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Yoga Hacks

  • What to Eat Before and After Yoga

     

    As the holidays approach, it’s easy for our usual yoga routines to get hijacked. Between traveling to visit family, parties with friends and the search for the perfect gift (we’ve got a few ideas here), making time to practice is not just a luxury – it’s a necessity. Whether it’s at your local studio or online, yoga allows us to take some much-deserved time to ourselves, as well as reflect to appreciate the amazing people, places and things in our lives...including food.

     

    There IS a way to enjoy both, although eating a heaping plate of pasta 10 minutes before your flow is not something we’d recommend (but neither is starving yourself only to feel dizzy while upside down).

     

    When it comes to deciding what to eat before and after yoga, the best thing to do is strike a happy balance. We’ve broken things down below, so you can feel light and festive for your next flow:

    What to eat: 2-3 hours before class

    Oatmeal with a handful of nuts

    The combo of carbs (oats) and protein (nuts) makes the perfect pre-yoga breakfast duo, helping to provide long-lasting, sustainable energy to power you through all those chaturangas. Added strawberries optional!

     

    Avocado Toast

    With a superdose of potassium and a great source of anti-oxidants, avocados pair perfectly with a slice of low-glycemic index whole grain bread (and any other veggie toppings you like). You’ll feel satisfied and energized for hours.

    PSA: What NOT to Eat

    Garlicky foods

    Deep breathing and garlic don’t go togeter. Be kind to your neighbor and skip for the greater good.

     

     

    What to eat: 30 minutes–1 hour before class

    Banana

    Keep it simple! Packed full of potassium and natural sugars, indulging in a banana pre-yoga can help gently lift energy levels while keeping the body hydrated.

     

    Green smoothie

    A small green smoothie is a great way to boost energy levels, but remember to strike the 2/3 balance when it comes to packing in leafy greens to ensure healthy blood sugar levels. Adding in half an avocado can also add a nice dose of healthy fats to slow down sugar absorption.

     

    A few squares of raw cacao

    Yep, that’s right – we support chocolate pre-yoga! But not the sugar-packed processed kind…We’re talking about the real deal. Dark chocolate is packed full of energy-filled magnesium and helps increase blood flow to the brain.

     

     

    What to eat: Post-yoga

    It’s best to hold off from eating any big meals at least 30 minutes after finishing your class. Certain yoga postures work on the digestive tract so eating heavy foods straight afterwards can sometimes cause some discomfort. After that, however, the world (or fridge) is all yours! And don’t forget to drink plenty of water to replenish any lost liquids!

  • Yoga Poses For Runners

    Hamstring tightness and soreness is probably the number one complaint heard in yoga classes. Our hamstrings make up three different muscle groups, which collectively are responsible for the flexing of knee and lifting of foot each time we run or jog.  When we overuse or aggravate these muscles, their response is to tense up and contract. And there’s no mistaking the fiery wrath of an over-worked hamstring!

    Why is yoga good for tight hamstrings?
    Yoga and running complement each other perfectly, helping to fill the gaps where the other lacks.  Practicing just a handful of specific postures before and/or after a long running session can help to stretch and gently lengthen the hamstring muscles, as well as release any built-up tension in the body.

    Here are our top 3 yoga poses to help you stretch hamstrings from every angle:

    1. Forward Fold (aka Uttanasana)

    Basic hamstring stretch to lengthen and release tension.

    PROtip: If you start to feel any pain, back off by gently bending the knees. The aim is to feel a stretch without any discomfort or strain.

     

    1. Wide-Legged Standing Forward Fold (aka Prasarita Padottanasana)

    Inner hamstring stretch to also lengthen spine.

    PROtip: Rest hands on floor and lift kneecaps to activate quadriceps. Increased activation will deepen hamstring stretch.

     

    1. Pyramid Pose (aka Parsvottanasana)

    Outer hamstring stretch to work leg balance and strength.

    PROtip: Extra tight hamstrings will benefit from the use of blocks (like these!) to support hands if they don’t reach the floor.

  • 8 Steps to Creating the Ultimate Home Yoga Practice

    Developing a home yoga routine can be daunting. Finding the time and space to show up on your mat each day is challenging, especially when you're used to the structure of an in-person yoga class.

     

    But learning how to practice yoga at home allows you the space to really listen to your body and its needs, without the temptation of playing a comparison game with neighboring yogis.

     

    More often than not, the biggest hurdle is simply showing up. The remaining steps? We’ve outlined them below to help get you started. Practice On.

     

     

    1. Get Online

    Make use of the many resources out there. Online yoga classes are a great way to get started on your home yoga journey, providing just enough structure and routine to build up confidence to “go it alone”. And with a range of different lengths, styles and levels to choose from, there’s always a class to fit your needs.

     

    1. Create the Right Space

    Creating an inspiring space for your practice is crucial. Find somewhere open and clutter-free that creates a feeling of ‘space’. Outfit that space with props that make you feel comfortable and supported. We love blankets and blocks for home practices.

     

    1. Find Your Soul Mat

    The cornerstone of your practice should be a mat that suits your needs and personal style. We love our PRO mats, especially the PRO Squared (if you can fit it!) Confused on which mat is best for you? Take our quiz!

     

    1. Be Selfish

    Take the time to tap into how you’re feeling. No two practices are going to be the same. Some days, you’ll want a stronger, longer practice; others, you might just want to do a few Sun Salutations and lie in Savasana.  Allow yourself the flexibility to feel what you and your body really need.

     

    1. Welcome The Resistance

    Resistance is part of life. Embrace it, rather than punishing yourself with it. The most important thing is that you make it to the mat, whether it’s for 5 minutes or 50 minutes. Respect and appreciate where you’re at in your practice.

     

    1. Start Small

    It can take a while for a new commitment to turn into a habit. Respect that, and start with just a few minutes, working up to a longer practice when it feels comfortable.

     

    1. Phone = Off

    This is YOUR time, and don’t let anyone or anything take it from you. If you're joining Yogaia classes from your phone, make sure to turn off all notifications so your class doesn't get interrupted.

    1. Forgive, Forget & Carry On

    Falling off the wagon is normal – so don’t beat yourself up about it! Just be sure to get right back on and reward yourself that you did.

    PRACTICE ON

  • Slipping on your yoga mat?

     
    If you sweat during practice or find yourself slipping on your mat, we always recommend a towel to help absorb your sweat.

    Our yoga towels are sweat activated- the more you sweat, the more they grip. A yoga towel is the perfect accessory for any yogi or fitness guru.

     

    Recommended Gear

    yogitoes Yoga Towels | Manduka yogitoes Yoga Towels
    eQua Yoga Towels | Manduka eQua Yoga Towels
    eQua Hold Yoga Towels| Manduka eQua Hold Yoga Towels

     


  • Sore wrists while on your yoga mat?

     
    Try using the tips of your fingers as support, rather than the palms of your hand. Practicing on a dense yoga mat may help as well.

    We offer a range of mats with top-of-the-line cushioning and joint-protecting density. Manduka PRO is the thickest mat we make.

     

    Recommended Gear

    Extra Thick Yoga Mats | Manduka PRO Yoga Mats
    Thick Yoga Mats | Manduka PROlite Yoga Mats
    Cushiony Rubber Yoga Mats| Manduka eKO Yoga Mats