Some say it’s better to do it before, while others say it’s better to do it after.
Many runners find that yoga is a great way to stay injury-free and recover quickly from hard workouts. But is there a benefit to doing yoga before or after running? Or does it even matter at all?
Ideally, practising yoga after running is more beneficial than before, but some notable benefits to practising back.
While we correlate more positives with a yoga practice after a run, some practitioners like to practice a warm-up before running. That's okay.
Whether your enthusiasm for yoga is before or after running, I assure you will reap some benefits.
So, let’s discuss a little more…
Yoga After Running
Typically, after you complete your run, your body requires a wind-down period. As a result, you sweat, your heart is thudding, and it’s hard to breathe.
However, taking advantage of this time and doing yoga after running has some significant benefits. They are as follows:
Your body is already warm.
It is one of the main benefits of doing yoga after running. Your body is already warm from the exertion of running.
It means that your body will stretch a lot deeper in yoga poses and get the most benefits from your practice.
Breaks down lactic acid.
When you run, your body produces lots of lactic acids. The more intense your run, the more lactic acid you make, which causes stiffness and pain.
By doing yoga after running, you may help to prevent and limit the soreness of post-running.
Your body will be grateful for this after your big running session.
It serves as a cool-down.
Instead of doing simple stretches when you’re tired after your run, try yoga that incorporates coordinated movements with dynamic stretches. As a result, your body should cool down, as opposed to coming to a halt.
As your body is already warm from running before, you'll be able to have more extensive stretches and get the most out of your yoga practice. In addition, the change in pace will also help your body to cool.
Yoga is not a physical activity associated with having a high heart rate. The opposite here is true.
Slows the heart rate.
Yoga is a slow-paced workout that will help to slow down your heart rate. It is essential for your overall health.
After doing high-intensity cardio, which increases your heart rate significantly, it's always beneficial to take time to bring your heart rate down, and yoga does this for you.
Calms the mind.
When you run, your body experiences a significant increase in adrenaline, which tends to perk up your brain.
After running, you likely crave some peace in your mind. Yoga provides just that—along with all of the benefits mentioned above of yoga after running.
If you want to increase your overall coordination, then yoga is just what you need to do after running!
Yoga is an activity that requires excellent physical coordination, making it the best choice for both your body and mind in terms of physical activities.
Decreases anxiety and stress
Yoga not only provides the mental benefits of decreasing anxiety and stress, but it also helps your body physically.
The slow-paced movements in yoga will help to decrease any lingering adrenaline from your run, leaving you with a relaxed mind and a relaxed body.
Yoga Before Running
Many yoga practitioners like to take time before their run to do gentle yoga to warm up their muscles and body.
If this works for you, then that's great! However, there are also benefits to doing yoga before running. They are as follows:
Set intentions for your run/race ahead of time.
For runners, it is essential to prepare yourself ahead of time mentally. Yoga helps you focus your intention on your goal and enables you to tune in mentally without much effort.
Serves as a Warm-Up
Instead of ending your running session with yoga, you may not be as warm going into a yoga session before running. However, if you’re practising yoga before, it can be used as a warm-up before your running.
Begin a practice of yoga before running if you prefer a slower-paced, stretching-focused, dynamic warm-up. So, if this sounds perfect to you, try it!
Prepare your muscles.
Just as yoga prepares your mind for an intense workout, you can always use it to prepare your muscles.
Of course, you'll benefit from a little pre-run warm-up as well as an extended cool-down after running, but given a chance to take care of your body before you run will be beneficial too.
Your muscles will be fully prepared and hydrated before your run.
Calms the mind.
By practising yoga before you run, you get time to quiet your mind and maintain focus. Yoga can help you get in the right frame of mind for running. You’ll be more aware of your surroundings when you run, which is a great thing!
Maintain flexibility in your muscles.
Yoga maintains flexibility by elongating the muscle tissues in preparation for running. Whether you try yoga before or after your run, its benefits and effects on your running and endurance will be significant.
Overall, the benefits of doing yoga before and after running are very similar. You should feel energized and relaxed. You should feel more flexible and able to breathe easier—both before and after a workout.
Ultimately, it’s up to you….
As you can see, a yoga session after a workout will provide many benefits. After a workout, it’s essential to cool your body down. It prevents soreness, allows you to stretch more deeply, and still keeps you warm enough.
Pay attention to how you feel before you sign up for a yoga session. If you're feeling great after practice, then go ahead and enjoy it. If not, then try doing it after you complete your running.
Whether you do yoga before or after running, feel free to do what works best for you and your body!
If you look at all the research on yoga and all the benefits it offers, it may be a good idea to make yoga a part of your workout routine.
It doesn't matter where it lies in the sequence of events or if it stands alone as your only workout of the day.
If you practice yoga before your run, it’s important to remember that you still need to have a good cool down. It’s necessary to stretch and cool down after an intense workout to prevent soreness or injury.
Yoga has been proven very effective for improving running performance, which means it could improve your performance as a runner and make your runs more enjoyable.
Therefore, give time and explore both yoga done before or after running! Find what works best for you.