Should You Do Yoga Before or After Running?
I am very excited writing about this topic actually, because yoga is something I hold close to my heart. It is one of the exercises that are really dear to me. This article is about yoga in general, what it are the types of yoga and if yoga before or after running is allowed.
Before we continue with this article, it is important to understand what yoga is to begin with. If you are a regular runner or exerciser, probably you have come across this term, and maybe you did not know what it was.
What is yoga?
The word yoga itself means union. Yoga is a group of exercises that involve the body, mind and spirit that originated from India. Yoga includes trying to control your breathing, meditation and a number of body postures that are specifically used for health and relaxation.
Personally, yoga for me is so much more than just normal stretching and fitness. It involves more than just the body. The body and physical stuff is just one dimension of yoga. Yoga connects the body to your mind and soul, making your stretching more fulfilling.
Yoga before or after running, is it ok? We are about to find that out. One of the misconceptions about yoga that people have is that it is only suitable for fit people. That is not true at all. If you have just begun your running, you can definitely engage in yoga.
You do not need to be perfect and flexible for you to do yoga. As you do yoga, your body will become flexible and accustomed to the poses with time. Another misconception people have is that yoga is a religion. Yoga is not some form of cult or religion that will manipulate you or make you do crazy things. It simply is a philosophy.
What before and after running Yoga exercises should you do?
Yoga exercises before running
If you are a runner, should you do yoga before or after running? With all the payback yoga can bring runners, it surely seems like doing yoga in a while before going for a run is a smart move. But according to some specialists, taking a full yoga class just before you go out running probably is not a very good idea.
Yoga is good as only warm up before running. Yoga is aimed at stretching the muscles and relaxing the muscles. If the muscles are too relaxed before running, you might end up hurting yourself. That is why only a bit of warm up is advised.
Yoga before or after running is ok. But you have to do active yoga before running. This actually engages your core and warms up your muscles in readiness for running. Some of the active poses include crescent lunge, squats and other lunges.
Exercise 1: Crescent lunge
Place your hands on your hips to make sure the hip bones are squared. Elongate your tailbone towards the ground and ensure your front knee is aligned with your front ankle. This exercise targets the Back, thighs, Knees, feet (Achilles, Plantar Fasciitis, Metatarsalgia, Ball of foot pain, Peroneal Tendonitis…)...The video below shows how the crescent lunge is done in detail.
Exercise 2: Yoga Squats
Yoga squats are not different from any other squats. Lower your body in a squatting position and rise up. Repeat this several times. The video below shows how to do a squat. Your arms should be folded infront of you.
Yoga exercises after running
After running, passive yoga which is more engaging is ideal. Some of the passive yoga moves include runners lunge, half splints among others. A full yoga session is more ideal after running as it engages your whole being. It makes your mind, body and soul relaxed after a session of intense running.
Exercise 1: Low Lunge
This yoga pose targets the chest , hips and spine.
Here is a video that demonstrates how to do a lunge in detail.You have to lift one of your legs up behind you and place it between your hands. Focus on bringing the hips forward and bringing out the chest. The knee should touch the floor. This exercise targets the Back, thighs, Knees, Shin Splints, feet (Achilles, Plantar Fasciitis, ball of foot pain, Peroneal Tendonitis … ).
Exercise 2: Straddle Forward Fold
This exercise targets the calve, ankles, back and neck. After doing a lunge, align your hips toward the sky while maintaining straight legs and hands on the ground. The following link shows how it is done.
Why is yoga before and after running important?
Now that we know yoga before and after running is allowed, let us look at why it is important. Yoga is important in elongating runner’s muscles. It is a great aid in muscle recovery and helps in preventing injuries by making you extremely flexible. This lowers the risk of muscles injuries due to their flexibility.
Yoga is not just about muscles, strength and flexibility. It also aids a runner’s mental health and gets rid of any form of stress. All this strengths combined can help a runner significantly in running more efficiently and stay free from any types of injuries.
Yoga before or after running is important as it can be used as a form of stretching exercise for heel spur, shin splint, metatarsalgia, plantar fasciitis among other injuries that require stretching as a form of healing. Yoga poses due to their complexity helps runners build up their mental tolerance which is essential in running.
Injuries are mostly caused by an imbalance in the body and yoga before or after running helps to eliminate that form of imbalance. Yoga prepares your muscles and makes your body warm and stable before you start working out. It makes running more pleasant as any pains from the running are gone.
Yoga is an important part of stretching in a runner’s world. Yoga before running warms you up while after running cools you down restoring a balance. Yoga unlike other stretches focuses on the whole body and not just a particular area. It calms your mind giving you more focus in running.
Thank you so much for reading this article. I hope it has answered all your questions concerning yoga before or after running. Questions and comments can be left in the comment section. Thank you.