How Often Should Runners Do Yoga?

Running is a popular form of exercise for many people, as it is a great way to improve cardiovascular fitness,  build strength, and maintain a healthy lifestyle. However, runners need to incorporate other forms of exercise into their routine, such as yoga, to ensure a well-rounded fitness plan. This article will explore how often should runners do yoga to reap the maximum benefits from this combination.

The Benefits of Yoga for Runners

Before diving into the frequency of yoga practice, let’s look at some benefits yoga offers runners.

  • Increased Flexibility – Yoga helps improve flexibility, leading to better running form, increased stride length, and reduced risk of injury. Flexible muscles can better absorb the impact of running. This leads to less joint strain and a decreased likelihood of developing injuries.
  • Improved Strength – Yoga poses help strengthen key muscle groups important for runners, such as the core, glutes, and hamstrings. Stronger muscles can improve running performance and protect the body from injury.
  • Better Balance – Yoga practice improves balance and proprioception, aiding runners in maintaining proper form, especially on uneven terrain.
  • Enhanced Breathing – Many yoga practices focus on deep, controlled breathing. This helps runners develop a more efficient breathing pattern during their runs.
  • Mental Focus and Relaxation – Yoga can help runners develop mental focus and relaxation techniques. This is beneficial for managing stress and enhancing performance during races.

How Often Should Runners Do Yoga?

The frequency of yoga practice for runners may vary depending on individual fitness level, training goals, and available time. However, the following guidelines can help determine how often a runner should incorporate yoga into their routine.

Beginner Runners

Suppose you are new to running or starting with a consistent running routine. In that case, it is essential to ease into both running and yoga. This helps to avoid injury and allows your body to adapt to new activities. As a beginner, try incorporating one or two weekly yoga sessions. We focus on gentle, restorative poses that promote relaxation and flexibility. This will help you build a strong foundation for both running and yoga.

Intermediate Runners

As an intermediate runner, you likely have a more established running routine and maybe training for specific goals or races. In this case, incorporating yoga into your routine two to three times per week can be beneficial. Prioritize yoga sessions focusing on building strength and flexibility. We should include power yoga or vinyasa flow while incorporating restorative sessions to promote recovery and relaxation.

Advanced Runners

Advanced runners training for races or having more demanding running schedules may benefit from incorporating yoga into their routine three to four times per week. This frequency can help maintain flexibility, strength, and balance while providing mental relaxation and recovery opportunities. We should mix up the types of yoga sessions. These should include challenging strength-based practices and more restorative sessions to promote overall balance in your training.

Injured or Recovering Runners

If you are dealing with an injury or are in the recovery phase of your training, the frequency of yoga practice may need to be adjusted accordingly. Consult with a healthcare professional or a certified yoga instructor for guidance. They will advise on the appropriate types and frequency of yoga practice during this time. Gentle, restorative yoga sessions can help promote relaxation and aid the healing process. Still, listening to your body and avoiding any poses or movements that cause pain or discomfort is essential.

Tips for Incorporating Yoga into Your Running Routine

  • Listen to Your Body – Every runner is unique, and it is essential to listen to your body to determine the appropriate frequency of yoga practice for you. If you feel overly fatigued or sore after a yoga session, consider reducing the frequency or intensity of your practice. Conversely, if you feel energized and rejuvenated after yoga, you may want to increase the frequency of your sessions.
  • Schedule Yoga on Rest or Easy Run Days – To maximize the benefits of yoga without overloading your body, consider scheduling your yoga sessions on rest days or days when you plan to do an easy run. This will allow your body to recover from more intense workouts while still gaining the benefits of yoga practice.
  • Use Yoga as a Warm-up or Cool-down -Incorporating a short yoga routine before or after a run can help prepare your body for the workout and aid recovery. Focus on dynamic stretches and poses that target the muscles you use during running for a warm-up, and choose more restorative poses for a cool-down.
  • Mix Up Your Yoga Practice -To reap the most benefits from yoga, try incorporating different styles of yoga into your routine. This can help target different muscle groups, improve your fitness, and keep your practice interesting and enjoyable.
  • Find a Routine That Works for You – There is no one-size-fits-all approach to combining yoga and running, so experiment with different frequencies and styles of yoga to find what works best for you. Remember that consistency is key, so try to establish a routine that you can maintain long-term.


Incorporating yoga into a running routine can provide numerous benefits, including increased flexibility, strength, balance, breathing, and mental focus. The frequency of yoga practice for runners can vary. Still, as a general guideline, beginners should aim for one to two sessions per week, intermediate runners for two to three sessions, and advanced runners for three to four sessions.

Always listen to your body and adjust your yoga practice, considering your fitness level, training goals, and available time. Finding the right balance between running and yoga can optimize your overall fitness and performance while reducing the risk of injury and promoting mental well-being.

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