Why am I writing this post about eating and Yoga classes?

Some people are not sure about how much time should be left between eating and a yoga class.

Some students are coming to Yoga class having not eaten for a very long time.

Leaving too long between eating and Yoga class can make you feel weak and faint

Why are some students doing it? Maybe because they have read that you should not eat before class, which is correct.

However, this does not mean that you should be starving yourself.  I fear some people may be using this as an excuse not to eat all day.  You need only allow 3 hours after a medium-sized meal.  So if you are coming to my late 8.15 pm class, you could still have eaten a meal at 5 pm.  If you feel a meal is too much, at least have a snack.  Something like almonds or a banana won’t create too much bulk in the gut.  You could eat a snack 2 hours before a class.
Our bodies need the energy from the food in order to do the physical exercise required in a Hatha yoga class, we just don’t want it to still be in the way inside our guts!  Allowing 2 or 3 hours is enough to ensure this.

There are certain poses that can even be done after eating such as Supta Virasana (pictured) and Baddha Konasana which can assist in the digestion of food.  This is why Supta Virasana is often done as a warm-up before class.

It is important for women especially to maintain a healthy body weight for optimal hormonal balance, and being too thin can have as much of a negative effect as being overweight.  I have been told by Indian Yoga teachers that we all need fat to help lubricate our joints and keep us supple.

So please don’t use Yoga as an excuse not to eat!