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How Running Affects Yoga Practice

The Negative Ways Running Can Affect a Yoga Practice

Running is your passion, but you decided to try a yoga class because you know stretching and strengthening the muscles helps to prevent injury and increase performance. After that first class, you fell in love, and instead of lacing up your sneakers for most workouts, you're bare-footing it on a mat. Running has suddenly become a complement to your yoga practice. Yoga is great for running, but unfortunately, running isn't always great for your yoga practice; here's why.

  • I can touch my toes, too: Runners can be a competitive group — if not with fellow runners, then often with themselves. Heart rate monitors and running apps are commonly used to measure progress. An athlete mind-set can sometimes transfer to the mat, causing individuals to push harder by doing poses their bodies may not be ready for. Instead of trying to master Crow during your first class, focus on your own body, celebrating its abilities instead of pushing it too far.
  • Ouch, my back: Burning calories while strengthening your core and lower body is one perk of running, but unfortunately, tight hips and hamstrings also come with the territory, which can cause lower back pain. To prevent this, spend extra time after your runs stretching these areas. Here are three stretches runners should do every day.
  • Let's move already: Yoga is often about stillness and reveling in the present moment, but if you're used to a workout that constantly has you on the go and moving with maximum intensity, it can be really tough to remain still or to just be happy relaxing. You may find your toes tapping, your eyes shifting, and your muscles eager and ready to do the next pose or to move faster. Being anxious to pick up the pace or switch positions means missing out on what yoga is all about. Getting in a good run before hitting a yoga class can help encourage calmness when stepping into a studio. Also, choosing faster-paced yoga classes such as Vinyasa, Jivamukti, or Ashtanga may be better suited for your type-A running personality.
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