Yoga Vs Running: What Is Better?

When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

If You Are Wondering About Yoga Vs Running Similarities’, Differences And Finally , What Is Better? Then This Article Is For You.

Here, We Discuss It In Great Details To Answer All Possible Questions That May Come To Your Mind. 

Yoga Vs Running

Yoga Vs Running: Understanding The Context

Are you a fitness freak? Do you love to see yourself healthy and fresh all the time? Then you must be practicing yoga everyday or going for a run regularly or doing both. Aren’t you?

As we all know Yoga has originated long back in ancient India which includes physical, spiritual and mental practices. It uses breathing techniques, bodily exercises and meditation which ultimately benefit an individual in multiple way.

On the other hand running daily for a particular pan of time keeps you healthy and fine too. It is said that regular running keeps heart diseases, stroke and other common ailments away, thereby living longer. Now, there is lot of debate and opinion about which brings wholesome and better result.

To answer that we need dig a little deeper and find out the similarities and the dissimilarities that Yoga and Running have between each other. Though there are scientific illustrations yet people come up with different opinions and explanation about these issues.


Some may like yoga better, some, on the other hand, prefer running more. Similarly there are a lot of people who find both boring and monotonous in some way or the other. But let us tell you, both Yoga and Running are interconnected and yield similar output in several ways.

1. Breathing Strength And Control

Breathing is the main focus for both Yoga and Running. The breathing exercise in Yoga is called Pranayama. it is the practice of inhaling and exhaling through nose. It focuses on deep and lengthy breathing in an equal length and rhythm.

Yoga teaches Ujjayi Pranayama, that focuses on deep and full breathing along with certain body postures to be completed entirely through nose. This calms the body and mind by reducing stress and distracting thoughts. In running too, you would require to inhale through nose.

When you breathe in through nose and breathe out through mouth, it helps in controlling heart rate. It is important to focus on consistent breathe even when you are at rest after run to steady your heart rate.

 It is a breathe, you tend to proven fact that when you concentrate solely on breathe, you prevent disturbing thoughts and feeling coming to your mind. The breathing exercise that you practice in Yoga, thereby calming your mind and reducing stress and most importantly extending your breathe for a longer duration, ultimately positively affect your running experience.

2. Muscle Strength

Exercise of any type train and strengthen your body muscles. It reduces the risk of injury and increases endurance. It burns calories and make you look healthier. Some of the most benefitting exercises are the ones that strengthen the hips. Yoga practice helps greatly in strengthening hip muscles, thereby increasing flexibility and range of movement.

In the same way Running also results in fit body and flexible movements. Strong muscles and hip joints not only help runners in their performance but benefit every human being who spends most of his time in sitting position. Moreover the core strength that is required while running is also shaped by yoga practice.

3. Mental Strength

Both practicing Yoga and Running is often challenging. Sitting in one posture and holding the same posture for a long time is indeed challenging. Repeating similar exercises over and over again can make it monotonous and this is exactly the reason many people get bored Yoga sessions.

On the other hand, running for a long time covering a long stretch becomes de-motivating for many. With each day of running or yoga session, your perseverance along with focus starts increasing.

Yoga shapes your mental health and prepares you to face the world with open arm. Running also teaches you to embrace every opportunity that comes your way. There are several exercises in Yoga that helps in releasing stress, anxiety and relaxing your inner self. Calmness helps in running and brings a sense of confidence and power in you.

4. Diet

It is essential to have a balanced diet every day and following a daily routine meticulously in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Weight control is one of the most important things as it causes a lot of illnesses like obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure etc.

Many think that they can slim down by eating less and dieting. But burning calories is also a must that is not possible without proper exercise. When you combine diet with exercise it then brings a successful result. Both running and yoga practice help in burning calories and promote timely eating habit.

Also, read our post on Yoga Vs Gym


1. Weight Loss

Running help in burning calories faster, hence resulting in weight loss. Though running helps in reach weight goal faster, yoga is a more steady process and brings long lasting impact.

