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This Yoga Cool-Down Will Loosen Up Your Tight Muscles

Writer: TIFFANY AYUDA | Outlet: Self

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Even if you’re not a fan of yoga workouts, you can still reap their mobility-building (and mind-calming) benefits with a yoga cool-down. You should be taking time to cool down after a workout anyway, so why not broaden your routine a little bit?


Unlike a regular stretch routine, yoga connects breath with movement, so it not only temporarily lengthens and relaxes your tight muscles, but it can also help put your mind at ease. It also activates your parasympathetic nervous system—which is responsible for slowing down your heart rate, conserving energy, and helping you relax and digest.


“Yoga is a mind-body practice,” Danielle Pagliuca, a NASM-certified personal trainer and registered yoga teacher based in Hoboken, New Jersey, tells SELF. “Using yoga as your post-workout cool-down, as opposed to a regular stretch routine, has mental benefits, such as increased mindfulness and body awareness.”


That’s because breathwork is at the core of yoga, Pagliuca says. Establishing a connection with your breath—focusing on that purposeful inhale and exhale of air in and out—can help you harness a sense of control, which is especially important in these chaotic times.


There are physical benefits, too. Also, after a workout, your muscles might feel sore and tight, but doing some yoga can enhance your flexibility, which is the ability to move a joint through its complete range of motion, according to the American Council on Exercise (ACE).