Health and Fitness

Top 10 Best Yoga Poses For The Marathon Runners

Marathon runners, on occasions, have to struggle to understand the value in things other than running for exercise. But in case you are weekend warriors pushing their body through long runs, as well as race training should make yoga an essential part of their weekly routine. But it does not imply that they have to stretch out in a yoga studio, instead, they have to adopt some of the simple yoga poses as a part of re-running ritual. It helps them in enhancing their flexibility as well as strength over time and also helps in preventing injury.

Regular practicing of yoga can decrease the risk of some of the common running injuries like plantar fascia and Achilles tendonitis. Not only that but also it allows for more effective running with minimal effort, enhances flexibility in their hamstrings, calves, and quadriceps. Yoga also helps in opening the supple hips to reduce the strain in knees and injuries.

Here are a few essential yoga poses that are best for runners:

Pigeon pose:

The pigeon pose is one of the best hip-opening poses that help runners stretch their hips, back, and knees, enhance flexibility and prohibit injuries. Most of the daily runners start their everyday run and yoga practices with pigeon pose. Much best yoga schools in Rishikesh teach these yoga poses in the intermediate level of 200 hour yoga teacher training in Rishikesh

How to do it?

  • Get down on the mat in your hands and knees. From the all-fours position, turn your left calf so that your left foot will rest under the right groin. Lower down your body while straightening your right leg behind you.
  • Now you can sit up and tale support with your palms or lie down for a deep stretch.
  • Hold on to this pose and take five deep breaths.
  • Repeat this with bending of the right leg with your right foot giving support to the left groin.
  • Lower down to your comfort level, and then take five more breaths.

Downward Dog

If leg cramp is an issue with you, then the downward dog is one of the best stretching poses that increases your flexibility. This is one of the best poses for runners who often have tight and sore leg muscles. They most often tense up their back as well as neck.

How to do it?

  • Start doing this pose by using your hand and knees.
  • Keep your knees below your hips and your hands slightly in front of your shoulders.
  • Engage your core, put pressure on your knees away from the floor. At this time, your arms should remain straight, and your tailbone should be lifted.
  • Stretch your heels towards the floor for a deep stretch. You must keep your spine long as well as straight.
  • When your leg muscles open up and gain flexibility, your legs straighten, and your heel will start dropping.
  • Focus on straightening your spine and deep breathing.
  • Drop down your head and look to your belly. Now take five deep breaths while holding in this pose.

Psoas Stretch

A tight psoas muscle that runs along the inner abdomen is one of the primary causes of back pain, a common problem for runners. Psoas Stretch is a yoga pose that helps in relaxing your Psoas muscle.

How to do it?

From the down dog position, bend down your right knee and lower down to the mat. Bend down your left knee at ninety degrees and gradually place your hands on your left thigh. While resting the top portion of your right foot on a mat, lift your chest as well as head and then breathe deeply. Push your hips in the forward direction, and you will feel your psoas opening. Repeat the pose on the other side.

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Tree pose

It is a good pose for runners as it emphasizes balancing, strengthening, and also increasing flexibility. Tree pose is one of the best ways for connecting with the balls of your feet, strengthening your core, and enhancing your balance.

How to do it?

  • At first, stand straight and inhale while taking your belly back towards your spine.
  • Lift your chest and chin and concentrate on some fixed object placed a few feet in front of you.
  • Press your right foot towards your floor while lifting your left leg and resting your left foot either above or below the right knee.
  • Extend your arms and stretch high above your head with spreading your fingers like tree branches.
  • Low down your hands towards your chest.
  • Now take three deep breaths while holding down in this position.

Triangle pose

Runners who want to stretch their sides and strengthen their legs must try a triangle pose.

How to do it?

  • Stand in a straight position and extend up your right leg towards the side slightly more than hip-width.
  • Turn your right foot at a right angle to the left while inhaling and expand your right arm above the right foot.
  • Now start exhaling, gradually lower down your hand to a resting position on your calf or ankle, or else you can grab your big toe.
  • Now you can feel the left side stretch when you raise the left hand just above your body.
  • If you feel firm, move your head to look at your right hand to push back to a standing position.
  • Repeat everything on the other side while changing the directions.

Low side plunge pose

This pose is beneficial for those runners who are plagued by side cramps while running. This pose assists you in alleviating the issues and also helps in opening up your hips before and after running.

How to do it?

  • While in standing position, discrete your feet into a wide stance with toes facing forward.
  • Now keep your hands above the right knee, and while you exhale, bend down your right knee.
  • Keep the left leg straight. Your chest should remain lifted and open. Hold on in this position for about five breaths.
  • Repeat this on another side.

Hero pose

Hero pose or Virasana helps in stretching your hips, feet, ankles, and your knees. It assists in enhancing circulation and gives good relief to your tired legs. Not only has that but also strengthened your foot arches, thereby relieving flat feet. Overall, the Hero pose helps in enhancing posture.

How to do it?

  • Sit back on your ankles with your legs in a folding position under you and your hands on your knees.
  • Now keep your hands on the floor for supporting your weight and open up your feet slightly out towards the side so that your lower pelvis is placed directly on the mat.
  • Your legs should remain in a parallel position on your body on either side. Your knees should stay together and the top of your feet flat on the mat.
  • Engage your core, lift through the spine and then take five breaths.
  • If you feel a little awkward or uncomfortable, place anything like a yoga block or a towel under the pelvis to offer support.

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Forward fold

It is a simple stretching exercise but is one of the most beneficial yoga pose for the runner. This simple yoga pose can be performed either by free-standing or against a wall for some extra support.

How to do it?

  • Pivot at your hips from a standing position, fold forward and grab onto your elbows for a strong stretch. Through fluid breathing, sink a little on each exhalation while allowing the crown of your head to move towards the floor and keeping your head and neck relaxed.
  • Take ten deep breaths. You will get good results when you practice this yoga regularly and hold on to this pose for about 3 – 5 minutes.


If you want to be a happy and healthy free from injuries runner, the yoga mentioned above poses can help you achieve. It is because you require mind and body incorporation and a perfect balance of strength and body flexibility.

So, start by integrating all these yoga poses into your daily routine, and you can easily see that your balance, strength, and flexibility increase.


200 Hour Certified Yoga Teacher, Vinyasa flow & Yin.

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