Yoga Before Or After Workout – Is It Recommended?
Yoga originated from India. Yoga involves bodily postures, and includes meditation and respiration control. It is now popular in Western countries as a technique for relaxation and promotion of mental and physical health.
However, with regards to workouts, what is recommended, yoga before or after workouts? This question has been constantly asked by yoga enthusiasts. Indeed, when is yoga most useful? Before I answer the question, here are facts that you should know about yoga.
Facts about Yoga
1. Yoga is a Form of Exercise too
Yes, doing yoga is exercising too. It can be both breathing and physical exercises.
An example of the yoga breathing exercise:
- Sit on the floor, yoga form, with your back straight.
- Take a deep breath through your nose, and hold for 4 seconds.
- Exhale through the nose.
- You can increase the 4 second-interval to 6 seconds.
- Do this at least 10 times.
An example of the yoga physical exercise:
- Stand with your back straight, your shoulders relaxed and your hands hanging at your sides. The soles of your feet should be flat on the floor and your weight evenly distributed.
- Raise both arms straight above your head, with your palms facing each other.
- Using your fingertips, reach towards the sky. Do this 10 times.
2. Yoga Promotes Good Health
Because it’s a form of exercise, and a relaxing activity, yoga promotes good health and reduces stress. It’s now used as an alternative treatment for anxiety and stress.
3. Yoga can be Used too for Meditation
Meditate and de-stress through yoga meditation. You can sit quietly on the floor and ease your mind of negative thoughts, while performing the respiration exercises. Meditation can be done simultaneously with the breathing exercises.
4. Yoga is Good for Mental Health
Aside from yoga being good for the body, it’s also good for mental health. This is because meditation calms the mind. People who meditate often have keener mental abilities: they can recall and analyze quickly, and solve problems more rapidly.
Yoga Before or After Workout, is It Recommended?
Based on the facts above, here’s the answer.
Answer: Although yoga can be used before and after workouts, yoga is more beneficial after workouts because of the following reasons:
1. Since, yoga includes breathing and relaxing exercises, it would be a perfect physical activity after a workout.
2. There are simple yoga postures that are not strenuous as compared to other exercises, so, it’s ideal as a cooling down exercise.
3. Yoga relaxes the muscles; hence, after a workout, yoga would certainly ease your tired muscles.
4. Yoga helps in body healing; thus, it’s good after a workout to help heal muscle injury, and repair strained ligaments.
5. Yoga meditation can promote mental health. So, it’s a superb activity after a workout because after physical exercise, mental health is also taken care of.
6. Muscles tend to tighten up after workouts, but with yoga, these muscles can loosen up and go back to their original state through meditation.
Nonetheless, you can also do yoga before workouts. In this case make sure to do it the other way around. You have to perform the more strenuous yoga exercises first, but the ensuing workout should be less rigorous.
Watch this video about the topic: Should I do Yoga Before or After my Workout?
Tips in Using Yoga after Workouts
- Use simple yoga exercise as a cool down activity.
- If you want to use yoga as your main exercise, then you may want to do the difficult positions first and perform the easy positions as your last exercise.
- Remember to do breathing exercises as a way to relax your tired muscles.
- While you’re at it, do meditation, as well. This would be an excellent activity to calm your mind after relaxing your body.
- If you have chosen to do rigorous yoga before your workout, don’t perform rigorous exercises too.
- Experiment using yoga before and after your workouts and find out what’s more effective for you.
Yoga before or after a workout, is good for the body. Whether you do yoga before or after, should be dependent on your preferences. Nevertheless, it’s more beneficial if you perform yoga after workouts. This is because of the 6 reasons mentioned above. If you find yoga applicable to you, you may want to adopt yoga as your cool down exercise.You can experiment to find out what works for you best.