Should You Do Yoga Before Or After Running?

There are many debates on whether you should do yoga practice before or after running. Some people believe that yoga before running can help warm your body up and prepare you for the run. Others believe that yoga can help cool the body down and provide dynamic stretches to muscles after a run. 

So, which is the right way to do it?

In this blog post, we will help you answer this question. But before we discuss it, let’s see how yoga is helpful for runners as strength training.

Let’s get started!

Another interesting read: Is Yoga Cardio?

Is Yoga Useful For Runners?

Yoga has become very popular in recent times, and it is not just for relaxation purposes. It can be used to alleviate several ailments, including running injuries. 

Yoga is helpful for runners because it strengthens the muscles and reduce muscle soreness, helps with better breathing, increases flexibility, and improves mental health. Many different types of yoga exercises can help you improve as a runner.

Muscles’ Strength

Regular yoga practice helps tone and sculpt the body, which can help with running performance. 

When you do yoga regularly, your muscles will be able to work more efficiently, improving your overall running ability and providing resistance against hamstring. In addition, stronger muscles will also help to prevent injuries while running.

Better Flexibility

It is easier to run faster and longer distances without getting tired out as quickly or easily when you are more flexible. 

Gentle yoga will also help you avoid injuries because your muscles will move more freely when stretching out properly.

Sound Mental Health

When you practice yoga, your mind will be calmer and focused on the present moment rather than worrying about what might happen in the future or past. This can help reduce stress levels which may lead to poor performance while running. It also helps with better sleep quality, leading to a better quality of life overall.

Improved Breathing

When you are running, your body needs more oxygen than sitting still or lying down. 

Regular Yoga can help with this by improving the muscle tension surrounding your lungs, so they become more robust and able to pump out air at a faster rate. This will help you breathe more easily while running and prevent the onset of breathlessness.

Improved Performance Times

Many different types of yoga poses can be tailored specifically for runners. When you practice these poses regularly, you will become more robust, flexible, and have better breathing. This will help you to run faster and longer distances with less effort.

So, is yoga useful for runners? The answer is a resounding YES! 

Yoga can provide many different benefits that will help you to improve your running performance. It is a great way to strengthen the muscles, increase flexibility, improve mental health, breathe better and improve performance times. 

If you are a runner, I highly recommend that you start practicing yoga regularly. You will be amazed at the results!

Should You Do Yoga Before Or After Running?

Yoga will help you switch off the sympathetic nervous system and turn on the parasympathetic response if you try it after you’ve completed your running sessions. The benefits of this include relaxing the whole body, reducing muscular tension, and promoting optimum post-workout recovery.

Why Yoga After Running? 

When you run, your sympathetic nervous system (SNS) is activated. This system controls the “fight or flight” response and ramps up your heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure so that you can take action quickly if needed. 

The downside of this activation is that it also causes the body to release cortisol and adrenaline, which can make you feel stressed or anxious. 

To combat these feelings, it’s a good idea to activate the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) after you’re done running. PNS is responsible for “rest and digest,” so it will help you calm down, relax your muscles, breathe more slowly and deeply, and lower your heart rate. 

Practicing yoga can be effective for your body to function correctly in this regard. Besides, you can look at the following benefits that arise if you do yoga after running. 

Improved Flexibility

Yoga is a way to improve one’s flexibility levels and make the joints’ range of motion better than before. In this way, doing yoga after running can help reduce the risk of injuries in the future.

Injury prevention is one of the main reasons to do yoga after a run. When tight and inflexible, your body is more prone to injury. Yoga helps loosen up those muscles and joints, making them less susceptible to strains or tears. 

Increased Body Awareness

Yoga is a great way to improve one’s body awareness and tune with how the muscles function during exercise. For example, after running, you can connect the mind and body more effectively by practicing yoga. This can help improve your running performance by being better aware of how your body is working.

Increased Range of Motion

Regular yoga practice can help increase your range of motion, beneficial for runners. When you have a good range of motion, you’re less likely to injure yourself while running. Yoga also helps improve your balance and coordination, which can also help prevent injuries.

However, the question is, what are some of the tips that can help you pace your workout routines. Let’s explore!

Why do Yoga Before Running?

Why do yoga? More importantly, why should you do yoga before running? The answer to this question is different for every runner, but the consensus among runners who practice regular stretching and strengthening poses is that it helps them increase flexibility while decreasing susceptibility to injury. Yoga isn’t just good for your body; it also reduces stress and can improve mental focus – whether you’re feeling frazzled after a long day at work or dreading your next speed session. Let’s look at some of the top benefits of using yoga as an integral part of your training program.

Training Benefit: Enhanced Flexibility

                  Yoga offers several key poses explicitly designed to give you a deeper and more thorough stretch than you can get from a run alone. Many runners who practice yoga regularly report that decreasing their chance of injury also helps them maintain better form while running, which means less energy wasted with each stride. The Warrior pose is one particularly beneficial pose for runners. This pose stretches the muscles along the backside of your body, helping to prevent tightness in the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back – all common trouble areas for runners.

