Article written by Emily Apple
Photo by Aral Tasher

Yoga is not for sissies. Power Yoga and even heated Vinyasa or Bikram can really make you sweat and increase your heart rate substantially. So, as with all other types of exercise, you must consider eating enough and eating the correct foods to support your exercise regime.

We’ve heard many times that food is important for brain power as well as physical wellbeing. In yoga practice, focus, attention and mindfulness are vital to experiencing a satisfying session and so you need brain food. The correct brain foods are often a mix of fiber, healthy fats, natural sugars, vitamins and nutrients and protein. By including all of these foods you’ll be feeding your body a balanced diet.

There are many different ways to optimise your diet. And, because everyone is different one diet might work for you that doesn’t work for your friends or family. While you have made your book of banting recipes your Bible, your best friend might need to follow paleo rules or the Atkins diet. No matter what you find works for you, everyone can benefit from including the following foods in their daily diet to optimise focus and ultimately your yoga experience.

Dark green leafy veg is best

If the veggies you’re consuming are a dark, rich, green then they are jam-packed with vitamins and nutrients. Namely, vitamins C, K and E as well as calcium, iron and fiber. Dark green and leafy veggies boost your entire system. Try out some kale, spinach, broccoli and mustard greens.

Raw cacao is a superfood

Nothing is as good as a piece of quality chocolate. The best tasting chocolate is made with raw cacao and it’s incredibly good for you. If you want a boost in antioxidants, flavonoids and magnesium then including some raw cacao in your diet is the way to go. The antioxidants fight off diseases, the flavonoids support heart health and magnesium assist with emotional health. Basically the same benefits that yoga offers your body. The combination of raw cacao in your diet and yoga practice in your routine will help give you a long and healthy life.

Your granny knew what she was doing when she fed you oats every morning

Oats are one of the best sources of protein you can find. They’ll keep you full for longer, they’re low GI and they’ll lower your cholesterol. They’re pretty much the best way to start your day. Plus they provide an awesome base to make up an amazing breakfast as you can add so many different things to them. Two popular oats additions are berries and bananas, or cinnamon and cardamom. The berries and bananas will give you a high intake of antioxidants and fiber and the cinnamon and cardamom will benefit yogis with Ayurvedic constitution vata. Also, these ingredients warm you up on the inside which keeps your metabolism going.

Flush it all down with lemon water

Try to start your day with lemon water. If you can have it warm, then even better. This drink will kickstart your digestive system and alkalize your body returning it to it’s natural balance. This is of particular benefit to power yogis as lemon water will assist with keeping both your muscles and your joints healthy.