Yoga Before Or After Workout? (And Others You Need To Know!)
Man is always in search of respite and relaxation. Having said that, there are so many methods of doing so that have been invented through the years.
While some people resort to eating their favorite foods, watch their favorite movies, take a stroll by the beach and watch the sunset, or probably even getting a massage, some people would want to relieve stress with a “holistic” kind of approach.
In order for this to be achieved, people turn to their bodies and exercise. While cardio and weightlifting activities are common, another popular way of exercising, which could either be done on its own or in conjunction to these activities is Yoga, with a popular question of whether or not to do yoga before or after workout to be answered here.
What is Yoga?
Yoga is a familiar term to pretty much all of us. It’s considered a form of exercise in its own right. Its roots could be traced back in ancient India, and is considered a combination of mental, physical, and spiritual activities.
It was therefore, tied initially with various religions. Having said that, different religions have their own variations of it, but the common thread is that it allows you to meditate, calm the mind, and put your thoughts in order.
This is just one definition, as there are as many as 5 definitions proposed, but yoga as a form of exercise happens to be the most popular out of all of these, and is the one which has been integrated well into modern culture.
Nowadays, there are several places in which you could train yourself to do yoga. These are yoga schools, where you would normally have yoga classes that usually last from 30 minutes to 1 hour.
In essence, the most popularly adopted notion on yoga is that it’s a form of exercise that “reconnects” yourself, or makes you one with nature. This explains why those who do yoga find themselves doing poses that may seem unnatural or weird, but in reality, are actually akin to elements of nature, like trees, clouds, so on and so forth. Also, its ultimate purpose is to create a balance and harmony between the body and mind.
Benefits of Yoga
There are several benefits associated with doing yoga, and this is exactly the reason why this is popular. The following are some of the commonly-reported benefits of doing yoga:
1. Helps you keep a Calm Mind
One of the staple activities done in yoga is breathing exercises and meditation, both of which are helpful in terms of giving individuals a calm mind.
With habitual practice of yoga, people report feeling much less stress, and subsequently, the ability to think clearly, have a better connection and understanding of the body, and perform better at work.
2. Gives You Energy to do Tasks
This particular benefit of yoga is the reason why people do yoga as a warm-up exercise. Better breathing would allow you to have sufficient levels of oxygen in the body, which is needed in order for your organs to work at optimal levels.
3. Promotes Over-all Physical Fitness
Apart from calming down your mind and giving you energy to do the tasks at hand, Yoga helps contribute to over-all physical fitness of an individual. The stretching that’s done in yoga are effective when it comes to warming up the muscles and increase its flexibility.
Moreover, the poses, which may require you to carry your body weight on just your feet or arms would, in the long run build your muscle mass and endurance.
Over-all, having well-developed muscles, a well-oxygenated body, and a relaxed mind would give you the energy to do all the tasks you need, and thereby promoting physical fitness.
Best Time to Do Yoga
Given that yoga is a form of exercise itself, some people tend to integrate yoga on their exercise routine as well. The question now is that is it best to do yoga before or after workout?
One factor that you have to keep in mind would most definitely have to be the intensity. While yoga, in general, promotes relaxation and well-being, rather than keeping you pumped up and energized, the reality is that some types of yoga exercises are way too intense, such as the Ashtanga, and is therefore a workout routine all on its own.
If you do want to integrate yoga with your regular exercise routine, make sure to opt the exercises with less intensity to prevent you from overworking your body.
Now, to answer the question on whether to do yoga before or after workout, fitness experts suggest that one would do yoga poses as a way to cool down.
As previously mentioned, this would help to calm the body, and bring your heart rate down to a resting one, which makes it ideal to serve as a cool-down exercise, given that the poses are light, and that this would be done in just a few minutes.
Moreover, Yoga oxygenates your muscles, which is much-needed after a workout. People could pretty much do Yoga in lieu of the conventional post-workout stretching.
Yoga as Warm-Up Activity
Despite putting you in a relaxed mood, one of the benefits associated with Yoga includes being able to stretch your muscles. Having said that, while it’s ideal for you to do yoga for cooling down, this exercise also serves as an effective means in order for you to warm your muscles up, especially when you are set to do tedious or heavy weight lifting routines.
Having said all this, whether or not you do yoga before or after workout, you are sure to reap all of the benefits stated above. Also, in order for you to do the poses properly, make sure to consult with a yoga coach or do your stretching exercises in groups.
Moreover, make it a point to use the necessary equipment, such as yoga mats, and always wear comfortable, breathable and stretchable attire. This would shed off added weight which would make it difficult to achieve the ideal poses that are required of you.