5 yoga poses to improve your running

Sep 18, 2016 | Yoga | 0 comments

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6 min read

Even though Yoga and Running look like sports that contradict each other, they are quite compatible. As any runner can tell you, running can be hard on your body.

“The most common issues for runners are shin splits, knee and foot problems, and IT-band syndrome,” Oakland-based yoga instructor Shauna Harrison told Self.

But yoga can go a long way to counteracting the stress running puts on your body. Here’s where we suggest you start:

1. Sun Salutations

Vinyasa classes offer a lot of variety due to the vast number of poses, although most will include the Sun Salutations.

How to do Sun Salutations

Watch: How To Do Sun Salutations

  1. Stand on your feet slight apart, while keeping your palms together and thumbs against the chest.
  2. Breathe in deeply and raise your arms slowly over your head, and then bend backward as far as you can while making your buttocks tight.
  3. Slowly breathe out while bending forward. Keep the knees in a straight position, until the fingers touch the floor outside your spread feet and lean your head to the knees.
  4. Slowly breathe in, bend the knees and place your fingertips outside the feet on the floor. Stretch the leg on your right backward about an inch away from the floor. While stretching the back look up.
  5. Before breathing out again, pull your left leg back till it gets besides the right leg, with your weight carried on your arms and toes, your body form a flat plane by straightening both legs. Ensure your belly is tucked in.
  6. Breathe slowly out, curve your two knees to close the floor, lift the hips in the air, lower the forehead and chest on the floor.
  7. Breath in slowly and look on the ceiling, bend your head backward, then raise the head, the upper of your chest, and lower your chest. Your lower body should touch the floor, and the elbows bent slightly. Stay this way for about five seconds.
  8. Slowly breathe out and get your hips up until your palms and feet are flat and upright in an V position.
  9. Slowly breathe in and bring the right foot in front as the fourth step.
  10. Breath out slowly and bring the left leg in front adjacent to the right leg. Straighten your foot and remain to stand, and try to keep the finger touching the floor, while trying to touch the head
  11. Slowly breath in, lift your palms up and stretch backward as in position two.
  12. Slowly breath out, lowering your palms to the sides. Relax and repeat the procedure.

2. Upward Dog

This pose is the best exercise for runners. It helps them to stretch their upper body. This is because runners have strong legs but a weaker upper body.

How to perform upward dog

Watch: How to do Upward Dog

  1. First, start in the Downward Dog pose, stay with a high push-up. Lower your body slowly to a little push-up. Roll your toes over and raise your chest slowly into a backbend. In this position, hold four to five breaths before releasing.
  2. Slowly drop your hips forward towards the floor from the Table pose.
  3. Press your palms down onto the floor, drop your shoulders low and back, push the chest in front and touch the crown of your head up to the ceiling.
  4. Breathe in and press the toes down to lift legs and thighs while engaging Mula Bandha.
  5. Breathe in and hold your breath for one to three breaths.
  6. Bend your knees and lift your hips back up to the table position to release.
  7. Benefits of this pose
  8. Facing Upward dog pose, will open your chest and strengthen your body.
  9. It also aligns your spine, invigorates your kidneys and nerve system.

3. Standing Forward Fold

Standing Forward Fold

Any yoga pose that involves touching the toes is good for runners. It helps in stretching arms and tightens the muscles.

How to do Forward Fold

Watch: How to do standing forward fold

  1. From mountain position, breathe out forward clinging to the hips. Curve your knees in a way you can to place your palms flat on the floor head hard-pressed against your knees.
  2. Feel your backbone stretching in opposing direction and pull the head down and inside, lift the hips up. Exercise to straight your legs to prolong the stretch at the back of legs.
  3. Breathe and hold for an interval of four to eight breaths, while still pressing your belly into your thighs while breathing in.
  4. Bend the knees making sure that your back straight, put the arms on sides and back into Mountain pose.
  5. Benefits
  6. It elongates your spinal column and opens the backs of your legs and your back muscles.
  7. This pose stimulates nervous, digestive, urogenital, and endocrine systems.

4. Half Lord Of The Fishes Twist-Ardha Matseyendrasana

The pose helps in broadening shoulders and hips. It also stretches the IT band.

How to perform the pose

  1. You need to sit tall while straightening out your legs in front of you.
  2. You should then place your right foot to the left.
  3. Bending your left knee, you should tuck your left foot by your right buttock and put your right palm on the mat just to your bottom.
  4. While breathing in, you should lift your left arm in the air (by your left ear) then while breathing out, move your left elbow to the outside of the right knee.
  5. To release the pose, look back over your right shoulder, inhale and look forward.

5. Cobbler’s Pose-Baddha Konasana

This pose opens the groins and hips by stretching the inside of things. It also stretches the back.

How to do Cobbler’s pose

  1. Sit tall on a mat then move the soles of your feet together.
  2. Lock your fingers and place them around your toes.
  3. Still sitting tall, roll your shoulders back and look at the point beyond the end of your nose. Then bend forward till you feel the stretch.
  4. While breathing in, you should imagine that your head is reaching out in front of the wall. You should then breath out and allow your body to sink lower (such that your chest gets closer to the floor).
  5. Hold in this position for 30 seconds.


Yoga is a time of rest and renewal for both our minds and bodies. Yoga postures can be your greatest tool, keeping you fit both physically and mentally. Take the time to get to know these yoga poses and incorporating them into your routine so you can keep greeting the pavement.

Take it one step further and combine the poses with with supplements for runners, and you can have a lifetime of enthusiasm for running. Supplements can aid the recovery process, and help you build your stamina both on the mat and on the track. Pst. Check with your doctor before taking anything.

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