What to Eat Before your first Yoga Class: Breaking Down the Myths

After many years of practicing yoga, I’ve noticed a correlation between what I eat before a yoga class, how I feel during class, and how I feel after class. I am not here to tell you what you should and should not put in your body. That is your job. I am here to lend advice on a question I’ve been asked a few times.

I have personally heard a lot of advice on this topic throughout the years, but finally, I realized I had to do what worked best for ME. It took me some time to get there, so I want to share advice on how to get there quicker than I did.

So let’s address some of the most popular myths and break it down to help you figure out what works best for YOU before or after a yoga class.

Myth 1: Don’t eat two hours before a Yoga class.

Okay, first off. Yikes. Some yoga classes or workshops can be up to 2 or 3 hours. So, you’re going to tell your body not to eat for up to five hours and still perform postures and be present? If that works for you, more power to you, but even as a yoga teacher, I would never teach and not eat for that long.

Myth 2: Don’t eat meat or fast food before a Yoga class.

Although I personally agree with this one, I still think it’s worth addressing. Don’t let a socially deemed “poor meal choice” keep you from showing up to a yoga class, especially if you are brave enough to sign up for your first class. The person on their mat next to you is not going to know you had Wendy’s in your car before class. The more you show up on your mat, the more you will understand what works for your body.

Myth 3: Don’t eat right after a Yoga class it will upset your stomach.

Again, total myth. If you take an advanced class down the road with tons of inversions, i.e. down dog, handstands etc, then yes, you might not feel like eating right after class. But anatomically, eating after a yoga class, or all of your yoga classes for that matter, is not going to have an effect on your long-term practice. So chow down after class, if you want. After all, you deserve it!

Hopefully this sheds some light on an important and also sensitive topic. As a beginner yoga student, or a more advanced student, I hope this resonates with you and helps you “find your flow with food” as you continue to practice yoga. If you have any questions please reach out at: lauren@goodkarmaintegrativeyoga.com.