10 Must Do Yoga Poses for Runners


Triangle Pose
Yoga_TrianglePose

Instructions: Stand with feet wide apart. Turn left toes in slightly and roll right thigh open to turn your right foot out 90 degrees. Align your feet on mat so that heel of your right front foot is in line with arch of your left foot. Press down into feet and pull up on your thighs. Inhale and stretch arms out to your sides at shoulder height. As you exhale, shift hips toward your left heel and simultaneously stretch torso forward toward your right foot. Place your right hand on your shin, ankle, or a stable support (like a yoga block or the seat of a chair). Take five breaths. Then press down into your feet and lift up with your thighs to come to standing. Turn your feet in to parallel. Repeat on left side.

Benefits: Triangle Pose stretches the hamstrings and inner thighs. It allows you to open and expand laterally (to the side), which is a great release for runners who move solely in the sagittal (vertical) plane.

Sugarcane in the Half Moonlight
Sugarcane in the Half Moonlight

Instructions: Start standing with feet together near a table or chair placed to your right. Bend your left knee and hold onto your foot with your left hand, or a belt. Lift muscles of your standing leg and contract muscles of your standing hip to support yourself. Fold forward from your hips, resting your right forearm on table or chair. Look toward right kneecap, which should be facing forward, aligned with your standing foot. Maintaining that alignment, open your left hip, lifting your left knee out to left side. For balance, you may lower your right hand to chair seat, yoga block, or floor depending on your flexibility. Hold for five breaths. Carefully release your left foot and lower it to floor, then place your hands on your hips and come up to standing. Repeat on other side.

Benefits: This pose packs a one-two punch — it opens up the standing hamstring and the opposite leg’s hip flexors and quadriceps. Take as much support as you need so that you can breathe normally without any strain.