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Should You Run Before or After Yoga?

When it comes to incorporating yoga into your fitness routine, the best time to practice will depend on your individual goals and preferences. Yoga is one practice that promotes body balance and overall health. So, combining another form of exercise might not be a bad idea, especially running as it is a repetitive action and adds a spark to your body function. 

But If you have question in mind should you run before or after yoga? Here is the answer Both running before yoga and yoga before running have their benefits, so here’s a guide to help you make the decision that’s right for you.

If your main objective is to enhance your running performance: It’s advisable to run before yoga. Starting with a run allows you to push yourself physically and gives you the energy needed to maximize the benefits of your yoga practice. The stretching and mobility exercises in yoga can then help improve your running form and reduce the risk of injury.

If you’re seeking to use yoga for recovery and relaxation: It’s advisable to practice yoga after your run. The restorative and calming effects of yoga can help soothe your muscles, relieve tension, and promote relaxation, making it the perfect post-run activity.

Remember, the most important thing is to listen to your body and do what works best for you. Experiment with both running before yoga and yoga before running to see what feels most beneficial and fits best into your routine. One of the most important philosophies related to yoga is that we must prioritize what the body accepts instead of developing a fitness routine that follows trends. Doing what our bodies are most comfortable with will help you maximize the benefits of both running and doing yoga. 

However, if you still feel running along with doing yoga is a great combination, here are three yoga poses that can be beneficial to practice before running:

Cat-Cow Stretch: This pose helps to warm up the spine and prepare the body for physical activity. 

Keep your hand apart while keeping your knees right below your hips. Breathe slowly and curve your lower back while raising your head. Bend your pelvis like a cow. Slowly exhale, arch your spine downward and bring your pelvis and head down. Repeat multiple times. 

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Downward-Facing Dog: This pose stretches the hamstrings, calves, and spine, and also helps to improve circulation. 

Once on all fours, root your palms properly on the ground, then push your hips back and up while bringing your head in line with your shoulders. Slowly pedal out and then straighten your legs. Breathe slowly and repeat. 

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Lunge with a Twist: This pose stretches the hips and lower back and also helps to improve balance and stability, which can be beneficial for running. 

Take your right foot forward and bend as you would in a normal lunge. Now, turn your body from the middle of your waist to the right. Engage your core while squeezing your glutes. Your knees should not rotate. 

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By incorporating these poses into your pre-run routine, you can help prevent injury and improve performance. It allows your body to warm up before you actually get into doing those invigorating poses. You also reap all the benefits of running, which is again considered a complete exercise, working on all your core muscles. Additionally, practicing yoga can help to increase focus and mental clarity, allowing you to approach your run with a calm and focused mindset.

Here are three yoga poses that can be beneficial to practice after running:

As mentioned earlier, running is a complete exercise and is really effective for cardio, muscle strengthening, and building stamina and your core. It can also result in tight hips, stretched hamstrings and quads. If you go running without properly warming up your body, it can also lead to next-day cramps and muscle pain. To ensure that none of these things happens to you and you make the most of your running routine, there are a few yoga poses you can do before running to enhance your overall fitness routine. 

Child’s Pose: This pose helps to release tension in the hips, lower back, and legs, and can also help to improve breathing and calm the mind. 

From the table pose, lower your hips to your heel and forehead to the floor. Stretch your arms overhead and keep your palms on the floor. Continue breathing slowly while pressing your belly against your thighs. 

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Pigeon Pose: This pose helps to stretch the hips and thighs, and can also help to reduce stiffness and improve flexibility. 

From the downward-facing dog pose, place your palms on the mat in front of you, straighten your legs, and raise your hips upwards. Raise your right leg while bringing your right knee to the back of your wrist. Do this while keeping your left leg straight. Extend your right knee outward, flexed towards your shin. Then place your hand above your shoulders and press your palms to elongate your spine. Keep looking straight to achieve the Pigeon pose. 

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Cobra Pose: This pose helps to stretch the spine and chest, and can also help to improve posture and increase strength in the upper body. 

Lie on your stomach with your legs together and feet and heels touching. Keep your palms under the shoulders as they touch the ground and elbows parallel to your torso. Now, gently lift your head, chest and abdomen with the support of your hands. Stretch your back so that your arms are straight. Hold the pose for 4-5 breaths and recoil to the original position while exhaling. 

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So, if you are still questioning should I run before or after yoga, here’s the answer. Practicing the above-mentioned yoga poses after running can help to improve recovery and reduce muscle soreness. Additionally, by taking time to stretch and relax after your run, you can help to release any residual stress and bring a sense of calm to both your body and mind.

It also helps in improving the blood flow to your activated muscles, reaching important nutrients and removing waste products. This will ensure that you do not feel any kind of soreness the next day and results in a better running session. As you regularly do yoga after running, you will be able to increase stamina and the duration of your run. This will help you maximize the running capabilities and reap the advantages that it provides. 

Combining two different forms of exercise can be highly beneficial, provided you do it properly. And yoga and running are a great combo. The above-mentioned pre and post-running yoga poses will help you get the most out of every single session of running while also adding the benefits that yoga provides. The one thing to ensure while doing this is to observe how your body is reacting to this routine. You might want to take things slow in the beginning and then pick up pace as your body gets used to it. Jumping directly into doing a rigorous regimen can result in more disadvantages than anything else. 

So, follow your instinct and get the best out of yoga as you run to enhanced fitness. 

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