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The Best Way to Warm Up for Yoga

The Ideal Warm-Up for Yoga

What does it mean for the body to “warm up”? It entails getting the body ready to carry out physical duties quickly and safely. Scientific investigations have offered evidence supporting the value of warming up the body to avoid injuries. The body will perform poorly and be more prone to damage without a physical warm-up.

It sputters and dies when you try to start an old car without warming it up. It is comparable to attempting to cook a pancake in a cold skillet. When you eventually attain your desired outcome (a cooked pancake to eat), it will have dried up and become rigid. It is sort of… well, you get the idea.

Hatha yoga warming up also helps to get the mind ready to be quiet, centered, and focused. A busy mind keeps the practitioner from experiencing yoga’s most profound psychological and spiritual benefits. It also makes it difficult to pay attention to the body’s distress signals, which, if ignored, might result in harm.

Yoga Poses as Warm-Ups

Therefore, we know we need warm up before starting our yoga practice. So why not just perform stretches before our warm-up asanas? Stretching is something that all athletes do before a workout, even runners.

A lot of athletes indeed do just that. However, stretching before an activity did not reduce injuries, according to a recent study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). After reporting on this study in the New York Times last spring, the article explained why stretching alone does not adequately warm the body for physical exercise.

Stretching is a lighter activity than warming up, often increasing body temperature enough to get the blood flowing through the muscles.

If you put on your sweats and start stretching, your muscles are not necessarily warmed up, according to Dr. Stephen B. Thacker, a CDC author of the study, quoted in the story.

So why do so many individuals still warm up by stretching before exercise? Since it was a collection of numerous studies conducted over nearly 60 years, the analysis above is not, in fact, a ground-breaking discovery. Pre-workout stretching appears to be another common practice that even “experts” once recommended for injury prevention and peak performance — and despite evidence to the contrary, individuals are sluggish to change their attitudes.

When you correctly warm up, good things happen.

Why is a warm-up effective? Understanding the physiological principles of body warming will help us understand why stretching is not a good place to start and what we should be doing to warm up correctly.

Circulation Stimulation

Increasing blood circulation throughout the body is the primary purpose of warming up. As soon as a muscle contract, the heart rate increases, improving circulation. (Interestingly, the heart rate increases only by thinking about hiring a muscle, leading some experts to speculate that the elevated heart rate is caused by psychological stimuli acting on the medulla oblongata.)

This provides the muscle cells with oxygen and other fuels, allowing the cells to continue to function (contracting). About 25% of the energy created as the fuels “burn” in the cells is used for muscle contraction, with the other 75% of the energy being lost as heat.

Additionally, warming up allows the muscles’ blood capillaries to expand and improve blood flow, which increases the amount of oxygen the muscles can get during more strenuous exercise. The muscles cannot function at their best when insufficient oxygen is available for the task; this increases the risk of injury and muscle discomfort in addition to the muscles’ lower strength and endurance.

Conjoint Fluid

Adequate warm-ups stimulate the synovial fluid in the joints. Within a joint cavity, synovial fluid is a viscous (or “thick”) fluid. It offers lubrication and cushioning for a joint’s protection. This process also gives joint tissues without direct blood supply nutrients. With exercise and relaxation, the amount of water in the joints fluctuates. People “click” their finger joints because when joints are rapidly extended, the fluid may not completely cover the gap, allowing the lining to jump into the vacuum created.

The cartilage in your joints acts as a sponge, absorbing synovial fluid as you move them. By doing this, the capsule gets filled with more water and nutrients. The optimum strategy to activate the production of synovial fluid from the synovial membrane and boost the flow of nutrients into the capsule is to move a joint through its full range of motion. Additionally, the synovial membrane allows waste materials to exit the capsule.