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Yoga & Pilates

How To Do A Yoga Warm-Up – Properly

If you're going to tie yourself up like a pretzel, you may as well do it properly – so here's how to do a yoga warm-up like a total bendy pro

You’re probably thinking, “Isn’t yoga all about stretching and whatnot anyway?”. Well, true, but it pays to get the body ready with a simple, gentle warm-up.

  • Most yoga classes will include a few minutes of warm-up before getting started but it’s good to know the basics so you can do it at home
  • In addition to starting to warm the major muscle groups, doing a few moves on your mat can help you get into your yoga mindset, providing a separation from the rest of your day
  • Expanding Light says the most important function of warming up is the stimulation of the circulation of blood throughout the body. With the start of muscular contraction, the heart rate rises, thus increasing circulation. This brings oxygen and other fuels to the muscle cells, which enables the cells to continue working. As the fuels are “burned” in the cells, about 25% of the energy released is used for muscle contraction; the other 75% of the energy is released as heat
  • Breathing is an important element in the warm-up process. The muscle contraction and release during deep, conscious breathing stimulates circulation, making fresh oxygen available to the muscles

The videos below will also help get you yogis into the right mindset, namely more chilled than a frozen polar bear.

If you’re a beginner you can’t go wrong with this easy-to-follow yoga warm-up to get the blood flowing pre-session.

Basic Yoga Warmup by Sarah Beth Yoga


For the slightly more advanced, this routine can be carried out as a warm-up or simply as a great way to start the day. Josephine, the star of the video, looks and sounds a bit robotic at times but she seems happy enough.

Gentle Yoga Warm UP by Yogamama


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