I get asked this question a lot and the short answer (in an ideal world) would be: well, NOTHING.
But let’s be honest, this is not always possible.
Depending on what time the class is, you may well be ravenous. Particularly for any afternoon or evening classes, it’s likely that you’ll need to snack beforehand.
I’ve had countless students show up to evening classes and grumble about how “so very full” they are after the large bowl of curry they just stuffed down.
This is really un-ideal and means you’ll spend a large chunk of the class feeling uncomfortable and possibly even in pain (NOT what you’re wanting!).
Similarly, in no way should you show up hungry – this means your blood sugars will be low, contributing to a general faded weak and fatigued state.
As most yogis know, a yoga class typically starts with deep (belly) breathing and then involves plenty of twists, turns, compressions and inverting of your body.
Not conducive to a full tummy.
Luckily, there’s plenty of easy – digestible snack ideas that will go down just fine.
Eating slowly and giving it at least 1 hour before practicing will also help to fuel your practice.
Here are 7 ‘Pre-Yoga’ Snacks that I personally love:
2. Raw Cacao Bark – In the afternoon this will help to lift your energy levels and give you a boost of feel-good hormones, try this simple recipe. Raw Cacao has incredible antioxidant levels so is always a good option. If raw chocolate is not available, a hot raw cacao drink is another option.
3. Bananas – Fruit is perfect to keep you energized, so long as you digest it well. I prefer to keep fruit to a morning or mid-afternoon snack.
4. Green Smoothie / Juice – A green smoothie or juice is an ideal way to get some quick clean energy as well as a surge of nutrients. Keep it as green as possible, try this recipe here OR simply mix coconut water & a teaspoon of spirulina for a quick zing.
5. Chia Seed Pudding – Chia seeds are a fantastic source of protein and are super hydrating, making them the perfect pre-yoga snack. Try mixing them with 3 x liquid to chia in a glass (give it about 15 mins to set) and then enjoy or add some simple toppings like raw nuts, seeds, coconut or goji berries.
6. Gluten/Grain-free Toast with Avocado- This is a great option in the evening before a later class. When you’re typically a little more hungry, one piece of easy-digestible bread with a spread of fresh avocado will hit the spot. If avos’ aren’t in sight, a spread of almond/cashew butter would go down a treat too.
7. Spoonful of Nut Butter – Probably not the best option, but if you’re in a pinch and literally running out the door- this is a good tasty and satisfying option. I have admittedly taken a spoonful of PB with me when running out to teach an evening class. It sits well and carries me through until dinner.
Hopefully this gives you a few snack ideas for the next time you’re ready to chow down before a class.
If you snack right- you will feel SO much lighter and when you feel light in a yoga class, you feel invincible. But it’s all just a practice, so listening to your body is the answer.
What’s your favourite ‘pre-yoga’ snack?
I’m always looking for fresh ideas…
* Please note, this information is meant to educate and inform and is drawn from my own personal research and experience. Please get further medical advice if you’re unsure.