Should I stretch before doing asanas?


To anyone who has attended a asana demonstration by B.K.S Iyengar or has gone to the main school in India where Iyengar Yoga is taught, is stretching done before starting asana's?

I was wondering if stretching before asana's is redundant. I do the Mukunda Stiles joint-freeing exercises.

Stretching before yoga asanas is a contentious debate, with some claiming that it's helpful for warming up the muscles and others saying it doesn't do much of anything. In my experience, stretching before doing asanas is really not worth it unless you feel that you need to. I like to get myself warmed up by doing a few sun salutations or other simple exercises, but I don't stretch beforehand unless I'm feeling stiff from sitting at my desk all day.

It's certainly true that stretching does get you ready for more advanced poses, but if you're just starting out, it's better to focus on holding each position for several seconds so that you can build your endurance gradually over time.