Yoga is a great way to increase your flexibility, improve your respiratory health, and center yourself before a long day. But to make the most out of your practice, you need to fuel up before you lay down your mat after you’ve said “namaste” for the day. Read on for our top four tips for maximizing your yoga practice.
#1 Hydrate, then Rehydrate
Even if you’re not practicing hot yoga, you’re still bound to break a sweat with poses like the side plank and downward dog. Drink plenty of water before you start to ensure that your body can perform to the best of its ability. And don’t forget to rehydrate afterward to replenish any electrolytes you’ve lost!
#2 Fuel Up on the Good Stuff
If you don’t want to lose your balance during tree pose or topple over out of warrior one, make sure to eat a healthy meal before your class. It’ll give your body the sustenance it needs to maintain energy, focus, and stamina even as you move from one intricate position to the next.
Here are some hassle-free snacks to bring on the go:
- Protein bars – Eating enough protein post-yoga will help your muscles heal faster so you don’t feel as sore the next morning. These plant-based ALOHA protein bars are easy to grab when you’re on the go, and each one contains fourteen grams of protein.
- Whole grains – During any yoga session, you’ll be burning off a ton of carbohydrates. Make sure to replenish those carbs after exercise with whole-grain foods like pasta or rice. They rebuild muscle and give you a long-lasting energy boost rather than a quick come-down.
- Fruits and vegetables – Besides boosting your immune system, fruits and veggies contain tons of healthy carbohydrates that’ll help fuel your workout. Add some to your portable blender to make delicious smoothies wherever you go!
#3 Let Your Muscles Recover
After a strenuous workout, your body needs time to heal. Use a CBD tincture for pain relief, or take a hot bath to soothe achy muscles. If you do yoga multiple times throughout the week, focus on a different muscle group each day. That way, your muscles have time to recover in between workouts.
#4 Prepare Your Mind
A cornerstone of yoga is meditation. As we focus on our thoughts and breathing, we’re able to engage in heightened mindfulness. But to keep our full attention on the present moment, it’s essential to eliminate distractions before we begin.
Here are some things to leave behind:
- Cell phones – Once you’re in the swing of things, the last thing you want is to be taken out of it by a ringing cell phone. Make sure to silence your phone before you begin, and leave it in a different room so you’re not tempted to check your notifications.
- iPods – Music is great for most workouts, but with yoga, it’s just plain distracting. If you’re practicing at home, try to make your space as quiet as possible—except for the sound of your oms, of course.
- Thoughts and worries – While it’s easier said than done, achieving a state of mindfulness requires your total focus on the here and now. If you find your mind wandering, recenter yourself with a few deep breaths. Maintaining a mindful journal will also point you in the right direction.
Maximize Your PracticeWhether you’re breaking a sweat at the studio or doing online yoga in your studio apartment, it’s important to take care of your body and mind. If you follow these tips, your yoga-induced mindfulness will continue long after you’ve rolled up your mat and left the studio.