Fitness Magazine

Friday Q&A: When to Eat

By Ninazolotow @Yoga4HealthyAge
Q: One thing that often has prevented me from having another 1/2 hr. session (at home) in the afternoon is the problem of eating. I seem to remember learning I need to wait at least 1 1/2 or 2 hrs. after I eat before doing my next asanas. Is this true? What is the shortest time one needs to wait before doing a workout - or a session (I hate calling it a workout, but hopefully you get it.) I do my a.m. yoga before breakfast - but each day is different time wise & eating with a wait period before yoga becomes a real challenge. Could you give me some suggestions?

A: I tell folks that it depends on their digestion patterns. So I will often have a light meal an hour before practice without any ill effects. Others may find it prudent to wait a little longer, so as to avoid acid reflux or discomfort in forward bending or twisting from the stomach still being full. 


A: So many rules! It reminds me of the one they used to have when I was a kid about how you had to wait one full hour after eating before going back into the water. Have you ever tried practicing soon after eating a snack? How did it feel? If you felt uncomfortable (or worse), then it's probably not a good idea for you. But if you felt fine, I say go for it. Personally I do it all the time, with no ill effects. And I have heard that in India for people who can't practice on an empty stomach (some people, like me, get low blood sugar), they recommend yoghurt or milk before practice. (Confession: one time my friend and I ate hot fudge sundaes just before an advanced yoga class. Then, for the first time ever, the teacher started the class with Headstand. After class, we confessed to the teacher. He was very sympathetic! He said, "Oh, you should have told me. I would started the class with a different pose.") 


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