I'm confused... you often hear you need to stretch before you workout, but on the other hand, you hear it's bad to stretch when you are cold. So when I first arrive at the gym, so I stretch and then workout or do a little cardio as a warm up and then stretch?
Be Careful Doing Hot Yoga. Actually, you are prone to *more* injury when you do yoga in a super-heated room. This is because it makes the muscles so much more flexible than normal that people can overdo it. If you do a search on hot yoga or bikram yoga + injuries on a search engine, you will find many articles about this problem.
And Stretch Again After. I agree you need to warm up a few minutes, but even then you don't want to push muscles to the limit. Save the deepest stretches for after your workout. Don't skip this step. I've heard from professionals that you should have a balance between cardio, strength, and stretching. Most of us are way out of whack on this.
Warm up first. Take 8 - 10 minutes of light cardio to warm up the body and then stretch. Warm muscles stretch better than cold.
An example is cookie dough or bread dough: both are easier to manage when they are slight warm, correct?
Same goes for muscles. When they are cold they can 't stretch properly--too tight.
Loosen the muscles up by warming them up--feel great.