If you’re aiming to add a yoga practice to your workout routine, you might be wondering whether it’s best to do yoga before or after a workout.
Well, a lot of people say you should do yoga before a workout to prepare your muscles. But guess what?
Others believe that you should do yoga after a workout as a cool-down routine.
A while ago, this confusion made me confused, making it hard for me to find the right time for doing yoga. But that was before I finally found an answer.
In this article, I’ll break down exactly how and why you can incorporate this mind-body practice into your gym routine. Keep reading to find out more!
Best time for doing yoga: before a workout vs after a workout
If you love doing yoga as much as I do, you probably already know how beneficial it can be for your body and mind.
But after all this time, you still don’t have the one true answer to the question, “When should I do yoga?”
Sounds familiar, right?
Well, I get it. It can be hard and confusing to decide when to do yoga versus exercise. It’s especially true that it has multiple purposes at the same time.
Maybe you want to become more flexible, but you also want to get in shape and improve your cardio.
Or, you might want to tone your body and build muscle, but you also want to relieve stress and improve your mental health.
So how do you know which one to do first? Before or after a workout?
As for me, I was working out in order to get in shape, lose some weight, and build strength. But I was struggling to create an optimal plan for one simple reason — I also wanted to become more flexible and be mindful while exercising.
It’s not just me, right?
Well, if you’re like me and are still wondering whether yoga before or after a workout is better suited for your body’s needs, I have good news! You’re not alone!
There are tons of people who face the same confusion. And I’ve got the answer for you: it depends! And here’s why:
If you want to incorporate yoga into your fitness routine, you should determine your goals first. If a stronger core is what you want, then doing yoga before your workout might be the better option.
But if a stronger upper body is what you desire, then doing it after your workout might be the better choice.
In fact, here’s the truth about when to do yoga before or after a workout:
Yoga can be done at any time of the day. However, some benefits come with doing yoga before or after a workout.
I mean, you should do yoga before a workout if you want to prepare your body for physical activity. Or you can do yoga after a workout if you want to release muscle tension and stress.
So, which one is it? Before or after? Should I do yoga before or after a workout?
My answer: both!
Yoga can be used as a great preparation for your workouts and as a great way to cool down and unwind from the intensity. And yes, I’ve tried both of these methods personally.
Now let’s see how to decide between doing yoga before or after a workout.
Why you should do yoga before a workout
1) Yoga is a great way to warm up your muscles
Currently, yoga is a usual part of my workout schedule. I do it almost every day before my workout and have noticed some great benefits.
One of the greatest benefits of yoga is that it is a great way to warm up your body before physical activity. In fact, it’s even better than a traditional warm-up!
When you do yoga, you get to stretch and move your body into various poses. These poses can help loosen and lubricate joints, improve muscle flexibility, and increase blood circulation.
In other words, doing yoga before a workout will help you achieve better mobility and range of motion for your muscles. It will also give you more energy for the upcoming workout!
How do I know this?
Well, the first time I started doing yoga before a workout was when I first discovered Chloe Ting’s workout challenges. She’s a popular YouTuber who posts a wide range of workout challenges on her channel.
Even though most of her exercises are focused on either cardio or weightlifting, she does include a 5-minute yoga session at the beginning of every workout.
At first, I was too lazy to do the warmup and prepare my body for the workout.
But then, I decided to give it a try, and I found that doing yoga before my workout really helped me warm up my body and get ready for strenuous exercises.
And it’s not just about Chloe — it turns out that most fitness experts recommend doing yoga before a workout.
So, why does doing yoga before a workout work for me?
Because: Yoga helps me warm up my body, muscles, and joints so that I don’t get injured during my workouts.
This means that yoga is a great way to warm up your muscles before a workout.
After all, flexibility is the key to enhanced performance in any activity.
So if you start your workout with a few yoga poses, you will be helping your muscles stay limber. This will make your muscles less prone to injury during your workout.
2) Yoga prepares you mentally for working out
Do you also struggle to force yourself to do a workout?
Well, starting a workout and making it part of your everyday routine isn’t easy.
If you’re like me, then you’ve probably had moments when you wanted to go to the gym but kept putting it off.
It’s not that I don’t love working out. It’s just that my mind is constantly occupied with so many things, and I don’t always feel like exercising.
I admit that I used to skip workouts because I didn’t feel like it. But then, I realized that skipping workouts was bad for my health.
I know that sounds pretty lame. But if you’re anything like me, then it’s true.
