Our readers often ask us how long after eating to do yoga should I wait? In this article, we will talk about this in detail.
I have heard people saying that you cannot run or swim with a full stomach; otherwise, you will suffer from cramps. What about yoga?
Yoga involves many strenuous exercises, twisting and bending of different parts of the body, which can put a lot of strain on the stomach.
If a person does yoga exercises just after eating, he may have nausea, vomiting, get cramps, and sleep more while doing body relaxation exercises like savasana.
You will not feel active enough to practice yoga postures. So yoga instructors always advise you to practice yoga early in the morning and on an empty stomach. However, those with diabetes or low blood pressure can have light snacks before 30 minutes of practicing yoga.
Everyone can’t practice yoga early in the morning. You cannot remain on an empty stomach throughout the day to practice yoga, either. So then the question arises, “you should wait how long after eating to do yoga?”
Well, there is no hard and fast rule. You can practice a few asanas even just after your meal like vajrasana, which will help in the digestion of food. But if you want to do strenuous exercises and back bending, then it will be best to eat food at least 4 hours before doing yoga.
Why Should You Practice Yoga On an Empty Stomach?
Most dedicated yoga enthusiasts say that the best time to do yoga is early morning, just after your daily ablutions. But have you ever thought about what the logic is behind this?
Well, there is a scientific reason behind this idea. You require a lot of energy to digest the food, especially right after you eat food.
It indicates that your body will direct most of its energy towards the digestive system. So if you do yoga postures immediately after a meal, you do not have much energy in twisting organs of your body or bending.
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Secondly, you will feel discomfort if you practice yoga just after having a meal. You can’t do pranayama if your food has not been digested properly.
There are some strenuous asanas like headstands, which can cause acid reflux and severe discomfort. Your body will not be in the mood to do yoga on a full stomach.
So, it’s best to do it on an empty stomach. You will feel relaxed and energetic. An empty stomach is only possible in the early morning, which is the best time to practice yoga postures.
However, if you are liable to faint because of low blood pressure or for people suffering from diabetes insipidus, you can have a light snack just one hour before practicing yoga.
How Much Time After Eating Can You Do Yoga?
As discussed above, it’s not ideal for practicing yoga just after eating. Now the question comes how much time after eating can you do yoga? Well, it’s best if you do yoga four hours after your meal.
The time required to digest food for different yoga asanas varies a lot. For instance, if you want to do nose cleaning (popularly called neti) or vajrasana, you can do them right after the meal.
But if you are doing light yoga exercises or Vipassana, Antar Mauna, you need to eat two hours before doing yoga.
Pranayama is a challenging yoga practice. So, you need to eat four hours before doing pranayama to get full benefits.
Again, you need to eat 12 hours before practicing sankhaprakshalana, in which you purify your entire digestive system with saltwater.
What Type Of Food Is Good To Eat Before Doing Yoga?
You can digest some food quickly, which gives you a lot of energy to practice different yoga postures. If you are going to practice yoga an hour after your food, you can take some fresh fruits or a little bit of yogurt.
But if you are going to practice yoga after 4-5 hours, you can take a meal rich in carbohydrates and easy for digestion like bread, pasta, and oatmeal.
Refined grains can increase the blood sugar level quickly, which will be helpful for you while doing yoga exercises for a short period. But if you want to do yoga exercises for a long time, then you should prefer to eat whole grains.
Again, you should drink plenty of water, which is necessary for digestion and helps remove toxins from your body.
Now, if you don’t have time and you will practice yoga just after half an hour, you can take fresh fruits or an energy gel.
What Type Of Food Should You Avoid Before Doing Yoga?
Food that has a rich source of fiber and fat needs to be avoided before doing yoga.
High fiber content foods like beans, popcorn are good for your health. But they take a long time to digest. It may become a problem while practicing yoga. The energy of your body will divert in digesting food rather than helping you to work out.
As a result, you may have vomiting or a slight headache. Again, high fiber foods can cause gas which may result in bloating. Consequently, you may face an embarrassing situation in your yoga class.
High-fat food like red meat or any fried food like potato chips will take a long time to digest. So it’s better to avoid it before doing yoga.
You need to avoid coffee before practicing yoga. You may feel energetic instantly because it contains caffeine, which can stimulate your nervous system, but in actuality, it will not fuel your muscles. It may cause dehydration which can cause a slight headache. So, it’s best to avoid it.
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Frequently Asked Questions
#1. Can I do yoga after eating?
Yes, you can do yoga after eating, but you will feel dizzy and may have vomiting. So, it’s best to avoid yoga just after eating. If you have taken a heavy meal, you need to do yoga after 3-4 hours, and if you have taken a light meal, you can practice yoga exercises after 1-2 hours.
#2. Can you do yoga on a full stomach?
If you attend your yoga class with a full stomach, then you may have a stomach ache, bloating, dizziness, or can have vomiting. So, it’s best to avoid eating going to yoga class with a full belly. You should stop eating before two hours of your yoga class.
#3. Can we eat before doing yoga?
You can have a light meal or fruit juice or snacks two to three hours before heading to yoga class. But never take a heavy meal; otherwise, you will have bloating, stomach aches, and you will not be in the mood to do yoga.
Yoga has immense health benefits. So, we all should do yoga every day to be fit physically and mentally. Our time of eating and type of meal plays a vital role while doing yoga exercises.
It’s best to practice yoga in the early morning with an empty stomach. But it is not always possible.
You can take a light meal like a piece of fruit or some raw vegetables if you want to go to your yoga class just after one to two hours. They are easily digestible and give you energy while practicing yoga postures without causing heaviness in the stomach. But if you have taken a heavy meal, you need to go to yoga class after at least four hours.
I hope this article has helped you know about the food you need to eat before heading to your yoga class and the time you need to take your meal. Please don’t forget to share your suggestions for this article in the comment section. I would love to read your suggestions in the comment section.