My mom is a yoga teacher. When I was younger, I wasn't in favor of any yoga practice (partly due to my extreme inflexibility), and constantly whined when my mom made me (in the most loving way possible) take a class.

I recall some memories that consisted of me being coerced to attend drum circles, eat "different" ethnic foods, get dragged to crystal shops, and meditate with her when feeling stressed... (the last one was actually pretty nice). 

Even though I started practicing hot yoga this year, I have known my entire life that it is crucial to eat the right type of food, at the right time, in the right amount before taking on hot yoga (or any type of yoga, for that matter).

If you don't fuel your body right, cramping, dehydration, nausea, and the occasional fart can occur (and we know we don't want that). So here are some of my suggestions on the best foods to eat.

1. Fruit

nut, milk, chocolate, sweet, cream
Ava Courtney

If you're wanting something on the lighter side, fruits like bananas, berries, and melon are the perfect, quick bite. This refreshing snack can hold you over until afterwards, where you can eat a proper meal. If you want something a little bit more filling, you can get real cool and whip up a smoothie bowl

2. Nut Butter & Toast

chocolate, sweet, pastry, bread, cake, candy, wheat
Tarika Narain

Nut butter and a piece of toast is nutritionally ideal before yoga. Not only is it a carb (bread) and a protein (nut butter), but it also tastes heavenly. Everyone has their preference, but Justin's Maple Almond butter is my favorite. This combo is definitely a go to for me and my mom before we head out to a downward dog party

3. Dark Chocolate

chocolate, sweet, herb, coffee, relish, candy
Christin Urso

This is my mom's absolute favorite. I mean, if chocolate isn't your favorite... are you even human? Dark chocolate, according to Authority Nutrition, has many health benefits that make it a good snack to have before class. It helps fight fatigue, lowers stress levels, and is filled with antioxidants. 

Now, I'm not saying that a whole chocolate bar before class is a good idea, because in all honesty, that sounds like a disaster in the making. However, a bite or two will do the trick.

4. Oatmeal

milk, cereal, rice, sweet, porridge
Hana Brannigan

As an oatmeal fanatic, this complex carb is a no brainer. Oatmeal is beneficial because it provides sustainable energy, and gives you fuel to last way longer than the actual class. When I was younger, never did I think I would like oatmeal.

But, as a mature adult (just kidding, I'm sixteen), my taste buds started to like this bowl of goodness. You can top it with pretty much anything, which makes it okay to have at any time of the day.

5. Water

lemon, water, lemonade
Caroline Liu

The most important tip is to drink plenty of water. Because of all the sweating that occurs during class, it is crucial to replenish your body with the liquid lost. So, bring a large water bottle to class, and hydrate! Hydration is necessary. Foods should also be consumed at least 45 minutes before, in order to prevent any cramping or nausea.

Although my relationship with yoga was rocky at first, my mom opened my eyes to a warm and welcoming yoga community. Living with a yogi/mom, I know for a fact that these are the foods that are best for a before class snack/meal. My mom and I swear by all of them (especially the dark chocolate).

See you on the mat. Namaste.