How Practicing Yoga Can Improve Your Running

If you take running seriously as I do, then you know that you want to try everything that will lead you to progress. There are many routines and ways to increase running mileage, lung capacity, stamina and avoid injuries.

Running Man On The Street 1

Some people swear that some methods are more effective than other, but it’s tough to evaluate the success of the process if you don’t try it yourself. Many people are wasting their time trying different methods each week in the hope of progress.

Agness and Cez at the beach meditating

I don’t want to say that experimenting isn’t right, but you should stick to one method for a longer period. Have you ever tried practicing yoga? This activity has many health benefits and can help the runners long-term. In this article, I will talk about how practicing yoga can improve your running.

How is Yoga Connected to Running?

Yoga is an activity when you’re primary working on your flexibility which is crucial to runners from many points. More flexible runners don’t have so much trouble with injuries and recovery as the pressure is evenly distributed through the body. You know that the breathing is also crucial, especially when you run on longer distances. Practicing Yoga will teach you how to breathe properly during the constant physical stress. You don’t need to invest much time in Yoga practice and even a few minutes after running session will do the work. Here I shared the most important benefits of running I noticed after some time of practicing Yoga.

#1 Improved Flexibility

Flexibility is crucial in the running world and yet some runners keep neglecting a flexibility work. The more flexible you get your body will be able to handle more movement. For example, if you have stiff hamstrings, there is a huge possibility of injuring yourself. Yoga is the perfect activity for making your body more flexible. There is no need for having any special equipment and you can literally do the routine anywhere. Also, yoga is ideal for people who don’t have much time due to their busy schedule.

flexible man

You only need to invest 10 – 15 minutes doing Yoga and you will soon see the improvements in your flexibility. Increased flexibility leads to many great benefits such as better posture, faster muscle recovery, better running mileage and more endurance.

#2 Better Breathing

You know that proper breathing is crucial in the running. If you don’t establish a proper deep breathing during your running session, you can expect to run shorter as you’ll reach fatigue sooner. Yoga is an ideal activity for improving breath body connection.

A girl sleeping

During the session, your main focus should be on breath while you’re doing a flexible work. Deep breathing is important not only for running but as well for healthy body functioning.

#3 Fewer Injuries

Running as an activity is very connected to injuries. No runner never experienced an injury either something serious or minor stiffness. The activity is putting much pressure on the joints and muscles, so over an extended period, the injuries can occur. The majority of injuries occur because of imbalance in the body.

knee injury

For example, if you don’t have developed leg muscles, the majority of running pressure will be on your knees and joints. Yoga is just an ideal activity that will keep a balance of your body. The flexibility will improve as well as joint stability and overall balance. These benefits are perfect for aiming the pressure of running to the muscles leaving tendons healthy. I advise you to do a short yoga routine after each running session to reap the benefits of faster recovery.

#4 Yoga Can Motivate You

Yoga is a sort of meditation with physical stretching included. Your focus should be to achieve a proper deep breathing and you must concentrate on the body parts you’re stretching. After some time of practicing you will reap massive benefits of Yoga that can motivate you to reach another level in the running. It’s evident that Yoga promotes a joint and muscle health which is crucial for running.

A girl meditating at the beach

You can avoid injuries that way and also you will feel much more healthier and energized that will have an impact on your running. Yoga will improve your endurance and stamina, which means you’ll be able to train and compete in longer races. The motivation is crucial here, but what could be a better motivation than seeing yourself progressing each day? Once you become more advanced in Yoga practicing, you can work on the motivation directly. To do it, you should choose a mantra (the sentence you’re focusing on during the session) that is connected to running and your motivation.

yoga

That way, you’ll get your mind straight on the goals you want to achieve as a runner, so it will be much easier to chase them. My advice is to start with two to three yoga sessions per week to see how your body responds. After that initial period, you can easily increase the number of sessions, depending on how you feel.

Do you combine running and Yoga practice? Do you have any Yoga routine that has a positive impact on your running progress?

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28 thoughts on “How Practicing Yoga Can Improve Your Running”

  1. So I’ve never really gotten into yoga, but you make some excellent points here, Agness! In fact, these same points could apply to all sorts of working out…and even just general living, too. Thanks for sharing!!

  2. I totally expect yoga to do a whole lot of good for runners and just everyone in general! We all forget to stretch – thus we could all use a yoga session 😉

  3. either i haven’t had the right instructor or my body just isn’t cut out for yoga–it always makes me very uncomfortable! i wish i liked it though! :/

  4. Yoga and some treadmill time are my two forms of exercise. I think yoga has gotten me in better shape than all those years of running!

  5. I agree that practicing yoga can improve your running, especially with being able to control your breathing and everything. I haven’t combined yoga practice yet but it’s something I need to do! Especially with the fact that it helps lower your risk of injury. Thanks for sharing!

    exquisitely.me

  6. heather (delicious not gorgeous)

    i’m not a huge runner, but even in general i like how yoga makes me feel! i haven’t done yoga in a while before this week, and i definitely felt how stiff and unflexible my body was after such a long hiatus.

  7. If my 10 minutes stretching in the morning counts as yoga, then I am already doing it and I can definitely say that it sets mi for the day. Now, I just need to add running to my routine 🙂

  8. Jem @ Lost in Utensils

    A really good post Agness. I think yoga compliments everything both physically and mentally. I have been doing yoga for 4 years and it also helps me with HIIT sessions and weights.

  9. That feeling after running is amazing. I also miss Yoga, might look into starting it up again, it’s very impressive what the body and mind can achieve together.

  10. I’ve never tried yoga but am about to do pilates. Do you know if that has the same benefits in terms of helping with running?

    1. Yoga is mostly about meditation and de-stressing your body while pilates mainly forces you to increases your body awareness and get you a stronger core. Pilates can definitely help you with running, just don’t do it too often because your body can be quite exhausted. 🙂

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