Yoga and Running

Updated: May 20, 2019

One brilliant thing about our physical yoga practice is that it does not end on the mat. We can take the same mindful movement technology that we develop in our asana and apply it to any sort of physical exercise. This can be especially useful in more of a cardio-centric workout like running.

One fallacy that a lot of us as yoga practitioners fall victim to is that physical asana is all we need in order to stay fit. Our postures that we practice on the mat are simply one piece of the puzzle in our overall wellness. The body needs more than strength and flexibility in order to achieve well rounded fitness. The missing piece is endurance.

We are able to create and build this endurance through any number of physical exercises that focus on the cardiovascular systems of the body, or in layperson’s terms, anything that gets your blood pumping. These can take many forms, and in the nature of creating healthy habits, it is important to make it an activity you enjoy doing. It might be something like jumping rope, power walking, kickboxing, or running.

Running, or jogging for that matter, is a very widely practiced form of cardiovascular exercise, the reason for which largely being due to the sheer accessibility of it. Anyone with a pair of running shoes and some spare time can get out there and get a couple of miles in. The important thing to remember, especially when starting out, is the only thing you need to keep pace with is your own breath. Often times newer runners get winded or experience cramps by pushing themselves too hard too quickly. We have the rest of our lives in this body experience, and a lot of us have decades of movement ahead of us, so there is no reason to rush.

When newer to any physical activity, less is more. Running is no different. There is a lot of value in setting an attainable distance goal, and taking your time to achieve it. Allow yourself to focus on the way that you are placing your feet, heel toe, and the steadiness of breath, in through your nose and out through your mouth. As you begin to develop a rhythm in both stride and breath, you will notice yourself straining less throughout the duration of the exercise.

Post run self care is key. A short yoga practice can be a welcome compliment to stretch out the muscles you just engaged. Hydration is also very important, not just immediately after the run but through the duration of the day.

The first couple of times out can be challenging. Remember to rest when you need and listen to the wisdom of your body. Before you know it you may find running to be a welcome addition to your daily practices.

P.S. - Anyone in our community interested in joining the Sanctuary tribe for a local race? We will be putting a group together for the upcoming Pride Run on 6/9 at 10 am.

Additional information about registration can be found at:

Those interested in joining our group can email:

Written by Matt Lynch


Sanctuary Yoga & Mindfulness is a healing haven in the heart of Center City Philadelphia. Our premier yoga studio offers weekly yoga & mindfulness meditation classes, as well as workshops and teacher trainings of the highest caliber. “Sanctuary Signature” yoga classes all place an emphasis on: excellence in alignment; thoughtful sequencing; inspiring & uplifting verbiage to support your body, mind and heart, allowing you to feel enhanced on every level. Each yoga class and yoga practice offered also contains 3-5 minutes of mindfulness meditation at its conclusion to further punctuate your profound experience during your time with us.

Our expert and exceptional teachers are highly trained, warm, and knowledgeable in areas of therapeutics, bio-mechanics, philosophy, meditation and so much more! All our classes are highly curated with an excellence in sequencing and intelligent alignment for the body; artful language for the mind; and inspiration for the heart. Come experience our amazing teaching tribe for yourself!