A centuries-old practice, Yoga is an amalgamation of physical, mental and spiritual exercises that provide myriad benefits to the mind and body. As any Yoga instructor or practitioner would tell you, mindfulness, or focusing awareness on the present moment, is a crucial aspect of a successful Yoga workout. However, it is equally important to be mindful before and after the practice. You need to focus on food, water and activities pre and post your Yoga practice for optimal benefits.
Routine Before Yoga
Here is what you need to do before your Yoga workout:
1# Food: Experts are of the view that one shouldn’t have a heavy meal right before doing Yoga as the food in your belly will make you uncomfortable during the practice. So avoid having heavy, fried and spice-rich food at least two hours before doing Yoga. You can, however, have a light snack, such as a banana, apple, nuts or smoothie, about 45 minutes before your practice.
2# Water: Make sure you hydrate well before grabbing your Yoga mat. So, have a glass of water not less than 15 minutes before you exercise, recommends Mumbai-based The Yoga Institute.
3# Clothes: Yoga involves a lot of stretching, movements and you need to hold poses for long, make sure you wear comfortable clothes. At the same time, do not wear anything loose, both clothes and accessories, which would make you uncomfortable during the practice.
Post Yoga Routine
Follow these tips after a soothing yoga session for maximum health benefits:
1# Do Not Rush: Once done with the practice, do not immediately rush to do your mundane everyday tasks, Dr Hansa Yogendra of The Yoga Institute suggested in an Instagram post. Rather spend at least 10 minutes in shavasana (or, corpse pose). This lets your mind and body relax after the practice.
- To do shavasana, lie down on your back, with your legs straight and your hands on your sides.
- Close your eyes and gently let every part of your body, from head to toe, relax.
- Breathe naturally. Stay in this pose for 10 minutes.
2# Brisk walk: If you do Yoga in the morning, it is good to go for a brisk walk right after the practice. Yoga leaves your muscles stretched and your chest open and walking briskly increases the heart rate and thus boosts blood circulation. It also helps you to start your day energetically, on a positive note to face whatever the day offers head-on.
3# Re-hydrate: Just like hydration is crucial before beginning the practice, you need to re-hydrate once you’re done with it. But rather than gulping water, drink it sip-by-sip in a peaceful manner. You can substitute normal water with lemon or coconut water if you want.
4# Nutritious food: No workout will be effective if you continue to put loads of junk and unhealthy food in your body. So, right after working out, consume nutritious foods that nourish your body. You can eat paneer, tofu, nuts, banana, apple, or any other seasonal fruits. Again, it’s up to you to decide what works for your body, but make sure it is packed with nutrients.
5# Positive affirmation: Since Yoga leaves your body strong and your mind calm and relaxed, it is the perfect time to choose a positive affirmation. It’ll help you set the tone for the day, keeping you energetic and focused throughout the day.
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