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Do I Need to Stretch Before Yoga?

Should I Warm Up Right Before Yoga Class?

Depending on what kind of yoga you practice, there's either a fixed sequence of postures that's the same every class or your teacher is responsible for building their own flow. But regardless of the style of yoga or the instructor, a quality class should always start slow and prepare your muscles for what's to come. If there's a well-designed sequence, there's no need to make time to do a serious warmup at home.

But the brief time before yoga class can sometimes feel a little awkward. If you arrive a few minutes early, there's no need to just sit pretty (or feel out of place). Keep reading to learn three poses that will help you relax, connect, and get ready — without overdoing it — right before yoga.

Reclining Butterfly Pose

After a long day, rolling back into Reclining Butterfly Pose helps you de-stress, especially if you have a bolster at the studio for a little extra support. This pose is especially effective at stretching out groin and thigh muscles.

Hero Pose

This is the perfect pose for runners who complement their schedule with a yoga class — but anyone with tight quads can benefit from extended time in Hero Pose. Let this posture serve as a reflective meditation before class begins. No need to keep your hands up overhead; simply let them relax on your thighs, close your eyes, and breathe deep. If placing your bottom between your heels feels like too much, sit on a block for help.

Downward Dog

If you haven't stretched once all day, hang out and pedal your feet in Downward Dog. Loosening up the backs of your legs and opening up your shoulders offers a nice release for desk dwellers who've been on the grind all day long. You don't have to hold it for long; just a few breaths will do the trick.

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