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6 Yoga Poses for Runners

pigeon pose

5. Pigeon Pose

Come to all fours, then swing your right leg forward, between your hands. Rest the right knee onto the floor, and pull your right foot forward as far as is comfortable. Slide your left leg back, straightening it, until your groin is as close to the floor as you can manage. Rest your right hand on your right knee and your  left hand on your left foot. Check to make sure that your back leg is straight, and relax into the pose. Hold this posture for 10 deep breaths, then come out of the pose by flexing your left heel and swinging it around to the front. Repeat on the other side.

6. Shoulder Stand

Lie on your back with your arms by your sides. Take a deep breath, and on your next exhale lift your legs and lower back off of the floor, so that you’re balancing on your shoulder blades and upper back. You can use your hands to support your back in this posture as you keep your legs straight and breathe, feeling the tension drain from your feet, ankles, and legs. To come out of this posture, gently roll your spine down one vertebra at a time, then slowly lower your legs.

No yoga practice would be complete without a meditation at the end, so stay in this reclined position for a few minutes and clear your head. Focus on how your run and your stretching made your body feel and relax. Breathe deeply and let your body process all of the benefit from your practice.


Do you have any stretches or yoga poses that have benefited your running routine? Let’s share more ideas in the comments!

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by lululemon athletica

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Becky Striepe

Becky Striepe is a freelance writer and vegan crafter living in Atlanta, Georgia. Her life’s mission is to make green crafting and vegan food accessible to everyone! Like this article? You can follow Becky on Twitter or find her on Facebook!


+ add your own
3:38PM PDT on Jun 7, 2013

Great tips.
Thanks Becky.

10:34PM PDT on May 31, 2012

yeah, don't forget to stretch runners.

10:25PM PDT on Jul 12, 2011

great article!

11:54AM PDT on Jun 30, 2011

thank you

7:23AM PDT on Jun 30, 2011

I looooove the Wide Legged Forward Bend and the Spinal Twist poses. They do wonders for the back.

5:10AM PDT on Jun 30, 2011

Good information, thanks. I would add regarding shoulderstand that more information is vital, no weight on the neck should be emphasized, and 1/2 shoulderstand is very effect, OR, just legs up the wall would probably be the safest for those who are new to yoga.

7:52PM PDT on Jun 29, 2011

Good article. Forward bends whether standing or seated are beneficial as is any pose that opens up the hamstrings. These get tight from running. Quad stretches are good to balance as well, such as virasana or pigeon pose (eka pada rajakapotasana) variation are good ones. I believe yoga of any sort is beneficial for runners and cyclists.

3:43PM PDT on Jun 29, 2011

darn, i needed yoga for walkers...

12:31PM PDT on Jun 29, 2011

Thanks a ton!

12:19PM PDT on Jun 29, 2011

Cool. Thanks. I use most of these but a couple are new. Thanks.

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