yoga?

Now another imperative question that is very often heard is: can we have breakfast after Yoga? Eating a heavy meal after rigorous physical activity is not recommended. The logical backing behind the same is that body needs time to relax itself. Give your body a good 25-30 minutes time span to do so. Begin with a light drink or meal after this, and slowly march towards the main course. 

Can I Consume Water Before and After Yoga?

Yoga practitioners should have about a glass of water 20-25 minutes before starting with yoga asanas. Consuming water during the session should be avoided, but if you feeling very thirsty, take very small slips, during a break in between your asanas.  

Final Verdict

One can do low-intensity yoga after light meals with a suitable time gap in the middle. However, in case of any discomfort, one must immediately see a physician and discontinue doing yoga after meals. Listen to your body and do what feels comfortable doing.