Fitness Articles

13 Yoga Poses for Runners

A Runner's Guide to Yoga

Page 3 of 5

Standing Wide-Legged Forward Fold (Prasarita Padottanasana)
This pose opens the hips and stretches the hamstrings.

Turn to the right and step your feet about a leg's length apart. Turn your heels slightly out and your toes slightly in. (Imagine you're slightly pigeon-toed.) Inhale and stand tall and stretch your arms out to a T (not pictured). Exhale and fold forward, taking your hands to the floor or a yoga block. Allow your head to hang down, straightening your spine. Gaze past the end of your nose. After five breaths, inhale as you roll up slowly, engaging your abs and pressing in to your feet to help you rise. Exhale and step your feet together. TIP: Keep your knees slightly bent if your hamstrings are tight. If you straighten your legs, take care not to lock your knees. For a deeper stretch, engage the quadriceps by lifting up on your kneecap.

Standing Forward Fold with "Ragdoll" Arms (Uttanasana)
Stretch the hamstrings and straighten the spine with this pose.

Inhale and take your hands to your hips as you step your feet hips' width apart. Exhale and fold forward. If you can straighten your legs in this pose, grasp each elbow with the opposite hand. If you can't straighten your legs or if you need more support, place your hands on a yoga block or a chair (not pictured). Allow your head to hang down limply like a ragdoll, straightening your spine. Gaze past the end of your nose. TIP: Keep your knees slightly bent if your hamstrings are tight. If you straighten your legs, take care not to lock your knees. For a deeper stretch, engage the quadriceps by lifting up on your kneecap.

Pyramid Pose (Parsvottanasana)
Pyramid pose stretches and strengthens the legs, particularly the hamstrings.

Step your left foot back about 3 feet. Your left toes will pivot in at a 45 degree angle. Your right foot faces forward. Inhale and stand tall and lean out over the front foot. Drop your hands to your shin, a yoga block (pictured) or on either side of your front foot. Drop your forehead so it's facing your leg. With every inhale, feel your spine growing longer (imagine the crown of your head reaching to the floor); with every exhale, allow the body to sink lower (the forehead is getting closer to the front leg). To come up, inhale and roll up slowly, pressing into your front foot for support. Repeat on the other side for five breaths. TIP: For a deeper stretch, interlace the fingers behind your back and roll the shoulders back and down before leaning forward.
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About The Author

Stepfanie Romine Stepfanie Romine
A former newspaper reporter, Stepfanie now writes about nutrition, health, fitness and cooking. She is a certified Ashtanga yoga teacher who enjoys running, international travel and all kinds of vegetables. See all of Stepfanie's articles.

Member Comments

  • It took me a long time to learn that yoga is great. Now I practice every day in addition to my runs, they go well together. My morning yoga preps my muscles for an intense run. I don't feel sore or out of breath, or have any issues with my feet or knees any more. - 1/2/2016 9:51:43 AM
  • I love the cow face post and have used it to sit for long periods on floors. But sadly it does not seem to do anything to my IT band. It's still agony to roll it out on a foam roller. - 5/7/2014 7:43:59 AM
  • Very interesting; thank you. - 1/13/2014 5:40:36 AM
  • I love doing the Figure 4 & Pyramid poses, really good stretches! - 12/17/2013 8:14:10 PM
  • I can't do Virasana and I don't know why....hurts my knees and my knees just don't bend into the position...even with a block. - 12/16/2013 10:17:18 AM
  • Oh my gosh! I am so grateful that this article popped up on my feed. I'm so bad about stretching and part of it is because I don't know what to do. Every one of the pictures made me go, "Ooo, yes," like I could feel the stretch. Definitely adding this to the favorites and doing it tomorrow after my run. Thank you! - 10/27/2013 2:10:33 AM
  • Great article--very helpful.

    I understand why these articles are always prefaced by a warning to check with your doctor first, but it makes me laugh. Most doctors are painfully clueless about nutrition or exercise because they are taught to dispense pharmaceuticals instead. You can check with your doctor, but trust me, you probably know a lot more than they do. - 9/14/2013 2:32:42 PM
  • great stretches. Some i'm not sure i'm doing correctly. Would make a good post run video as i can't remember the sequence. - 8/10/2013 10:36:04 AM
  • I love this article! So many poses for that feel good stretch! - 7/25/2013 1:35:31 PM
  • Thank you for the idea on putting into my desktop favorites! I just got diagnosed with tendonitis in my left achilles and this routine is perfect and I can do some in my office.

    - 7/10/2013 12:38:10 PM
  • Thank you for including the sanskrit names! - 7/10/2013 10:33:21 AM
  • this article is PERFECT - im a runner just starting to get into yoga. i already do a few of these stretches, i look forward to incorporating the rest! - 7/9/2013 12:48:10 PM
  • Go to the left and you should see the line on the side with a few things on thete that tell you how to save it. It has a save you button and you press the button and it saved. Good luck - 6/28/2013 4:31:33 PM
    Skippercharlie, thanks for the tip. I was able to save this article in my IPAD . All I did was minimize the screen, and voila! I saw the Heart icon on the left side of the screen . It was easy. This article is now in my favorites and I can go back to it anytime. - 4/24/2013 12:39:47 PM
  • Thanks for the help finding the save icon. It was not apparent to me at all. From a content point of view, this article is perfect for most yogis. Runners might need a little more instruction. - 2/4/2013 10:28:35 AM

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