Yoga Poses for Running

Yoga Poses for Running

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Yoga helps runners lengthen leg and hip muscles.

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Running provides a healthy workout for your heart and muscles, but the impact on your feet with each stride can cause pain in your back, knees, feet or hips. Yoga postures can bring your body back in alignment and stretch tight muscles to reduce the risk of injuries and pain. Balance runs with regular yoga workouts to enhance your performance.

Leg Stretches

Many yoga poses target the thighs, calves, hamstrings and hip flexor muscles, working to strengthen and stretch coordinating muscles simultaneously. Lunges will stretch the hip flexors while keeping the thighs and calves strong. Flowing through a series of poses like Warrior I, II and III specifically targets your leg muscles while opening your chest and allowing you to practice your balance. Forward Bend and Wide-Angle Forward Bend poses release all of the muscles on the back of your legs. Keep the muscles supporting your knees strong by practicing Chair pose.


When your hips are tight and out of line, your body compensates by pulling more on muscles attached to the knee. Keep your hip muscles supple and long with yoga poses like Bharadvaja's Twist, Bound Angle pose and Fire Log Pose. Cow Face pose opens the hips while stretching the shoulders and opening the chest. Happy Baby pose gently opens the hips and inner thigh muscles while providing a relaxing way to unwind after a vigorous run.


Strengthening and stretching your core muscles allows you to maintain good posture and body alignment while running. According to, a strong core helps you move more efficiently as you run. Yoga poses that support the core include Plank and Reverse Plank, Boat and Four-Limbed Staff pose. Postures that stretch your abdominal muscles include Cobra, Upward Dog, Bow and Camel Pose.

Mental Focus

Whether you're accustomed to 3-mile jogs or daily 12-mile runs for your next marathon, every runner hits a wall of despair at some point where the mind is telling the body to stop. According to the Runner's World website, yoga poses can help runners practice and improve mental focus and the ability to visualize during a run. Breathing and focusing poses encourage body awareness and the ability to still the mind while the body keeps moving. Implement deep breathing and stilling the mind into any poses you practice. Balance poses like Tree, Crane or Extended Hand-to-Big-Toe pose allow you to further improve your mental focus.

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