Focus on your breathing in your yoga class and your food selection, afterward!
The benefits of yoga are established, but if you eat correctly after your workout, you will stretch those benefits even further. Every morning when you get out of bed, you should stretch. Setting the tone for the day, you are setting a precedent of discipline.
Once that routine is established, you won’t be able to imagine your days without yoga! Aside from stretching, though, you need to discipline your brain to make healthy food choices.
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When you leave your yoga class (or even if you do it at home), it might be tempting to splurge. Your body and mind are so relaxed and feel so great, that large order of fries at a nearby drive-thru could be tempting. But why erase all of the good that you just did to your body by filling it with junk? First things first, you need water and lots of it. Water is essential after any workout and yoga is no exception. Water rehydrates, refuels and replenishes. If you are not a fan of plain water, consider coconut water. Or, another simple solution is to keep lemons, limes and oranges on hand. Squeeze fresh lime, lemon or orange juice in your water for added flavor and vitamin C benefits!
So once you begin to rehydrate, let’s think about foods. Healthy foods. Sure, you can splurge from time to time, but eating healthy will just make you feel better all around. What foods are good after your yoga workout? Think healthy. Think fresh. Fresh is best! So keep plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables on hand for healthy living but also for convenient snacking. Other foods to keep are nuts and granola — always a healthy snack and easy to eat on the go. Pack a sandwich bag of these options to have in your bag for immediately following yoga.
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High protein foods are very important to keep your muscles from being too sore after your yoga workout. Lean proteins like boneless skinless chicken breast or tuna are great, healthy options. You might be surprised where you can find protein.
Surprising foods packed with protein:
- 2 tablespoons of peanut butter has 8 grams of protein.
- 1/4 cup of sunflower seeds has 6 grams of protein.
- 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds has 8 grams of protein.
- 1 cup of Very Vanilla Silk soymilk has 6 grams of protein, so not only does it taste delicious, it is very good for you.
- 1 boiled egg has 6 grams of protein.
- 1/2 cup of cottage cheese has 15 grams of protein!
- Another option? Cheese. Hard to believe that something so delicious and decadent can also offer protein! One ounce of light cheddar cheese has 8 grams of protein. So consider an apple and some cheese as a healthy, well-balanced snack after your yoga workout.
- Greek yogurt has twice the protein as regular yogurt. Plus, it is quite filling. 1 cup of Cabot lowfat Greek yogurt has 22 grams of protein! Drizzle 1 tablespoon of honey over the yogurt or put it in the blender with a frozen banana, 1-1/2 cups of soymilk and enjoy a delicious, filling smoothie!
Yoga is good for you for so many reasons. From helping with your balance to increasing your flexibility, lowering your blood pressure (teaching you to slow down and focus on your breathing) and bettering your posture. Make that list of benefits all the greater by eating right and taking care of yourself, mind, body and heart!