If you have to loss fat at the soonest then Running is a better idea. But on the other hand, you cannot keep on running the entire day. Yoga improves the metabolic rate, thus helping in burning calorie the entire day.

2. Muscle Strength Building

There are several yoga exercises that build muscle strength in the body bringing flexibility and high range of motion. Running results in fit body and slimmer physique enabling movement easier. But strong hip and leg joint and muscles are necessary for successful run, which is shaped by daily practice of Yoga.

3. Flexibility Training

It is true that running makes you fit and more flexible as a matter of fact. But the strength of the muscle is brought by regular yoga sessions. Different yoga exercise help in opening up tight muscles and joints as a result of which your body gains the flexibility and endurance.

4. Healthy Mental Health

Being healthy does not only mean being physically fit, a fresh healthy mental state is equally important for any individual. Yoga is a practice that influences physical, mental and spiritual health of every human being. A 30-40 minute yoga session a day can calm your body, mind and soul and bring inner piece.

It reduces stress and anxiety, treats depression (gradually) keeps disturbing thoughts away from you. Thus you get a sound sleep which is of utmost importance for healthy living.

On the other hand, a calm and peaceful mind results in better running experience. Running too is a stress buster and a mood booster. A stress free mind better focuses on breathing while running, that in turn prevents negativity in oneself.

5. Change Of Place

Though opinions vary from person to person, yet place and environment play very important role in our lives. You practice yoga either indoors or at a open space in a garden or park (mostly indoors though). It involves exercises that requires holding up the same posture for a long time and repeating the thing time and again.

You don’t get to move to an open environment and look around find some hustle bustle, excitement. It is quiet and distant. That makes many people bored of Yoga practice.

On the contrary you get to run through a long track in the city or a park crossing many other people, noticing several activities all around. You get to move in the outer world. Many prefer that over yoga. Although exception is always there.

Yoga Vs Running – The Winner

There is no denying the fact that both yoga and running have their own benefits that not only contributes to a healthy living, but also to a happy life. It is also true that both are very much inter connected and complement each other.

In the same way let us give another example for one’s requirement – a lady decides to get married. As her big day is nearing she realizes the need for a slimmer figure and thus considers doing regular exercise.

If she does not have much time in hand then she would definitely like to go for running for 1 hour daily as that burns calories and curb fat faster than yoga. But only running will never help. She might also need to maintain a balanced diet and spend a routine life for better results.

End Of The Day It Is All About Personal Preferences

Finally let us dig a little on one’s choice with a simple instance. As you know, not every one loves the same thing in the same day. The same psyche applies in this situation as well. One wishes to live a healthy life and therefore he knows that doing exercise at a regular interval is an absolute must. Yet he does not like changing his clothes and going out every time.

 Instead he prefers to stay home and practice yoga for 40 minutes daily. In the similar way, another person prefers getting some fresh air instead of practicing asanas at home, thus he choose to run. Again, some other individual might love to engage himself in both yoga and running.

It is always the choice of a person. And do you know why choice is important? If you choose something on your own you tend to be happy about it and when you are happy you tend to do things well. It is a difficult choice to choose one between the two as both, though being different to some extent, has beneficial values in human life.

Also, read our interesting post on Is Yoga A Religion Or A Science?

Concluding Thoughts 

Yoga and running – the better choice – this is a never ending debate that will continue for many more years to come. A healthy life is essential for every individual. Regular exercise, balanced diet and a satisfied mind is top priority for being healthy.

Choose any exercise you please but engage yourself into something that keeps you well. Both running and yoga bring long lasting effects in your life by shaping your inner selves by improving your physical and mental health.

We hope our article has helped you in answering your doubts about this most talked about issue of Yoga and Running to some extent. Start practicing and let us know your feedback on the changes that you are experiencing in a good way.

Also, read our post on Yoga Vs Morning Walk and Yoga Vs Meditation.