You have a lot of other priorities in your life, and going to the gym may not be one of them sometimes.
The last thing I want is for my workouts to become another chore that I have to force myself to do!
So I decided to do something about it. And after a lot of research, I came across a few tips for making working out a part of my everyday routine.
One of the tips was to start doing yoga before your workout. Doing yoga before you exercise will help you mentally prepare for your workout and make it an integral part of your day.
So how can yoga help me stay motivated during workouts?
Well, as long as I keep doing yoga regularly before my workout — even if it’s just a few simple stretches — then my body will start craving more movement closer to the time when I’ll be headed to the gym.
And the best part? I don’t even have to spend time thinking about it. My body will just start feeling restless, and I’ll know that it’s time to hit the gym.
Let me explain how this works:
Yoga is not just about moving your body — it’s also about calming down your mind and improving mental stability.
Mindfulness is an important part of yoga, which makes it perfect as a preparation for exercising.
So, if you start doing yoga before a workout, you can work on breathing techniques that focus on long, deep breaths that are necessary during endurance training or high-intensity workouts.
3) It’s a type of mental conditioning
You have probably looked at yoga as something that will help you physically, right?
I know I have. And that’s why I’ve always thought of yoga as just a workout for my body.
But what about the mind? Isn’t that important too? After all, it’s where your thoughts come from, and it’s where your motivation comes from as well.
The thing is, most of us tend to focus on the physical benefits of yoga, but we don’t often think about how it can help us stay mentally motivated when we go to the gym.
But you know what?
It doesn’t only prepare you mentally to force yourself to do exercises but also helps you build the right mindset to enjoy the process of the workout.
And to me, that’s indeed the most beneficial part of doing yoga before a workout.
Do you know that feeling when your mind is totally clear and focused? And you feel like you can do anything?
That’s what happens to me when I do yoga before a workout.
I go into my workout with a clear mind, which makes me more energetic and focused on what I’m doing.
So, here’s the thing: yoga helps you get in the right mindset for working out.
That’s why many people who do yoga say that they love doing it because it helps them stay calm and grounded even when they’re not in their practice.
This is great news for people like me who are easily distracted by other things and tend to lose focus when working out at the gym!
When you start doing yoga before going to the gym, you’ll be able to channel your emotions and channel them into
You can also use yoga as a type of mental conditioning before a workout. It will help you switch to a focused state of mind, which is important if you want to maximize your workout.
So if you’re struggling with motivation, then try doing yoga before your next workout session. You will notice a big difference!
4) It helps you release stress and relax your mind
Let me ask you a question:
What’s the purpose of practicing yoga in the first place?
Is it to help you get a better body?
Or is it to reduce stress and help you feel better about yourself?
But did you know that yoga is also a great way to release some stress and relax your mind and body before a workout?
I know that for me, it’s definitely the second one. And that’s why I do yoga before my workout.
It helps me release stress from my mind and body, which makes me feel more relaxed and grounded. And that makes the whole workout process more enjoyable and sustainable.
The thing is that when you’re doing yoga, you will be able to relax your mind and release all the stress that’s inside of it.
You’ll be able to set aside all the worries and things that are bothering you. And instead, focus on your breathing and feel yourself getting more relaxed as you go along with your yoga session.
When you get to the gym, you’ll be less likely to get distracted and lose focus on what you’re doing.
Because you’ll be more relaxed and more focused, which will help you perform better during your workout.
So if you’re looking for a way to relax before your next workout session, then try doing yoga before going to the gym. You’ll be glad that you did!
5) It increases body-mind connection
And the final, and my favorite, the benefit of doing yoga before a workout is that it helps you increase your body-mind connection.
In other words, it will help you feel more connected to your body, and it will help you become more aware of how your body is feeling during the workout.
And guess what?
It’s not just something I noticed myself doing before a workout. Instead, this benefit of yoga is proven by scientific studies that show the therapeutic effects of yoga and its ability to increase the quality of life.
And that’s great news for people who struggle with motivation and tend to lose focus when doing a workout at the gym.
Because when you start doing yoga, it will help you connect to your body in a way that’s missing when you’re just doing an exercise without any preparation.
It will help you become more mindful of what’s going on in your body during the workout session and feel more connected to yourself. And that can be a real game changer!
So if you’re looking for a way to improve your awareness and get better at focusing during workouts, then try doing yoga before going to the gym! It will really help!
