02 Feb Yoga for Runners FAQ
In September of 2016, I started Yoga for Runners HQ to share the benefits of using yoga to with your running training. I published a guide explaining breathing techniques and how to do the best yoga poses for runners. I’m happy to report that my Yoga for Runners Starter Pack received an overwhelmingly positive response, and questions began to flood my inbox!
Since then, I have responded to countless questions related to yoga for runners. While I love connecting with my followers on a one-on-one basis, it is becoming increasingly difficult to respond to everyone individually. Fortunately, I’ve found that almost everyone shares the same fundamental questions and concerns.
The purpose of this blog post is to provide quick answers to the most common questions that I receive. If you aren’t able to find answers to your questions in this list, feel free to leave me a message in the comments section below, and I’ll respond to it directly.
Question 1: I’m not flexible – can I do yoga?
Absolutely! In yoga, there’s no such thing as “not flexible enough”. Yoga promotes flexibility, so you don’t have to be flexible to start doing yoga. Everybody is different, so never feel the need to do the poses exactly like the teacher. The teacher is only there as a guide, so stretch only as far as you can go. Listen to your body; never force yourself and always stay within your limits. The more you practice yoga the more flexible you will become over time.
Question 2: How should I incorporate yoga into my running schedule?
There is a number of ways that you can fit yoga into your running schedule; it depends on what you want to get from your yoga practice. Practicing a few yoga poses after a run will make you feel a lot better the next day. I personally like to do a 5 – 10-minute sequence after runs, and one or two 60 minute classes per week, incorporating breathing exercises, balancing poses, core strength poses, and relaxation.
Question 3: How often should I do yoga?
Generally, the more yoga the better, however, if you are doing it to improve your running, it should fit in with your running schedule. Try one full 60 minute class per week, and add post-run yoga with your regular runs. Doing yoga first thing in the morning also helps you feel great for the rest of the day. Eventually, you will establish what amount of yoga sessions works best for you and your running.
Question 4: When will I start feeling the benefits of yoga?
Some people feel benefits immediately, for example, physically feeling pressure discharge and the body opening and muscle fortifying. A “great vibe” feeling that gets people hooked on yoga. After one session with proper breathing techniques, you will feel a sense of calmness, more flexibility, and control.
Question 5: What if I can’t do a pose?
No problem! Yoga is all about baby steps. It is of a non-competitive nature; yoga is not designed to achieve perfection. Make your practice your own by doing what is best for you and not forcing yourself into a shape that you aren’t ready for. A great tip is to approach yoga as a journey rather than a destination, and eventually, with practice and patience, you will be able to do that pose.
Question 6: What clothing or equipment do I need?
If you’re doing yoga after a run, kick off your shoes and practice yoga on a surface with some grip. I recommend getting a yoga mat, because they offer a thin soft layer of cushion. Also, wear loose-fitting and comfortable clothes. You can also get a yoga block or strap.
Question 7: Who can do yoga?
To quote yoga guru, Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois: “If you can move and you can breathe, then you can practice yoga. There is only one man that cannot practice yoga, and that is ‘lazy man’.” Anyone can do yoga and feel the benefits, even if you’re not a runner 🙂
If you’ve never done yoga before, try our 3-day yoga for runners challenge to learn how to breathe better while running, relieve tight hips and hamstrings, and recover quicker after runs. Only 10 minutes per day for 3 days and instructional videos are delivered to your inbox. If you haven’t joined this challenge yet, you can sign up here.