Is Yoga Good For Runners? [ANSWERED]

Yoga class at East Park Gym in Wokingham

In short, doing yoga if you're a runner can benefit in many ways from elevating your performance to speeding up recovery time.

Although running is a great way to stay fit it can be a recipe for muscle tension and runner's knee if that's all you do.

Here at East Park Gym we are huge yoga fans and we're excited to share how yoga can up your running game.

Read on to explore the amazing benefits of yoga for runners, answers all your burning questions, and more!

5 Benefits Of Yoga For Runners

Here are some yoga benefits that are specific for runners:

1. Enhanced Flexibility

Running is a high-impact activity that places significant stress on the joints, especially when performed at high speeds or on hard surfaces.

The repetitive pounding can lead to muscle tightness with runners frequently experiencing tight hamstrings, hip flexors, and calves.

This tightness can not only be uncomfortable but also increase the risk of injury.

Yoga can help with these issues. By stretching and strengthening the muscles through a full range of motion, it can relieve tightness and improve overall flexibility. 

2. Breath Control

Breathing is an automatic process that sustains life, yet many individuals overlook the importance of optimal breathing techniques.

Instead of engaging the diaphragm most people tend to breathe shallowly into their chest.

This pattern can create feelings of anxiety due to a perceived shortness of breath.

Additionally, it weakens the diaphragm over time limiting the amount of air that can be inhaled and consequently reducing oxygen intake during physical activities like running.

However, by learning to control your breath and practicing proper breathing techniques it  can help improve your pace, increase your endurance, and improve your overall mental enjoyment during a run.

3. Increased Determination 

An important part of yoga involves the practices of mindfulness and meditation.

Mastering these disciplines can enhance mental resilience and train the mind to remain calm under pressure. 

For runners the ability to maintain calm and focus can prove valuable during their runs enabling them to push through discomfort, such as when striving for a personal best or extending their distance.

4. Speedier Recovery

Yoga practice after your runs can aid in faster recovery.

The stretches and breathing exercises help cool down your muscles properly, delivering oxygen-rich blood to repair and prevent tightness.

This simple addition to your routine can leave you feeling refreshed and ready for your next training session.

5. Reduce Risk Of Injury

Tight, inflexible muscles are more susceptible to injury.

Yoga addresses this vulnerability by targeting muscular imbalances and enhancing overall mobility.

Through a combination of stretching and strengthening exercises, yoga helps the body to move with greater ease and fluidity, reducing the risk of strains and other injuries. 

person doing up trainers before run

How Often Should Runners Practice Yoga

How often you should do yoga as a runner depends on a few things like much you run, what other workouts you do, your goals, and ultimately what makes you feel best. 

If you just want to improve flexibility and balance to help your running doing yoga twice a week is a good target.

Try it on your rest days to help your body recover. If you really like the mental benefits of yoga or want to get super flexible aim for a short yoga session of 10 minutes every day.

The key is finding a routine that works for your lifestyle and needs. Start with what feels manageable and adjust from there based on how your body responds.

Best Types Of Yoga Positions For Runners

Yoga offers a variety of poses that can greatly benefit runners.

Among the most beneficial are Thread the Needle, Low Kneeling Lunge, Downward Facing Dog, and Reclined Pigeon.

These poses target and alleviate tight muscles which is a common issue for runners.

Incorporating them into your daily routine or even during your runs can help maintain flexibility and prevent tightness from setting in.

By making these poses a regular practice, you can keep your muscles supple and reduce the risk of discomfort or injury.


We hope you found this article informative and insightful. 

At East Park Gym we offer amazing yoga classes and are dedicated to providing our members with valuable guidance on health and fitness best practices. 

If you're seeking more great reads be sure to check out "How To Do A Bulgarian Split Squat" and "What Shoes To Wear For Working Out". 

Wishing you all the best in your pursuits – happy running and yoga practice!


Frequently Asked Questions Related To: Is Yoga Good For Runners?

Q: Should I do yoga as a runner?
A: Yes, incorporating yoga into your routine as a runner can be highly beneficial. Yoga helps improve flexibility, mobility, and balance which can enhance running performance and reduce the risk of injuries. 

Q: Is running and yoga a good combination?
A: Running and yoga make an excellent combination. By combining the cardiovascular benefits of running with the restorative and balancing effects of yoga, you create a well-rounded fitness routine that supports both physical and mental well-being.

Q: Should I run or do yoga first?
A: Before your run you can begin by warming up with some gentle yoga poses and stretches to prepare your body. After your run you can take the time to cool down with additional yoga poses and breathwork. 

Breathing techniques in yoga class at East Park Gym