Why you should do yoga after a workout
1) Yoga is a great way to cooldown after a workout
Now let’s focus on the other side of the issue and see what are the benefits of doing yoga after a workout.
Well, it turns out that doing yoga is a great way to stretch yourself and cool down after heavy lifting or cardio workouts.
This is something I also learned from Chloe Ting. If you take a look at her website or her YouTube page, you’ll quickly notice that she has a few different types of cooldown routines.
Most of them include specific poses from yoga that will help your body stretch and relax after a workout. And that’s great news for people who like to lift weights, do cardio, or do both!
So, here’s the thing:
After a strenuous workout session, your muscle tissue will be fatigued and sore. This is when you need to stretch your muscles. And this is exactly what yoga can help you do!
Yoga can help you stretch and relax your muscles after a workout session. It will improve your range of motion, relieve tension in your muscles, and prevent injuries from overuse or overstretching.
In fact, it’s an important part of any cooldown routine!
You see, stretching your muscles after a workout session helps you improve overall muscle recovery and increase flexibility.
And at the same time, it helps reduce soreness and stiffness in your muscles due to the intense workout session you just had.
So if you’re looking for a way to stretch your muscles after a gym session or an intense workout, then try doing yoga before going to the gym or working out at home.
Doing it after a workout will help you get a better stretch, thanks to your muscles being warm.
2) Yoga increases your flexibility
Want to know one of the main reasons why I usually practice yoga after a workout session?
It’s because doing yoga can help me increase my flexibility! And that’s the reason why I enjoy doing yoga so much — I’m trying to become more flexible.
And that’s also why I started doing yoga after workouts. Not only does it help me stretch better, but it also helps me improve my overall flexibility and range of motion.
As I mentioned above, one of the main benefits of a yoga practice is flexibility. And after a workout, you want to stretch and elongate your muscles, as they are warm and flexible.
Doing yoga after a workout can help you improve your flexibility. This is especially true if you choose a yoga sequence that focuses on stretching your muscles.
Therefore, if you want to improve your flexibility and overall fitness, you can try a yoga sequence for beginners. Doing a beginner’s sequence will allow you to focus on your form.
For example, you can try either a 5- or 10-minute cooldown from Chloe Ting to see what it looks like, and then, you can try harder sequences when you get used to it.
I know that doing yoga after exhausting exercises might not sound like something you’d be eager to do, but believe me, you’ll love it if you try it!
Most importantly, you’ll quickly notice how flexible you have become without even doing specific exercises to improve your overall flexibility.
At least, that’s what happened to me.
The truth is that yoga helps me recover from the workout faster, increases my range of motion, relieves muscle soreness and tension, and prevents injuries from overstretching.
And all of this makes it an incredibly useful part of any cooldown routine!
3) Yoga can reduce muscle pain after a workout
Are you struggling with muscle pain after your workouts?
Do you experience muscle soreness or tightness after your workouts?
Then you should try doing yoga before or after the workout. That’s something I personally experienced before I started practicing yoga after a workout as a cool down routine.
I have noticed that doing yoga before or after a workout makes me feel better. It relieves pain, muscle soreness, and tension.
I know that it might seem weird if you haven’t tried it yet. But trust me, yoga is an incredible tool for recovery!
And the best part about it is that it doesn’t take much time at all. As a result, you can do yoga before or after your workout without losing too much time from your schedule!
Here are a few reasons why:
Yoga can help you improve your flexibility. And stretching is one of the best ways to relieve muscle soreness and tension, which can make your muscles feel better.
It’s also a good way to release muscle tension and soreness after your workout. This is because it’s amazing at stretching and lengthening muscles — something that most people don’t get enough of when they work out.
And even though I do my best to stretch my muscles after every exercise, there are still some parts that get left out of the routine. After all, it’s hard to stretch every single part of your body during a short 5-minute warmup session.
That’s why doing yoga before a workout helps me target those areas that I usually miss during my warmup routine!
Going to the gym and exercising is great, but it also puts a lot of stress on your body, especially if you’re not used to doing those exercises regularly.
Therefore, it’s important to stretch and take care of yourself afterward in order to recover your muscles.
Doing yoga after a workout session will help you recover faster from muscle soreness and tension.
4) Yoga improves your balance and coordination
Before we move on to the next benefit of doing yoga post-workout, let’s think about something.
Do you have any problems with balance or stability? Do you have problems with coordination?
If so, then doing yoga after a workout is exactly what you need!
