Has yoga helped your running

I am doing a yoga teacher training course and my elective is all about yoga and running and in particular how yoga can strengthen your body to improve running efficiency.  If anyone has any relevant experience they would like to share I would be really grateful. Thanks


  • I have been practising yoga on and off for a couple of years. But after suffering from shin splints and a reoccurring rolled ankle I started going three times a week to Ashtanga yoga. Since then I have not had any problems with my shins, and I am continuing to strengthen my ankle. 

    I feel that yoga has strengthened my whole lower body and made my muscles a lot stronger. As a result I am running the best I have ever run (though this has also been to my new training plan), but definitaley yoga has complemented my improvement. 

  • Yes, I would say definitely in that both me and my physion reckon I'm more flexible now and generally have less issues down my left hand side, which has always been problematic for me due to the left hip being higher than the right. Certain exercises also seem to really help with any niggles connected to the heel / achilles tendon area. 

  • I use yoga for my horse riding for my core and noticed when i started running i had a far better posture

  • I'm doing yoga now too since getting a new hip joint last year - I need to remain flexible as much as possible. Hasn't helped my running yet because I'm still getting back into that but I'm sure it will.

  • That's really helpful thanks to all.  It has certainly helped me in my running, I have a curved spine so a lack of symmetry can really start to show up in certain places when you up the mileage.  Since starting yoga 12 years ago I haven't needed any physio at all though so there has to be something in it.

    When you have had specific injuries or issues like your shin spints Dan or with your hip Neil, are there specific things you work on to address them or do you find a general practice concentrates enough focus on those areas for you?

  • Hi Jane,

    To answer your question, I never had a specific injury with the hip. Rather I went to the physio about something else and after looking at me front and back she told me about my left hip being out of sync which seemed to go along way to explaining why I always seemed to get issues down the left hand side. She taught me some exercises to do at home to help with this and recommended I join a yoga group, both of which seemed to have helped. The exercises the physio recommended centre around improving flexibility in the piroformis / gluteal area. I wouldn´t say the issues have completely gone away but it´s definitely better. Also, I only started the yoga late last year so have only been doing it for a short while relatively speaking. I see it as a long term kind investment.

  • Thanks Neil.  Yes definitely a long term investment, they aren't joking when they call it a yoga practice. You can be practicing this stuff for decades!


  • Hi Jane, I found Ashtanga yoga to work most of the muscles that I needed to stretch, especially the hamstrings and calfs. Now I have got a problem with my IT band and the yoga teacher has shown me specific exercises to stretch the hip (e.g. the pigeon, cow) which I practice out of class.

  • Thanks Dan that's really helpful as a real life example to support the notes I have written.

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