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Should I Practice Yoga Before or After Workout



Practice Yoga

Almost all people who are interested in yoga has probably had some crossover into the fitness world, or vice versa. Whether you’re trying to build your dream body or just seeking some mental grounding, yoga serves as a perfect complement to your gym workout routine. Some atheletes may wondering should I put yoga before or after workout?

Practicing yoga offers multiple benefits, such as better muscle strength and tone, increased flexibility, and improved respiration. However, it may be counterproductive if yoga class is not properly scheduled alongside your workout sessions. 

Most workout sessions including three parts: warm up, weight lifting (resistance training), and stretch. How practice yoga before or after workout improve or decrease workout performance, read on to get an in-depth explanation on when to schedule yoga sessions and the reasons behind.

Should I Practice Yoga Before or After Workout?

It is most ideal to schedule your yoga session on a different day entirely. If situation does not allow to allocate yoga session and gym workout to a different day, practice yoga after your resistance training. Here is why:

1. Static Stretching Reduces Muscle Power

It has been proved that statically holding yoga poses actually reduces your workout performance. This is because a static stretch lengthens your muscle fibers, thus reducing their ability to contract during weight lifting training. Contraction is the process that actually builds muscle mass. In this way we can say doing yoga before weight lifting training is work against yourself.

2. Reduced Performance in the Gym

Yoga pose weakens muscles, fascia, and tissues by extending the muscle fibers for a temporary time period. This will indeed reduces the muscles ability to perform during a hard workout. However, it is highly recommended to do yoga after workout as stretch will boost muscle recovery in an efficient manner.

3. Pre-workout yoga session will consume your energy

Yoga is known to serve as an exercise to tone muscle and build strength, some yoga poses are well known for its difficulty. It takes energy to hold poses statically. Consume energy before workout is not a wise idea, fatigue will absolutely decrease your performance.

Benefits of Putting Yoga After a Workout

1. Stretch poses helps to promote muscle recovery

A resistance training routine increase muscle by breaking down muscle fibers so they can be built back stronger. Yoga helps muscles recover faster by increasing blood flow and oxygenation into your tissues, as well as deliver all the vital nutrients and increase circulation to those fibers to help them heal faster.

2. Improved flexibility, range of motion

The interlocking muscle fibers contract and shorten during your workout., that is why tight muscles is a common issue after weight training. Consistent dynamic stretching helps muscles heal more effectively by improving the flexibility. Also, doing yoga after workout help reduce the risk of joint pain or arthritis from intense training.

3. Slow down heart beat

Doing a yoga class at the end of your workout is like a transition back into calmness as yoga serves as a perfect way to slow heart rate. Additionally, the deep breathing exercises throughout yoga practice is calms the parasympathetic nervous system which is the “rest and digest” state where your body can recover from working out.

4. Lowered Cortisol and stress

Cortisol is a natural stress hormone that is released during high intensity exercises. High levels of cortisol is believed to lead to high blood pressure, muscle weakness, and even developing diabetes. Luckily doing yoga helps to activate the vagus nerve, which helps with lowering cortisol release. That is why many yoga practitioners feel stress relief after yoga sessions.

5. Cool down your body and sleep better

A post-workout yoga practice appeases your muscles and helps your body return to a resting state. And reduced muscle tension contribute to better sleep at night.

Cooling down is a crucial ending of workout routine, for the added benefits of better sleep and less stress, I can not see why refuse doing yoga to achieve so.

Best Yoga Poses for After Workout

Yoga poses to do after workout is aiming to stretch your body, and boost muscle recovery. Hence,  yin yoga pose or restorative yoga pose are highly recommended. The following 7 poses will serve this purpose.

1. Best for opening the inner hip flexors – Butterfly Pose

2. Best pose for tension: Twisted Roots Pose

3. Best pose for hips: Dragon Pose

4. Best pose for glutes: Swan Pose

5. Best pose for shoulders: Puppy Pose

6. Best pose for back: Wide Kneed Child Pose

7. Best pose for heart: Supported Fish Pose

Final Thoughts

However, putting yoga before or after workout depends on real time situation, the above mentioned are general principals to decide yoga before or after workout. In my opinion, I highly suggest keeping an eye on your physical body and mind, obseving how you react to putting yoga before or after workout, real time result will tell everything.