I stretch for relaxation at the end of a workout. I can focus more inward, breathe deeply, and feel my body relax (Ahhhhhh:)
How and when one stretches depends on what activity you’re performing and what your ultimate goals are. For instance, I would encourage longer, deeper stretching only AFTER a workout (or when the body’s core temperature is raised). Stretching while cold (or not sufficiently warm) is a bad idea (especially in the hour or so after getting out of bed).
I think anything “stretch-like” done before a workout should be gentle, focussing more on range of motion than trying to get into the deepest stretch. Further, if we’re speaking of athletes, there is some evidence to show that pre-event stretching hampers their performance significantly.
Hope this helps.