Yoga and tight muscles- What gives?

For the past four weeks, I have formed a new healthy habit of doing yoga at least six days days a week. It started with Yoga + Creativity at the end of April. Then I added in a daily Instagram yoga challenge hosted by fellow I’m Fitpossible and Sweat Pink ambassadors who are all amazing yogis in their own right. Kim, Erin & Paige, you ladies rock! These daily sessions last between 30 minutes to an hour depending on how much time I have. I love the stretch and how relaxed I feel afterward!


However, something is going on that does not make any sense. My hips and legs seem to be getting tighter! I have been focusing on hamstring and hip openers on most days plus a few of my other favorites for upper body strength. Shouldn’t I feel more flexibility after a month?

This is making me anxious about my 5k coming up next Saturday. Of course I will stretch well before the race starts. My concern isn’t not finishing at a good pace. I have thrown the thought of a PR out the window so not to stress over that. My concern is injury. I am a little worried that into the first mile my legs & foot will cramp up just like my last run and I will have to limp the rest of the way. Heavy rain storms have put a damper on my training to boot.

I will have my running buddies with me next Saturday. I plan to go in with an open mind and let things fall into place. One thing yoga has taught me is to breathe through the bad stuff. No matter what the outcome, I know I will have fun.

I know I am not alone in feeling like this before a race. I have read many blogs on the same context. My friends have their concerns too. But, what about this tight muscle thing? Is there a remedy you have tried that works for you? Please comment below!


18 thoughts on “Yoga and tight muscles- What gives?

  1. creative pixie says:

    I’d be interested to hear if anyone offers advice as I’ve just started running with a get fit scheme that says I’ll be able to run 5k by the end of 10 weeks. My 1st run on Thursday resulted in a sore quads so I’m anxious to do anything to avoid injury. Jean

    • I have that problem if I don’t stretch my calves really well before I run. I find a pole, bench or anything I can press my foot against in a flexed position and lunge into the stretch. I do that a few times on each leg. After a run I do heal dips off a step- toes forward, toes out and toes in. Those two of my favorites for before and after. Good luck with your training!

  2. Since you’re new to yoga, there’s a good chance that you’re still training your muscles to be flexible. Yoga works muscles that I didn’t know I had haha. What do you do after your yoga? What kind of yoga are you doing? I take Restore (Herbalife) every night to help repair and restore my muscles, and that helps significantly with tight muscles.

    • Good point Lynds! I didn’t think that it could just be soreness. I have been sticking to part 1&2 of Y+C plus up, down dog, crescent, planks and whatever the Instagram pose of the day is.

  3. I’ve been doing hot yoga for the past few months and I actually feel looser. I wasn’t running as much during the past few months so don’t know if that’s related. Are you still doing the stretching post run in addition to yoga. Whenever I skimp on post run stretches things start to go wrong. Other than that, I have no idea!!

    • I am stretching for a good 10-15 minutes right after a run then more as soon as I get home. I think Lyndsay might be on to something with working muscles I didn’t know I had – LOL I feel silly. I was starting to think there was something seriously wrong. Hot yoga sounds great! Maybe I just need more time with the practice of it all. Thanks for spreading the word for me. I really appreciate that.

  4. I do yoga and run as well–i think a big part of what you are feeling is the fact that through yoga you are becoming increasingly attuned to your body and AWARE of when you are tight! Also, think of the fact that when you put your body through a hard workout running or in the weight room, you might feel sore or tired afterroom-yoga, though it is rejuvenating for the glands and endocrine systems, IS a workout. You are likely just recovering from your recovery, so to speak. Something else to keep in mind is the fact that running actually puts a great deal of stress on your lower back, hips and glutes, so of course that plus yoga ยป tight low core. Incorporate more core on off days to support your lower back.
    As you continue to practice yoga, this feeling will lessen and your body will feel more open. Just stick with it, stay consistent, and don’t push so so hard the days before your race. Yoga puts a high level of demand on your reactive muscles (ie the little guys that help you maintain posture and uprightednesss)–great for running but will also put high strain on those muscles you’ll need for your race. So the morning of, use some of your poses as a dynamic warm up along with other stretches, and you’ll be good to go!
    Good luck and let me know how it all goes!

  5. Hi Mary! Went to check in on your blog and it was poof! Found you though instagram though and love your new blog! I do get sore doing yoga because it isn’t just about stretching, its about strength, so when you build strength you can get sore ๐Ÿ™‚ So great you are doing so much yoga!

    • Hey Nicole! I am so glad you found me! Yeah, I made the switch to WP and love it! I am loving yoga right now. If I miss a day, I can really feel it. The soreness has subsided and I am not as tight as I was. Thank god because that was horrible! I hope everything is going well for you! I see you are back at racing – that’s great!

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