Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Yoga and Hunger

I was talking to a practitioner the other day and she told me that she felt that she was putting on weight since she started practicing yoga. She said that she is eating more before and after class. As she does not want to feel hungry during the class, she has been eating before classes and after classes, she is also eating more as her appetite has gone up.

I realized that I had also gone through the same stage when I started doing yoga. At that time, I would take a heavier lunch if I am going for classes in the evenings and after classes, I would be feeling very hungry. I was told this is normal as yoga practice can use quite a lot of energy especially for beginners as you are using more physical and mental energy to concentrate and learn the poses.

Once I got into a regular practice, I noticed that my appetite had gone back to normal. I now take a regular lunch and if I feel hungry before class, I would just snack on a few pieces of dried fruits. After class, I would take a light supper as I can’t sleep with a heavy stomach.

I found this advice on the net and would like to share it here.

It's best to do the asanas in the early morning or the early evening before the evening meal. Never exercise on a full stomach. Before exercising, wait at least three hours after eating a main meal, about one hour after eating a light snack such as a piece of fruit and about half an hour after drinking juices. After finishing the asanas, wait about a quarter of an hour before eating.

This article “Low Fat Yoga” by Gretchen Rose Newmark gives some perspective on how we can apply what we learn from yoga to how we should treat our body. The yoga practice of asking "How does this feel?" will help you to discover what you truly want and need in other areas of your life. Yoga teaches us about awareness and mindfulness which is to observe how our body feels and to put care and thought in what we eat. Yoga is, at its heart, a superb means of getting to know ourselves, from the breath to the mind to the bone.

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