Yoga for Runners

Yoga for Runners: a Fresh Approach to a Better Running Experience

​Yoga for runners isn’t a new concept to the fitness world, but maybe it is to you. If you’re a runner, you need to keep reading to see how yoga could give you a better running experience.

The Benefits

​The benefits of fitness, in general, are endless. But here’s the benefits you can expect when you incorporate yoga into your routine:

  • Loosen up tight spots
  • Strengthen weak spots
  • Reduce your risk of injury
  • Improve the quality of your run

​Rebecca Pacheco is a contributor for Runner’s World​, and the yoga instructor in the fitness DVD, Runner’s World Yoga for Runners​​. Having started running at 14, and yoga at 16, Rebecca doesn’t know one without the other.

If you’re a fan of Amazon, here’s another option, which happens to be a better price point too: Gaiam Athletic Yoga: Yoga for Runners​​.

How it Helps

​Here are some yoga poses, and how they will help with your runners physique, and hopefully make your running more enjoyable!

  • Downward Dog: Stretches hammies, calves, and foot arches, while strengthening shoulders
  • Low Lunge: Stretches hip flexors, while strengthening hammies and quads
  • Toes Pose: Helps to prevent plantar fasciitis by stretching the shins and arches of the feet (This pose is new to me, but not those pains!​​​)
  • Reclining Hand to Big Toe: Stretches hammies
  • Reclining Pigeon: Releases tightness and tension in the hips
  • Reclining Cow Face: Improves range of motion in the hips, loosens tight glutes and hammies.​
  • Reclining Spinal Twist: Relaxes the lower back while stretching the glutes​
  • Legs Up The Wall: Relieves tension in the legs, feet, and back, while stretching the hammies and glutes

Where to Find these Poses

For instructions on these poses, and more info about Rebecca Pacheco’s Yoga for Runners DVD, check out this blog post​.

Here’s another helpful list: 10 Yoga Poses for Runners​, published by Self. It’s a nice, concise list of poses with pictures and descriptions on how to complete the poses.

As with any fitness program, check with your doctor if you’re just getting started. And most important, listen to your body! If it hurts, don’t do it! Try adjusting the pose until it feels good. A good stretch should make you notice tight muscles, but your joints shouldn’t hurt, so if they do, don’t force it. Just move on to the next pose!