Because yoga will improve your balance and coordination while making your exercises more effective.
That’s why I’m sure that yoga can help you improve your balance and stability during exercise.
And I can tell you that this is one of the main benefits of doing yoga!
If you’re not familiar with these terms, let me explain them to you.
Balance refers to body posture, and coordination refers to body movement. Both are important in all sorts of physical activities, but especially in sports.
For example, ballet dancers need good balance and coordination for their performances, as do gymnasts who perform complex moves on the bars, rings, or parallel bars.
And if you’re into sports such as soccer, tennis, or golf, then you probably know how important good balance and coordination are for these sports too!
But even if you’re not into any specific sport or physical activity (like I am), your overall health depends on having good balance and coordination too!
In fact, I’ve personally experienced this benefit of practicing yoga many times myself!
I used to have several issues with balance and coordination when I started practicing yoga 3 years ago. At that point, I couldn’t even walk in a straight line without losing my balance after a workout.
And now, I can do some really difficult yoga poses and never lose my balance!
I was able to achieve this by practicing yoga regularly for the past 3 years.
So, if you want to improve your strength, flexibility, and balance, do yoga after a workout and you’ll see the results! And you’ll achieve them faster than if you just practice yoga alone.
5) It improves blood flow throughout your body
One more common benefit of doing yoga post-workout is that it improves blood flow throughout your body.
This means that the blood can flow more easily through your veins, arteries, and capillaries. And this helps deliver oxygen and nutrients to your muscles faster after a workout!
What does this mean?
Well, it means that it will help you recover faster from an intense gym session or an intense run outside (or any other type of intense physical activity).
The thing is that doing yoga after a workout reduces cortisol and increases your blood sugar levels.
You recover faster from your workout! You feel less stressed and it will help you recover faster from injuries too!
I’ve personally experienced the benefit of doing yoga regularly, and I can tell you that it really works!
If you’re not familiar with the term “blood flow”, let me explain it to you.
Blood flow refers to the rate at which blood is pumped through your veins, arteries, and capillaries. And this blood delivers oxygen and nutrients to your muscles after a workout.
And the better your blood flow is after a workout, the faster you’ll recover from an intense exercise session or an intense sports session (or even if you’re injured).
So, if you’re serious about getting stronger and fitter, then you should practice yoga after a workout.
If you do it right after your workout, then the benefits of doing yoga post-workout will be even better!
6) It boosts your well-being and makes you feel relaxed
And the final benefit of practicing yoga after a workout is that it boosts your well-being and makes you feel relaxed.
Plus, it will feel more relaxing as you’ll have more energy while doing it.
Let me explain how this works.
As I’ve just mentioned, doing yoga reduces cortisol in your body. And this helps you feel less stressed.
And when you’re less stressed, you’ll feel more relaxed after a workout. And it will also help you sleep better at night!
This, in turn, is significantly related to your overall well-being and quality of life. Why?
Because when you feel relaxed, you’re more likely to be happy. And when you’re happy, your life is better!
So, if you want to be happier and improve your quality of life, then I highly recommend that you start practicing yoga after a workout.
Why you shouldn’t do yoga before a workout
After discussing these benefits of doing yoga after a workout, you should also know why some people don’t recommend doing it before a workout.
Well, some people say that you shouldn’t do yoga before a workout because of the energy you will be putting into your poses.
This energy should be put toward lifting weights or performing other types of workouts. While that might sound logical, it’s not accurate. Your body usually has enough energy to do both yoga and an intense workout.
This myth may come from the idea that yoga requires a higher level of energy than other exercises.
But that’s not true.
In fact, yoga requires less energy than other workouts. It’s important to remember that it is not a competition. You don’t need to push yourself to the max every day.
So guess what?
There’s no reason why you shouldn’t do yoga before your workout.
Instead, you’ll get the benefits of both a workout and a yoga session. And this will help you get fit, burn fat, and improve your overall health.
So, if you want to take your workout to the next level, then I highly recommend that you do yoga before your workout!
Final thoughts: the real truth about yoga before or after a workout
So, these are the benefits of doing yoga both before and after a workout.
Still, let’s be real: it can be hard to know who to trust when it comes to fitness advice.
Fortunately, the answer is simple: You can do yoga before or after your workout — whichever works best for you!
Regardless of which one comes first in your routine, the benefits of doing yoga are numerous.
And I hope that after reading this article, you’ll start practicing yoga regularly and experience all of these benefits for yourself!