10 Great Yoga Poses for Runners

What do you get when you marry running with yoga? A match made in heaven. Just kidding. But the truth ain't that far from it.                  

Image Credit: https://goo.gl/UGIjWK

As mentioned by yoga instructor Rebecca Pacheo on Runners World, Yoga is the perfect recovery activity for runners... it relieves soreness and tension in your hardworking muscles and restores range of motion so you can run better the next time you hit the road.

By adding a well-rounded yoga routine after any run, you can loosen tight muscles, increase running performance and reduce your chances of getting injured. Yoga can even help you to maintain steady breath control during a run and makes you feel more at peace!

I'm sold. Let's start now! But before you go ahead, remember to take heed that each Yoga pose must be done slowly and in a controlled manner. Forcefully adopting a pose may tighten muscles and increase the risk of injury. Be present, stretch slowly and steadily until the point where you feel some discomfort, but not pain. You should also get a yoga mat for exercises requiring you to lie on your back.

Now that you're ready, let's look at 10 great yoga poses that you can consider adding to your routine after a run. Adopt and remain in each pose for 10 breaths, where each breath consists of one full nose inhalation AND exhalation.

1. Downward Dog

This basic yoga pose stretches your calves and hamstrings as well as strengthens your shoulders.

How to do it:  Begin by lying flat and face down on the floor. Move your arms shoulder width apart and feet hip-width apart. Press your palms and feet down towards the floor. Lengthen through your spine and release the shoulders down your back. Stretch the heels of your legs down towards the floor. To prevent your inner hands from lifting up, press the base of your index fingers and thumbs towards the floor.

Video Demonstration: Click here

2. Upward Dog

This yoga pose helps to strengthen your upper body, particularly your arms and core.

How to do it: Get yourself into the Downward Dog position. Move into a planking position. Lower halfway into a low push-up position. Roll over your toes and move your chest upward into a backbend.

Video Demonstration: Click here

3. Seated Pigeon

This is a useful yoga pose to stretch your hamstrings and iliotibial band.

How to do it: Get yourself into a sitting position on the floor. Cross your right leg over your left leg while keeping your left foot lying down flat behind your body. Gradually stretch your arms towards the front of your body with palms ending at a pressed position on the floor. Repeat this exercise with the left leg crossing over your right leg this time round.

Video Demonstration: Click here

4. Figure Four

This yoga pose allows you to stretch your outer hips and inner thighs.

How to do it: Lie down on the yoga mat. Point your left thigh upwards and let your calf bend naturally at the knee. Move your right knee onto your left ankle. Next, interlace your fingers and move them behind your right thigh, followed by pulling this thigh towards the chest. Repeat this exercise with your right thigh pointed upwards.

Video Demonstration: Click here

5. Standing Forward Fold

This yoga pose allows you to stretch your hamstrings and straighten your spine.

How to do it: Move your hands to your hips as you move your feet hip-width apart. Bend forward. Keep your legs as straight as possible. Once you find stability, place your hands on your shins and gradually press it down to the floor. Let your head hang freely while keeping your spine straight.

Video Demonstration: Click here

6. Crescent Lunge

The main benefit of the Crescent Lunge is to stretch your calves and hamstrings.

How to do it: Step forward with your left leg and bend your left knee into a lunge. Lower your right leg into a low lunge. Release your right knee down as low as you can towards the floor. Upon stabilising yourself, stretch your arms upwards. Repeat this exercise on the other side by stepping forward with your right leg.

Video Demonstration: Click here

7. Seated Forward Fold

This yoga pose gives your calves and hamstrings a good stretch.

How to do it: Get yourself into a seated position. With your palms on the floor beside your waist, roll your fingers forward as you bend at the waist and reach as far you can with a straight back. If you can't touch your toes, bend your knees slightly or put your hands on your calves.

Video Demonstration: Click here

8. Reclining Cow Face

This yoga pose improves the flexibility of your hips while loosening your hamstrings and glutes.

How to do it: Lie flat on your back. Cross right knee over your left knee with both feet facing sideways. Grab and hold each knee with the opposite hand to stretch. To get a better stretch, pull your shins or heels towards your body. Repeat this exercise with your left knee crossed over the right.

Video Demonstration: Click here

9. Full Boat

This yoga pose strengthens your thighs, abs and lower back.

How to do it: Start in a seated position. Bend your knees, placing your tiptoes on the floor. While doing so, you may bring your fingertips to the ground behind you for support. Lean back on your fingertips and lift your legs until your shins are parallel to the floor. Keeping your knees bent, draw your thighs towards your chest and your chest towards your thighs. Squeeze your inner legs together. Upon reaching stability, extend your arms forward until they are parallel to the floor. Straighten your legs so that your entire body forms a V shape.

Video Demonstration: Click here      

10. Legs Up the Wall

This pose is best used at the end of the session to stretch your hamstrings and lower-back as well as recirculate accumulated blood in the lower-body.  

How to do it: Get yourself into a sitting position facing a wall. Lie on your back. Move your legs straight upwards and make sure that your bottom stays close to the wall. Rest your heels on the wall and hold your position.

Video Demonstration: Click here

By adding a well-rounded yoga routine after any run, you can loosen tight muscles, increase running performance and reduce your chances of getting injured.


Running and yoga are great complements to each other. By adding a yoga routine into your stretching session at the end of each workout, you will not only loosen up your body and feel better, but also eliminate soreness and muscle tightness. Talk about killing four birds with one stone!


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LIV3LY Editor
LIV3LY Editor

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