Yoga for Runners: 7 Beneficial Yoga Poses

yoga poses

Yoga is a great way to manage stress, anxiety and restore one’s energy. Runners can benefit from yoga poses to reduce pain and improve their overall athletic performance. It’s no wonder more athletes are hitting the mats for a downward dog. Yoga can also help runners recover from runs much faster, such as marathons and short races. You can easily add yoga to your pre-run routine by doing these seven yoga poses for runners.

The Downward Dog

Perhaps the most well-known of all yoga poses is the downward dog. The downward dog can improve leg cramps and flexibility by stretching your muscles. You can master this pose by following these four steps.


  • First, start on your hands and knees, then stretch your elbows forward and relax your upper back.
  • Press your palms firmly to the ground and make sure your fingers are spread out.
  • On an exhale, bring your knees off the floor and raise your tailbone, keeping your arms straight.
  • Push the floor away from you as you ease into your pelvis. Hold and release.
The Pigeon Pose

Like most yoga poses, the pigeon pose will increase your flexibility and keep your joints from injury. It’s also a great stretch for your back, hips and knees.


  • Begin on your mat on all fours (hands and knees).
  • Twist your left calf so the sole of your left foot is resting on your right groin.
  • Straighten your right leg and rest on your palms. Alternatively, you can sit all the way down.
  • Take several deep breaths as you hold this pose.
  • Follow the same steps on your right leg.
The Psoas Yoga Pose

The psoas is a long muscle that runs down your inner abdomen and is the strongest of your hip flexors muscles. The psoas stretch will relieve tension in your hips and back.


  • Get into the downward dog position.
  • Bend your right knees and position it on the yoga mat.
  • Bend your left leg to a 90 degree angle and place both of your hands on your thighs.
  • Push into the pose so you feel your psoas open up. Then repeat on the other side.
The Tree Pose

For a great stretch in your thighs, torso and shoulders while also improving your balance, do the tree pose. This yoga pose is ideal for runners, because it strengthens the ankles and calves.


  • In a standing position, lift your left leg so your foot rests just above the right knee and extend your arms above your head. Make sure your fingers are spread out.
  • Lower your hands to your chest and repeat these steps on the other leg.
The Hero Pose

One thing runners get more frequently than shin splints are tired legs. You can improve circulation and relieve tired legs by doing the hero pose. And all you have to do is follow one simple step.


  • Sit on your ankles with your legs folded underneath you. Your heels should be alongside your hips. Hold this pose while taking deep breaths.
The Low Side Lunge

This pose will help relieve those pesky side cramps you get while running. Just follow these steps before each run.


  • Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Place your hands clasped in front of your chest.
  • Shift your weight to your left leg and push your hips back, bending your knee. Hold and repeat.
  • Do these steps on both sides.
The Triangle Pose

Here’s a stretch for your obliques and to help strengthen your legs.


  • Stand straight and extend your right leg on one side so it goes slightly past your hip width.
  • Raise your right arm to your right foot and grab your big toe. Raise your left arm into the air.
  • Repeat on the other side.

About Ria Rankine

I'm a vegan who enjoys natural skincare products and enjoying a healthy lifestyle.

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