The question “should I do a warm-up before yoga?” arises for many people because yoga asanas can be perceived as an easy exercise that does not require any special preparation. But that’s not quite true. Even the easiest Sun Salutation complex is not a warm-up. If you’ve ever done it according to all the rules, i.e. in several sets and reps, you can surely remember that state when you do not want to go to any additional training.
So, any complex of asanas is a full-fledged workout, before which, as always, a warm-up is necessary.
Why do you need to warm up before yoga?
- Firstly, it’s an activation of the body, of all organs and systems.
- Secondly, during the warm-up you reach the right level of excitability of the nervous system. This is needed in case there is a strong tension during the practice, and then the body itself will send a signal called “pain, danger” to the nervous system, so you can stop in time and avoid injury.
- Third, it’s a preparation for training the muscles, joints, cardiovascular and respiratory system.
Warm-up for the joints
Since the performance of asanas almost always involves the joints, they need to be properly prepared for the workout. In the course of preparation, the joint cavities are filled with synovial fluid, which can considerably facilitate the entry into difficult asanas and prevent painful sensations.
Joint exercises increase circulation and stimulate lymphatic movement. Work each joint for at least one minute, then move on to a muscle warm-up.
By warming up the joints, you also engage the muscles and tendons. The muscles also need to be supplied with energy – for this purpose some exercises from the warm-up should be done a bit more intensively, to warm up and increase blood flow.
Warm up for the heart and respiratory system
These exercises help to stabilize breathing, open ribs and lungs, normalize blood circulation and blood pressure, after which you can start any asanas, even inverted ones.
How do I warm up at home before yoga?
Carry out the warm-up for 15-20 minutes. For maximum effect, use the following exercises:
- head tilts in different directions
- circular neck movements
- rolling your arms at different joints
- torso tilts to different sides
- pelvic rotation
- Leg joints
Note that you should not focus your warm-up only on the group of joints or muscles that you are going to practice, but on the whole body. The warm-up should work almost all muscles and joints. After a proper warm-up, you can proceed to the full yoga practice.