I’ve often heard yoga newbies say they’ve encountered digestive problems after doing yoga for the first time and they’re not sure if they want to go back.
If you’re new to yoga, know that digestive problems post practice, if you haven’t been instructed on how to prepare your body properly, are actually quite common.
If you walk in off the street and your stomach is full with coffee and breakfast, you strip to your yoga pants and begin a 60 minute class of stretching, deep breathing, twisting and holding poses, followed by inversions and deep breathing, do you think you’re going to digest that food well?
No way! You’re going to end up with a stomach ache! So what can you do?
Yoga Tip #1:
Do yoga on an empty stomach.
It’s best if you can empty your bowels before yoga. Drink only water before your practice. Then wait a half hour after your practice for your system to settle down. Once at rest you can enjoy your meal.
So the best times to do your practice are in the morning before breakfast or brunch, or in the early evening before your last meal. These are also ideal times because these are the cooler times of the day, which brings us to tip #2.
Yoga Tip #2:
The practice of yoga generates heat in the body. Some amount of heat is healthy. Heat helps release and burn toxins and fuel, warms the body and circulates the blood.
Yet it’s important not to become overheated. Too much heat and Pitta issues develop – rash, burning sensations, anger, irritability, frustration, judgment.
Traditionally, yoga is done in the morning or evening when the sun is lowest in the sky so not to aggravate our internal temperatures too intensely.
Yoga Tip #3:
Be Mindful Of Your Diet.
Yoga will certainly put you in touch with your digestive system. Again, twists, turns, deep breaths and unusual postures – you will know what you’ve digested well and what you haven’t. You’ll become more aware of how your food choices make you feel, which foods make you feel well and which do not, and this is a great point of entry for Ayurveda, the science of life, living and longevity.
For a healthy yoga diet read ‘What to Eat? Ayurveda Nutrition Explained‘ and sign up below to receive our Digestive Health Guide (tons of free expert info).
So, it’s not that yoga is not for you. Please don’t make this conclusion. Yoga is for everyone. Anyone and everyone can benefit from yoga. It’s just that yoga cannot be taken lightly. Some preparation needs to be made.
Photo courtesy of Morguefile.com.