If you practice yoga before running, be sure to hold your deep stretches anywhere between 30 seconds and 1 minute. Breathe deeply throughout these poses; don’t hold your breath!

Training Benefit: Improved Running Form

          Yoga teaches us mindfulness – an outstanding practice for running. Practicing mindfulness can help you tune in to how your body is moving, which means becoming more attuned to subtle changes in form that could lead to injury. Mindfulness also teaches runners the importance of proper breathing, which is one key component of running with good form.

            Finally, several yoga poses are designed specifically for runners, but be careful when trying these in a heated yoga studio if you’re new to stretching and strengthening before running. These seated poses are best saved for when you’ve built up core strength and flexibility around your hips, hamstrings, and IT band (the iliotibial band is a long tendon on the outside of your leg that runs from the hip to the shin).

Tips For a Perfect Yoga Session

Yoga practice dates back to ancient India and was first mentioned in the Vedas, an early collection of Hindu texts. 

Today, it is one of the most popular forms of exercise practiced all over the world. People who regularly practice this form of exercise have a lot to say about its benefits, and even doctors recommend it to patients because of its many health benefits.

Here is a detailed explanation of tips in this regard!

Start With A Few Asanas To Get Familiarized

It is vital that you start slow and not overdo your exercises. If you are new to yoga, it will be best for you to begin by practicing just one or two poses at a time instead of trying out all ten of them together in one go. 

Another interesting read: 30 Days of Yoga: Does it Make a Difference?

The more you practice, the better will your body gets at it, and soon enough, you’ll be able to perform all ten without any problem.

Choose The Right Time Of Day For This Form Of Exercise

It would be best to choose a time when your mind is clear and not too distracted by other things going on in your life. 

Morning is the best time for yoga because it sets the tone for the rest of your day and helps you be more productive. However, if morning doesn’t work well for you, try doing it in the evening or afternoon when you have some quiet time.

Make Sure To Practice On An Empty Stomach!

This is because if your stomach is full, it will be difficult for you to do the poses correctly, and also, you might end up feeling nauseous. Therefore, it is best to practice yoga at least two hours after your last meal so that your body can digest food properly and have enough energy for the workout.

Wear Comfortable Clothes!

Loose-fitting clothes will make it easier for you to practice yoga, and also, they won’t restrict movement during this form of exercise. It’s best not to wear any jewelry because that might get in the way, so stick with comfortable clothing such as leggings or shorts!

Drink Plenty Of Water Throughout The Day!

This is because dehydration can lead to dizziness and lightheadedness, which are not ideal for practicing yoga. So make sure you drink at least eight glasses of water every day so that your body stays hydrated and performs at its best during your workout session.

These simple tips will help you have a perfect yoga session! I hope you found them helpful and will now start practicing this form of exercise in your daily routine.

Final Words

So, what’s the verdict? Should you do yoga before or after running? Post-run yoga is best for your overall health as Dr. Melissa West explains below. This is especially true if you want to focus on recovering from a challenging workout or dealing with any pain or tightness, doing post-run yoga would be more beneficial for your recovery. 

Is running causing my back pain?

Runners often suffer from aches and pains, especially along the back legs and lower spine. The repetitive forward movement of running stresses the back, lower limbs, and spine. Yoga may help you to overcome the problem of back pain. Regular practice of yoga will keep your muscles in balance and will help you to maintain alignment of the pelvis and spine.

How can I improve my flexibility for running?

Asana, or Hatha Yoga postures, will help you to improve your muscle strength and flexibility for running. Regular practice of Yoga will increase your range of motion around the hips, which will help you to run in the correct form.

My feet are really tight. Would yoga help me get more flexible feet?

Yoga will increase the flexibility of your ankles, toes, and feet. The muscles and ligaments that support the feet and toes become tight over time due to a lack of stretching. Many Asana, or Yoga postures, focus on the feet and toes. The forward fold, or Uttanasana (see below image), is beneficial for feet and toes.

What yoga poses will help me run faster?

While running, the body must remain balanced on one leg at a time. Balancing poses are excellent for runners, as they improve core strength by forcing you to maintain balance. Utkatasana (Chair Pose) and Virabhadrasana III (Warrior III) are useful poses for runners. Utkatasana is also known as Chair pose, which helps to strengthen the ankle, foot, leg muscles, and balance.

Virabhadrasana III also improves balance, strengthens the legs and ankles. It is known as the Warrior III pose and helps to improve the flexibility of the spine.

Can I do yoga instead of stretching before a race or run?

The best way to prepare for a race or long run is to have a balanced practice of Yoga and running. Doing so will help you to improve your strength and endurance.
Yoga helps to strengthen the legs, lower spine, ankles, and feet muscles. Yoga Asanas will help you to improve your technique and form while running.

I want to start yoga, but

If you are completely new to yoga or have not exercised in a while, please seek guidance from an experienced yoga teacher. If you are training for a race, remember to take it easy and slowly reduce your mileage in the weeks leading up to your race.

When should I do yoga?

Best to do yoga after a run as it will stretch all of your muscles which is essential after exercise. This will help your recovery and prevent injuries.

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