If you're anything like me, you usually don't eat, or have something very light before your asana, (trying to do pigeon pose with a brick of pasta in your belly is VERY unpleasant).

Over time I've realized which meals or combinations of food work well for giving me extra energy, while keeping me light on my toes.

Pre Yoga Meals:

1. Green Smoothie

smoothie, juice, sweet, milk, cocktail, yogurt
Sarah Silbiger

Green smoothies are a great way to get a fresh burst of energy without any spikes or crashes. However, the key here it to keep it simple! A lot of times it can seem more beneficial to load up our smoothies with all sorts of, "good for you" ingredients but in reality our bellies have an increasingly hard time trying to break down 12+ ingredients at one time. This simple recipe is yummy and tummy approved.

#SpoonTip: Finish your smoothie 20 minutes before your practice to avoid feeling weighed down. 

2. Whole Grain Toast and Avocado

toast, avocado, bread, butter
Jen Gouchoe

This choice is a little heavier if you've got a long class or dinner is a long time away. Paired with the good fat from the avocado, the complex carb of the whole grain toast will digest slower leaving you less likely to interrupt Savasana with your grumbly tummy. Sprinkle a little lemon juice or salt on top for a tasty zing!

3. Green Juice

Fresh pressed green juice is low in calories (not to fear, calories are energy!) and a great way to start off your practice light. The chlorophyll in the greens will help improve your intake of oxygen and give you an all natural energy boost without the crash. You can drink this all the way up until the time of your practice.

4. Bananas and Nut Butter

sweet, cereal, banana, nut
Katherine Carroll

Bananas are gonna give you a quick burst of energy, while the sugars in the nut butter (almond, peanut, cashew) will sustain the energy so you don't crash 20 minutes into your session. 

#SpoonTip: Eat this meal 30 minutes before your session for the best results. 

5. Nothing

fitness, Sneakers, running, Tennis shoes, Yoga, water bottle
Jocelyn Hsu

Yes, I know this isn't technically a meal, but I wanted to point out that its also totally okay to not eat before your session, (especially if its early morning). Yoga on an empty stomach has been a tradition with yogis for years. 

#SpoonTip practicing yoga can be dangerous if you're prone to a blood sugar imbalance, be sure to consult your doctor if you have any concerns or questions.  

Post Yoga Meals:

The important part about post yoga meals is to keep things simple. If you have a later class and need a little something before dinner, try to stick with some of the lighter "snack sized," portions. Or if you're looking to have a substantial but healthy dinner you can double up the veggies on any of these options. 

1. Egg whites, Sprouted Toast, and Veggies

After a revitalizing session on the mat, I don't want to overload my body with a heavy meal. I usually opt for egg whites (because they're so low in fat and cholesterol, you can load up on them), with sprouted toast (optional), and some veggies lightly sautéed in coconut oil. You can add a little sprinkle of parmesan to the top for extra flavor. 

2. Oatmeal or Quinoa Cooked with Almond Milk

blueberry, cereal, sweet, milk, yogurt, muesli, oatmeal, berry, porridge
Becky Hughes

If you're not eating oatmeal, here's why you oat-to. This can be made with any milk of your choice, but I prefer to use non-dairy milks that are lower in fat and sugar if possible. You can also add a touch of agave, and some fresh berries to sweeten up this post work out delight.

3. Hummus and Veggies

bread, hummus, vegetable
Christin Urso

This is ideal if you want to keep it light before dinner, but are tired of the same old kale-spinach-salad mashup. Hummus has a nice natural umami flavor to it, helping to keep you sated, but not stuffed. Choose fresh raw veggies like broccoli, carrots, celery, cucumbers, and red peppers. 

4. Salad with Clean Guac or Salsa

salad, vegetable, pepper, lettuce
Becky Hughes

So let me explain what I mean by, "clean". The aim here is to have the least amount of added salt and sugars to the guac and salsa. The best way to avoid this is to make them yourself, a.k.a no jar salsa or Sabra guacamole packs. You can also try to look for, "clean," brands (Whole Foods has awesome fresh guac, the hispanic in me approves). 

Here is a yummy watermelon salsa recipe made by a fellow Spoon writer.  

5. Steamed Veggies with Avocado

vegetable, pepper, onion
Gabby Quintana

You know I love my healthy fats, which is why I pair avocado with all of my lighter meals. Not only does it fulfill your need for good fats, but it makes a meal of lightly cooked veggies, creamy and satisfying without hurting your gut. 

Whether you're a beginner looking to start off your first session right, or a seasoned yogi looking to mix it up, you can come back and refer to this guide whenever you need a little inspiration.