Would you just go out and run a marathon without a warm up? Or squat 250lbs without a warm up? Then why do people believe that yoga doesn’t need a warm up? It so does! If you need a yoga warm up before you practice then I got you covered with this 5-minute class.
A good yoga class follows the same principle of progression: warm up, “the work” and cool down. A good warm up is essential, because it prepares the body (and mind) for movements to come and helps prevent injury. While a longer warm up is ideal, sometimes 5 minutes is enough.
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Yoga warm up poses
In the 5 minutes warm up we end up standing but firstly begin laying on the floor to ground and center. After three breaths, bend the knees and begin a windshield wiper to mobilize the hips.
Secondly in this warm up we explore the movement of the spine, shoulders, knees, and hips. Yep, this one is a four in one! Begin with the knees bent and arms across the abdomen, hands resting on opposite sides of the pelvis. Begin an arch and flatten of the lumbar spine and pelvis. Introduce an arm pattern of sweeping the arms up overhead and out. Imagine taking a sweater off.
Then to add more hip, knee, and muscular activation of the posterior chain integrate the arch into a hip bridge. The video explains this much better than photos could. Once we’ve completed a few repetitions, draw the knees to the chest and roll over to hands and knees for some cat and cow.
As we are on all fours lets continue a yoga warm up for the hips, knees and spine. Extend one leg behind and in three repetitions draw the knee to the same side elbow, chest, and opposite side elbow. Finish by holding the leg back and extending the opposite arm for a quadruped balance.
Repeat all the leg movement on the other side, then we begin our ascent to standing with downward facing dog. Take a pedal through the feet to warm up the ankles, and get blood flow to the feet and calves.
From downward dog step to the hands, relaxing into forward fold. Take a half sun salutation, ending with at the front of your mat in standing taking three breaths. From here you can continue your yoga or other exercises, or simply go about your day!
By allowing just 5 minutes to warm up for our yoga practice we can avoid over stretching cold muscles. But it’s not just about the body, we bring our minds present onto our mat. In turn, making yoga less of workout and more about mindful movement.
- Do you warm-up before exercise?
- Have you injured yourself before during workouts?
- Which area of your body needs more warming up?