Yoga for Runners

by Jenny on May 21, 2011

While I’m running around like a crazy woman this weekend, Meaghan from  ChooseYourJourney has put together a great guest post for you all on yoga for runners! 

When Meaghan told me what topic she was going to be writing on for her post, I was super excited and couldn’t wait to read it myself!  Any runners out there know just how important yoga is for stretching out our muscles and having this little “cheat post” is a perfect guide for poses that are beneficial for us!

So after you read up here, head over to  ChooseYourJourney and check out one of my favorite blogs to follow :)

And a big THANK YOU to Meaghan for taking the time to put this together!!


Hey there Love Eat Run readers! I’m pumped to have the chance to rock out a guest post for Ms. Jenny. I’m Meaghan from ChooseYourJourney.  I’m a yogini, runner, and lawyer living inBaltimore.  I’ve been a distance runner for several years and I’m currently undergoing a 200 hour yoga teacher training.  

I have the typical distance runner’s problem, when I start training for races, I tend to neglect all other forms of exercise, including my yoga practice.  It’s really quite silly of me, because when I supplement my training with yoga, my running tends to be stronger and free from pain.  Since all runners imagine a world in which they are both strong and pain free, I’m here to share some of my favorite yoga poses for runners.

If you’re looking at these pictures and thinking I don’t look like I’ll be posing for Yoga Journal any time soon, you’re right.  I am an inflexible runner and my quads, hamstrings, and hips are tightightight! I can’t get into a lot of poses fully or prettily, but how you look in the pose doesn’t matter.  It just matters that you are in the pose at all, ya dig?

Forward fold.

This pose lengthens and strengthens the hamstrings. It also opens up the back.  If you want a deeper stretch, you can take the toes or wrap your hands around the ankles, but it feels pretty good just to grab your elbows and hang. Rocking side to side feels like heaven.


Annoying dog in your face is optional.

Runners tend to forget about everything other than taking care of their legs.  This pose strengthens the whole body, especially the core and the arms, which are essential when you start feeling fatigued at the end of a long race.

Downward facing dog.

This pose stretches almost every muscle group in the body.  Runners will really feel it in the hamstrings, calves, and shoulders.

Warrior 1.

Warrior poses strengthen the legs, which are sort of essential to running.

Tree pose.

Wheee! Doesn’t tree pose just look FUN?

This posture helps with balance, strengthens the hips, and alleviates knee pain.

Separate leg intense stretch.

Separate leg intense stretch strengthens the whole leg and stretches the hammies.  This variation is my favorite because it really releases the shoulders, but you could also release the hands below the shoulders for a gentler stretch or grab the toes for a more intense one.

Head to Knee Posture

This pose feels amazing on stiff legs.  Make sure you do both sides.

Bound Angle.

Bound Angle opens up those tight hips.


Pigeon is also an amazing hip opener.


Sitting between your legs hurts so good.

This gives a great stretch to the quads and my arch nemesis, the IT band. You can also lay back into Reclined Hero, but just be really gentle with your low back and don’t go to the point of pain.

Legs up the wall.

Whoopsies, forgot to take a pic of this one. It’s self explanatory though. Lay as close as possible to a wall with your legs straight up against it. This feels like bliss-and-a-half after a couple of hours on your feet for a long run.

Well, there you have it; my favorite yoga poses for runners.

Happy running and namaste!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Meaghan May 23, 2011 at 10:02 am

Happy to do it! Looks like you had a fab weekend!


2 Jenny May 23, 2011 at 10:56 am

definitely a lot of fun – but I’m paying for it today! Sooo sleepy! haha


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