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Yoga for Runners: 10 Poses to Build Mental & Physical Endurance

Running is great for your body and mind. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the only physical activity you should engage in. There are some stellar reasons why you should consider incorporating yoga into your regimen.

Is Yoga Good for Runners?

is yoga good for runners

Credit: Coach Mag

Yoga is exceptional for runners. For starters, it makes for a great recovery exercise.

It relieves soreness and tension in your muscles, preparing you for another great run the next day. Over time, you’ll notice a greater range of motion and better posture, all of which help keep you on your feet in the long run.

10 Yoga Poses for Runners to Try

Don’t know where to start? Here are some basic poses to get started.

1. Runner’s Lunge

Benefits of the Runner’s Lunge Pose

The Runner’s Lunge pose helps strengthen your hips, glutes, and quads, all of which are needed to run at your best.

How to do the Runner’s Lunge Pose

You start in a plank position with your hands below your shoulders. You then move your right foot forward to where your right pinky finger should be located.


At that point, let your back and hips relax, sinking to the ground. Hold that stance for 30 seconds and then do it with your left leg.

2. Downward Dog

Benefits of Downward Dog

Downward dog improves your blood circulation while fine-tuning the muscles in your feet. It can also help straighten your vertebrae for better posture.


How to Do Downward Dog

To start, get on all fours. You’ll then lift your knees until your body is in the shape of a “V.”


Extend your spine, pressing through the balls of your feet and palms of your hands. Hold that position and gradually bring your knees back to the floor.

3. Bow Pose

Benefits of Bow Pose

The bow pose exercises all of the muscles you have in your back. As a result, it drastically reduces the chances of suffering from a lower back injury.

How to Do Bow Pose

Start on your stomach, and then grab your ankles from that position. At that point, you need to raise your hips and knees, which should, in turn, lift your chest.


Holds that position for 15 to 30 seconds before coming back down.

4. Pigeon Pose

Benefits of Pigeon Pose

The pigeon pose works out your hip flexors and lower back. They can become tight over time from prolonged sitting, so it boosts flexibility and mobility in the long run.

How to Do Pigeon Pose

Start on all fours. Raise your right leg off the ground, and bring your right knee to your right wrist. From there, rotate your right shin so that you’re parallel with the floor. 


Bring your right knee outward so that it’s further out than your hips. Gently lower your right buttocks toward the ground while simultaneously keeping your weight evenly distributed on both hips. 


Take a deep breath as you lower your chest onto your right leg. Move out of the position as you got into it after holding for 30 seconds. 



5. Reclining Cow Face

Benefits of Reclining Cow Face

The reclining cow face pose is highly recommended to those who suffer from chronic back pain.

How to Do Reclining Cow Face

Start by lying on your back with your knees bent on the soles of your feet on the floore. Rotate your inner left thigh inward, and then rotate your right thigh inward to where it’s positioned over the left thigh. 


Bring both knees toward your chest while continually rotating your inner thighs toward one another. You should feel some burn inside of your right buttocks. 


Draw  your knees closer with your hands behind your knees, provided you’re still comfortable. You can alternate the positioning of your legs after holding for 90 seconds.

6. Reclining Spinal Twist

Benefits of Reclining Spinal Twist

The reclining spinal twist stretches your back muscles, glutes, and hips. It relaxes the spine and strengths the abs, giving you a stronger core in the process.

How to Do Reclining Spinal Twist

While lying with your back on the ground, bring your right knee to your chest. With your hand on  your knee, bring your right foot to the ground and twist toward your left side until your knee is on the ground. Hold there and then alternate knees. 

7. Reverse Warrior

Benefits of Reverse Warrior

Reverse warrior is great for promoting better circulation, allowing you to feel calmer and more at ease.

How to Do Reverse Warrior

You should begin in the downward dog pose. From there, move your right leg into the air before bringing it toward your chest. This will allow you to place your feet next to your right hand. 


You straighten out your back and move into a standing position with your feet just where they were. You then want to move your right hand toward the sky while your left hand touches the back of your left knee. Hold there and switch legs.

8. Legs Up the Wall

Benefits of Legs Up the Wall

This is a passive pose that forces you to relax. It’s great after a long run when you just want to unwind.

How to Do Legs Up the Wall

Sit with your right side against a wall. Your knees should be bent and your feet should be drawn toward your hips. From there, swing your legs against the wall as you turn to lie on your back.


Move your hips against the wall and place your arms any way they’re comfortable. You can stay in this position for as long as you want before releasing and changing sides.

9. Low Lunge

Benefits of Low Lunge

The low lunge poses releases tension in your hips while simultaneously strengthening your knees.

How to Do the Low Lunge

From the downward dog position, lift your right foot into the sky. Bring it toward your chest and place your foot next to your right hand.


From there, bring your torso upward so that it’s perpendicular with the floor. Hold that position where your leg is lunged forward and then switch to the other leg.

10. Toes Pose

Benefits of Toes Pose

Not many yoga poses focus on the ankles. This is the exception.

How to Do the Toes Pose

This pose effectively requires you to sit on your ankles with your toes curled inward. If they feel fiery initially, you should try performing it on a blanket.

References:

Jasien JV, et al. (2015) “Intraocular pressure rise in subjects with and without glaucoma during four common yoga positions.” ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4689525/


Davidson, Katey MScFN, RD, CPT. “Pigeon Pose: A How-To Guide.” Healthline, 4 Mar. 2021. https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness/pigeon-pose#bottom-line