Essential Yoga Poses for Runners

The Boston Marathon is approaching and my rock star friends who will be running the course are feeling the excitement along with some pain.  Clicking knees, sore bums, tight hamstrings…running can be hard on the body.  ENTER YOGA!  Running + yoga is a marriage arranged by the heavens.  Running is a such a great ingredient in life but without the balance (yogis are all about balance) of yoga it can lead to some unfortunate side effects.

As a great cardio workout, running improves heart health, tones & strengthens leg muscles, and reduces stress.  It also tightens and shortens muscles and long-term running can result in injuries, like shin splints, plantar fasciitis, and joint pain.  For running devotees, yoga can be the yin to running’s yang.


1.  Lengthens and loosens those muscles reducing the chance of injury and providing an overall healthier body.

2.  Enhances structural alignment to encourage a proper gait.  A strong focus on alignment in asana brings a mindfulness and awareness to one’s body.

3.  Improves endurance.  As we know, yoga is more than just stretching. Pranayama breathing techniques train our respiratory system to work deeper, slower and more effectively,  We take in more oxygen while at the same time calming our nervous system which is especially useful on intense endurance runs.

Whether you are running a marathon or just a few miles a week, incorporate yoga to balance out the effects of running.

Enhance your running, improve your stamina and reduce chance of injury with the following 5 poses:

Include Savasana.  A run fires up our sympathetic nervous system sending adrenaline throughout the body.  Balance out that stimulation with the previous poses and a calming savasana, which engages the parasympathic NS to store that positive energy, reduce blood pressure, and nourish organs.