As a hard-core runner, the thought of practicing yoga might not even cross your mind. Well, it’s about time you gave the art of yoga for runners a serious thought. Yoga poses for runners will not only help your body recuperate from the physical stress of running, but they will also enhance your stamina and core stability. 

Why is Yoga for Runners so Important?

There’s more to running than just sweating profusely and feeling like your limbs have definitely seen better days. Here’s a little fact that will make you stop dead in your tracks; running a mile implies that your feet press against and push off the ground a whopping 1000 times! All of that pressure is bound to have an adverse affect on your leg muscles, knees and back. However, this immense pressure is not the only thing that causes a host of physiological problems for runners. Did you know that a poor sense of core balance and stability is largely the cause of all the aches and pains that runner’s experience? So if you’re wondering how to work on your endurance, agility and strength, along with enhancing your body’s sense of stability, we have the perfect solution for you: yoga for runners! Regularly practicing yoga poses for runners helps you kill two birds with one stone; you get your desired stamina boost, along with a grounded sense of core balance.

Yoga Poses for Runners # 1 - Seated Wide Legged Straddle

  1. Position yourself in the staff pose (dandasana) on the yoga mat.
  2. Open your legs and spread them out. Keep in mind that you should only spread them out as much as is comfortable for your body.
  3. Point your toes towards the ceiling.
  4. Flex your feet and keep your legs pressed down on the yoga mat.
  5. Slowly bend your torso forward between your legs. Hold the forward bend as soon as you feel your spine beginning to curve.
  6. Maintain the pose with your back held flat for 30 seconds to 1 minute at least.

Yoga Poses for Runners # 2 - Pyramid Pose

  1. Position yourself in the downward facing dog pose on the yoga mat.
  2. Shift the right foot to the front, so that it is placed next to the right hand. Straighten out the right leg as much as possible.
  3. Now, bring your left foot forward so that both feet are positioned 3 feet apart.
  4. Keep your hips squared towards the front.
  5. Keep your body straight and tall.
  6. Breathe in and elongate the spine.
  7. Breathe out and as you do so, bend your body forward into a forward bend with your hands touching the mat.
  8. Maintain the pose for at 30 seconds to 1 minute at least by lengthening the spine on every inhalation, and bending forward on every exhalation. Use yoga blocks if your hands do not reach the mat. Repeat the entire sequence with the other leg.

Yoga Poses for Runners # 3 - Half Lord of the Fishes Pose

  1. Sit down on the yoga mat.
  2. Stretch your right leg out in front of you. Your pelvis should be pressed against the mat.
  3. Cross your left leg over the right leg so that your left foot is positioned right next to the right knee.
  4. Bend your right leg so that your heel is positioned next to the left hip.
  5. Raise your left knee up to your chest by wrapping your right hand around it.
  6. Breathe out and as you do so, twist your upper body towards the back. Turn your head and gaze at the back.
  7. Place your left hand right next to the left hip on the mat.
  8. Maintain the pose for at least 30 seconds to 1 minute. Repeat the entire sequence with the other leg.

Yoga Poses for Runners # 4 - Seated Forward Bend

  1. Position yourself in the staff pose (dandasana) on the yoga mat.
  2. Extend your arms outwards and upwards over your head.
  3. Inhale and elongate your spine.
  4. Exhale and use your hips to bend forwards.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4, and lower yourself deeper into the forward bend every time you exhale.
  6. Avoid rounding your spine.
  7. Hold onto your ankles or shins every time you exhale and bend down.
  8. Hold the seated forward bend for 30 seconds to 1 minute at least.  

Yoga Poses for Runners # 5 - Child’s Pose

  1. Position yourself on the yoga mat by kneeling down with your feet pressed together, toes pointing outwards and buttocks resting on your heels.
  2. Position your knees hip-width apart.
  3. Place your hands on your thighs with the palms facing downwards.
  4. Breathe out and extend your arms as you lower your chest forward between your knees.
  5. Allow your forehead to touch the floor. Place your arms on your sides with the palms turned up towards the ceiling.
  6. Hold the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute at least.