3 tips to help you get the greatest benefit from your yoga class
1. What to eat before yoga class
Yoga is traditionally done early in the morning, so that the stomach is empty and the mind is quiet. An empty stomach is helpful when you’re trying to bend forward, or twist!
And energy is not diverted to digesting food.
But evening classes make an empty stomach tricky. Most importantly, eat what YOU can digest easily. Be aware that a light meal takes about 2 hours to digest and do what you can to accommodate yourself in this regard. Something warm like soup, broth or a plant-based stew would be ideal. As with yoga itself, observation of the effects of your food choices will inform you for the next time.
Water intake during class is not a yogic practice. This developed because some “power” or “hot” yoga classes, designed to make you sweat profusely, required water intake. This is not in line with traditional yogic practice so use common sense based on what style of class you’re in. Try to hydrate well up to half an hour before class. You should also attend to personal needs – thirsty types, medication and certain conditions may require additional hydration. Generally, my classes do not promote a need for water.
2. What to wear and bring to yoga
If you’re comfortable, you’re on to something. Anything that does not restrict your movement around the hips and shoulders is perfect. Leggings and a sports top or t-shirt are popular.
LAYERS are important because you’ll warm up during class, but when we lie down for even 5 minutes the body cools down quickly. You are welcome to bring a blanket to stay cosy. Some people simply use their outdoor jacket as an extra cover if they want extra warmth.
We practice in bare feet. Socks are fine if you’re cold. Shoes are left at the door.
Bring a mat. Yoga mats provide a non-slip surface for the practice. The Shadow yoga school teaches without the use of mats, which has advantages, but on a carpet or a colder floor, a mat is very helpful.
3. Arriving to your yoga class
Being early allows you time to settle in, and avoids disrupting others. However, if you ARE running late, I welcome you, please come anyhow – sometimes life gets in the way of our schedule!
If you’re chronically late, give yourself the space, and permission, for those extra few minutes. That 5 minute cushion is not wasted time, it’s an acknowledgement that you are truly giving yourself time to fully absorb the benefits of your yoga practice. Chronic, avoidable tardiness probably points to some other issue; compassionate inquiry may help to shed light on what’s really going on.
If you’d like to book a class, there’s plenty of choice, from drop in to 4, 8 or 12 weeks, and Zoom. Check out pambutleryoga.com.