Should You Shower Before Yoga?

Should you shower before yoga?

Since yoga is low-intensity, you might be wondering, “should you shower before yoga or afterward?” Showing before yoga can leave you feeling refreshed.

Yoga is a low-intensity workout, so you might be wondering, “should you shower before yoga or afterward?” After all, workouts make you sweat but yoga – unless it’s hot yoga – typically doesn’t, especially if the yoga studio has air conditioning. You don’t need to shower before yoga, but it’ll leave you feeling clean and refreshed before your class.

Plus, many studios would prefer their customers to shower before class for hygiene purposes. With that said, for some yogis, it’s customary to shower before yoga. Let’s dig in further.

Traditional Prep For Yoga

Historically, people would prepare to do yoga by taking a bath in cool water. Typically, this was water from a local pond or stream, and while the exact temperature would vary with the season, it was usually a little colder than normal body temperature. Bathing in cool water was seen as a way to prepare the body and spirit for yoga. Bathing was seen as symbolic of the spiritual cleansing that was about to take place.

Today, there are a number of people who continue this practice, usually by bathing in water that is a few degrees below room temperature. While a number of people believe that this is spiritually important, there is no scientific evidence that taking a shower before yoga increases performance or results. You might be interested in our explainer on do yoga studios provide mats. 

What Does Showering Before Yoga Do?

What does showering before yoga do?
Daily cold water baths or showers might have some longer-lasting health benefits

Bathing in cool water has been shown to increase heart rate. While there are some people who insist that this can help to promote cardiovascular health, there is very little actual evidence of this. Heart rate increases because the body pumps blood faster in an effort to maintain a regular temperature. As soon as the body returns to a “normal” environmental temperature, the heart rate will decrease, also returning to its normal range.  

Most likely, the effect on the cardiovascular system is temporary, and there is likely little benefit to taking a single, brief cold water shower. There are a few limited studies showing that daily cold water baths or showers might have some longer-lasting health benefits.

On a spiritual level, there are several people who claim that a cool water bath or shower puts them in the right mood or state of mind to do yoga. There are several high-profile yogis who promote the practice. In fact, several recommend that you arrive at your session with your hair still wet.

There are a number of studios that insist that all participants in their yoga classes take a shower before joining the class. This is usually done for hygienic purposes; studios can sometimes have hundreds of people a day using mats and other equipment in a shared space. You might be interested in our explainer on should you use a sauna before yoga.

FAQs On Taking A Shower Before Yoga

When should I take a shower before yoga?

Ideally, take your shower no more than thirty minutes before you start doing yoga. According to many yogis, it’s ideal to still be slightly damp when you start exercising.

What temperature is best for the water?

Many yogis recommend that the water be a few degrees below room temperature. However, you should probably just use whatever temperature feels most comfortable to you.

Does it matter if I shower after yoga?

If you haven’t sweat a lot, you might not need to shower. While there are several yogis who believe that you should allow your body to cool off naturally before taking a shower, the exact timing of your shower after yoga should be a personal preference. If you’re doing hot yoga, you should shower soon after the session, as the sweat can make your skin break out.