If you’ve never done a Yoga class before you’re probably wondering should you warm up before yoga? Well, yes and no! It really depends on who your yoga teacher is! You see, inside MerryBody we make sure that our Yoga classes ease you into movement, the warm up is within the workout so this makes it very easy and all done for you.
So should you warm up before Yoga?
If your Yoga practice is being done at home with no teacher it is important to know how to warm up before you jump into any insane yoga poses. The reason why you should have a warm up sequence in mind before you do more intense yoga poses is so you don’t injure yourself.
During a class your yoga teachers may also warm up, stretch and work certain muscles to lead you into what is called a peak posture. Your yoga teacher is always planning classes in a certain way to make sure you are prepared both physically and mentally.
So, again, if you are doing movement based on your own experience and not following a guided class (like the 100s available inside our at home yoga studio), then take the time to go through some longer hold gentle stretching or dynamic stretching before you begin your class.
Lucky for you, yoga practitioner, we are going to share one of our favourite warm up sequences with you in this post!
Follow these yoga poses as your warm up
To begin with, it’s important to begin by guiding yourself into the present moment. We always start with a moment to set an intention for your practice. Inside MerryBody, the intention we welcome in is self-acceptance, movement to create joy and gratitude for life itself.
Start by being present
Simply find a comfy seat, bring your hands to your heart in prayer position, close your eyes, feel your shoulder blades draw back and down, your heart open.
Start to inhale and exhale through your nose. This simple action of nasal breathing will help you to calm the mind and body and settle your heart rate.
Spend as many breaths as you need here but we’d always recommend at least 4 deep breaths to help guide you into the present moment.
Cat Cow Pose a simple way to warm up the spine
Next, let’s move to all 4’s so you can work through cat cow breath. Your wrists are directly underneath your shoulders and your knees are under your hips. As you inhale, start to arch the spine and look up toward the sky.
As you exhale, press the Earth away, puff the back of your heart and gaze toward the naval.
Do this 5 times and really focus on bringing movement and space in to your spine.
Next up, move into child’s pose
From cat cow, start to walk the hands out in front of you and sit the booty back onto the heels, laying the chest down over the thighs and allowing the third eye (space between your eyebrows) to reach for the Earth. You are now in child’s pose.
If you feel you need more space for your chest and belly, take the knees wider so you can forward fold through the space.
Take a moment to bring awareness to your body. Feel your left knee, your left shoulder, your right knee, your right shoulder. Feel the expression from your face melt. Allow your chest and back to expand with every breath.
Hold child’s pose for 5 breaths.
Slowly move into downward facing dog
From child’s pose, inhale to come back to all 4’s, then exhale to tuck the toes, lift the hips and lengthen the legs into downward facing dog.
Here you can start to pedal out the feet one by one, lengthening the opposite leg one by one.
In this pose you want to ensure your hands are shoulder width apart, your feet are hip distance. Draw the belly in and up and your shoulders away from your ears. Try to externally rotate your shoulders so your elbow creases face more forward. Press your hands into the Earth to feel grounded and stable.
Hold here for 5 breaths. Inhale and exhale through your nose.
From here, let’s forward fold
From downward facing dog, inhale to walk your hands back toward your feet and exhale have a little hang time. Perhaps you reach the opposite hand for the opposite elbow and just let yourself sway from side to side. Or you could clasp your hands behind your booty, making one big fist and stretching out the shoulders, like the image shows below.
This is a nice way to release the back of the body, some would call it blood floweasy pose as you are encouraging blood flow to the brain to give yourself some fresh energy!
Now it’s time to begin your yoga practice
As said, this is a very simple yoga warm up for a standard flow. If you were wanting to move into peak postures we’d always recommend taking time to think about what body parts need to be stretched and strengthened before you head into that posture.
For example if you were moving into Bakasana, or bird pose, you would want to ensure you warmed up the wrists, stretched the inner thighs, hips and hamstrings and performed some core activation before you even tried this pose.
Yoga is about so much more than those fancy poses, it really is a journey toward your inner truth. It’s about creating calmness and peace within your mind. It’s about feeling at ease within your body.
We’d love you to come and try some of our carefully curated classes, right now we have a free 5 Day Challenge running that you can join over here.
You’ll receive a mix of daily yoga, pilates and meditation classes that you can do from home.
Once you do this challenge, let us know, we’d love to hear from you!
Emma + Carla