What if you started as a runner and find you really love yoga? You find yourself going to a lot of classes and really wanting to nail that handstand or wheel. Oh, and you still want to run all the miles, and run a PR in your next race.

I’ve been there.

And at times, I’ve felt frustrated there.

Because, it’s hard to make large gains in running and in yoga at the same time.

Balance Running and yoga runner

Runner yogi? Yogi runner?

How to Balance Running and Yoga

Just like in running where you follow a hard run with an easy run, do the same with your running/yoga practice.

Pair a power yoga session with a short run or no run. The day after a long run, try a more relaxing yoga session (like Yin) to increase blood flow and stretch out your muscles.

One of my yoga teachers encouraged me to think of yoga and running as inverses. She explained as my effort in running increased, my effort in dynamic yoga should decrease. Trying to do all the things, can mean getting nothing significant done. I am often amazed at the gains I make when I focus my efforts, rather than spreading them out.

Balance Yoga and Running Crazy Pose

Don’t work on this pose and marathon training. Just don’t.

If you’re between running training plans, if you’re just maintaining a mileage base, and you want to improve your yoga. Then go for it! Work on your inversions, core, and moving your limits in yoga.

If you’re getting into the meat of a training program though, balance it with restorative yoga. You can continue to go to Vinyasa classes, but don’t push to learn complicated moves, drastically improve your handstand, or constantly reach to the edge of your limits. Save that for between running efforts.

When you’re running hard, use the time in yoga class to SERVE your running, and make your body feel good.

Save the competitiveness for the runs.

Further reading:

How do you balance running and yoga?