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Yoga For Runners: 5 Must Try Poses

You keep hearing that yoga is good for runners, but just don’t know where to start. Well in observance of National Running Day, we've got you covered! In today’s blog, we’ll explore 5 poses that are amazing for runners. So you can go ahead and drop those excuses now because this routine is quick and simple, but will deliver results for the tight and sore runner’s body!

Before we jump into the poses themselves let’s chat about where your practice takes place. It’s a common misconception that yoga must be practiced in a studio. Nope! Yoga can be practiced pretty much anywhere. Find a quiet space where you can breathe and feel relaxed. If you have a mat, great! If not, don’t worry, you can reap the benefits of yoga without one. All this is to say that yoga, like running, is a practice that has a low barrier to entry. How do you become a runner? Start running. Same deal with yoga.

So if you’re ready to become a yogi, we’ll jump right into it. Here are five amazing poses for runners.

Cat/Cow

Start by coming into a tabletop position on all fours. First, come into Cow pose by arching the spine and drawing the shoulder blades toward your spine. Then, transition into Cat pose by sending your spine to the ceiling and gently tucking your chin into your chest. Alternate between cat and cow pose to bring generous movement to the spine. Runners spend a ton of time training which is extremely high impact. This level of impact can strain the lower back so this pose feels amazing for runners!

Downward Facing Dog

Return to a neutral tabletop position, then tuck your toes and send your hips upward into an inverted “V” shape to come into the pose. Runners can gain a lot of amazing stretches from Downward Facing Dog, specifically in the calves and hamstrings. Isolate the stretch in your hamstrings by bending one knee at a time or bring the focus into your calves by crossing one anke over the other.

Kneeling Crescent

From your Downward Facing Dog, step one foot in between your hands and lower your back knee. Bring your hands to your upper thigh or reach them up overhead to lengthen the sides of your body. For runners specifically, this pose will open up tight hip flexors. Focus on squaring your hips toward the front of the room as you press your pelvis forward to deepen the stretch. Make sure your front knee stays over your ankle to protect your joints!

Half Splits

Runners love to hate a good hamstring stretch! From your Kneeling Crescent pose, straighten the front leg and send your hips back toward your heels. Flex your front toes toward your shin to make the stretch even deeper!  

Thread the Needle

Make your way onto your back for this gentle hip opener. Cross your ankle over the opposite thigh and either stay there to stretch the hip and glute muscles or reach in between your legs for your thigh or shin to deepen the pose. For runners with extra tight hips, try this pose on the wall instead.  

After you complete your runner’s flow, give yourself a good five minute of rest in Savasana. While there are tons of physical benefits of yoga for runners, you’ll also find yourself restored and rejuvenated after your practice. Clearing your mind and giving yourself the chance to release stress will help you stay focused on your next run or race! 

Speaking of releasing stress, what better way to unwind than with a new outfit from YogaClub? Click below to join today!

About the Author

Lindsay is the Director of Partnerships & Brand Experience at YogaClub, a E-RYT 200 yoga teacher, former collegiate swimmer, marathon runner and fitness blogger. Her running adventures have taken her to 14 marathons (and more half marathons than she can count!), including the Boston Marathon. Lindsay catalogues her fitness adventures and stories from the road on her blog, Loving Life on the Run

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