Food: before yoga, after yoga and in daily life

I’m always surprised, regardless of the volume of students I teach and communicate with daily, at the following statements:

  • I forgot to eat
  • I might not have enough energy for yoga tonight I have not had lunch / a snack / enough food
  • I have not had breakfast
  • Eleni, I ate too much, I’m feeling: nauseous / uncomfortable / please don’t make me do plank
  • Eleni I tried / had too much spirulina / chia seeds / new protein powder in a smoothie and my bowels are too happy

Personally it has taken me a lot of trial and error in regards to what and how much too eat before I teach a yoga class, but this also applies to all forms of movement, running, swimming, dancing etc.

The fundamental rule is one that I practise and is what I was taught by my previous teachers: don’t eat at least two hours prior to a yoga class. The same goes for meditation and pranayama.

Why?? Because you are folding your body, twisting and inverting, even in down dog. The body’s digestive capabilities are hindered. So you are then most likely to feel very uncomfortable in the abdominal area, build up gas and may feel nauseous or even experience cramping.

It takes mindfulness in preparing and eating food, as well as timing.Listening to your body will help with over indulgence or under eating.

Our mind can sabotage us. So stop, take a few deep breaths and feel.
Place your hand on your abdomen.
What do you need?
Observe
Breathe.

Support your health journey.

If trying new foods, add the minimum of quantity suggested. For example, if you’re adding spirulina powder for a Green smoothie, if the recipe says a teaspoon, opt for half of that quantity and see how you feel! (especially for yogis with IBS).

If you’re going to change your foundations of eating (for example, become a vegetarian, vegan, raw food advocate), talk to people, or research associations such as Vegan Australia. They have a range of scheduled activities that will teach you what you need.
Ease yourself into it, and observe how your body responds. Do it with care and give your body time to adjust. Be kind with change and enjoy the transition.

And keep in mind that extreme eating plans are dangerous and can lead to eating disorders.

A variety of foods is a strong foundation for vitality and health. If you do not eat enough you have no energy. Food does not need to be complicated. It’s a blessing, so stop fighting with it!

And remember, what works for one yogi may not be suitable for you.

 

This will be the first of many blogs about food from me.
😉

Namaste,
Eleni

xx

It started with Madonna

Yoga was not an initial love experience for myself. I don’t believe I was too great at it. I tried so hard and I’m sure I pulled a few muscles along the way!
It eventually became my Saturday morning ritual for a solid two year frame at Yoga Synergy. I was 25 years old.
Who influenced me??? (This is prior to Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram)
MADONNA!!!
She was a fit creature that I identified with. At that period of my life I was teaching a gazillion aerobic and step classes as well as running corporate classes at State Parliament on Macquarie Street.
To me, Madonna was talent, beauty, assertiveness, and her image was always shifting. You could never be bored. She was a Yoga Goddess of Flexibility. She looked so serene in so many exquisite postures. An exotic creation.
Once I jumped off the Madonna starting block, I increased my practise, finding yoga nurtured my soul in a whirlwind of major life transitions and challenges: getting divorced, selling my home, moving house, and losing a business that I had established with Mum over 14 years (long story, the airport authorities wanted the space and 14 days notice was given). My anorexia started creeping back and so did my exercise obsessiveness.
Yoga was there.
I became passionate about the practise as well as the philosophy. It spoke to me. It changed my life. It steered me to starting an apprentiship with my late dear teacher Acharya Upendra Roy, and I continued my Yoga Teacher training with him. I have met such amazing teachers along the way, it’s a total discovery of adventure.
Hopefully if you are reading this, you are giving yourself a high five for scheduling your next yoga session. Or to start, or to reengage with your yoga ritual if you have had a brief hiatus.
The best advice i can give you is don’t wait. Don’t wait for the following to happen:
  1. To lose weight before you start yoga
  2. To have more time.
  3. For kids to go to school. Or get older …..
Yoga is for everyone. Now.
You do not need to be fit to do yoga
You do not need to be an ex-athlete or personal trainer
You do not have to be rich.
You do not have to be beautiful.
You do not need expensive workout gear and accessories.
You could be of any ethnic background or religion.
I may be the teacher for you or I may not.
Searching, practising, experience with an open heart, honesty and passion.
See you on your mat somewhere, sometime.
xxx
Eleni