How does yoga help with running? We tell you exactly why practicing asanas after running is so beneficial and the best poses to incorporate into your cool-down routine.
You might be curious about how does yoga help with running, but yoga is a perfect complementary practice. As well as helping develop the muscle strength needed to help us hit our running goals, it promotes flexibility and balance, thereby reducing the risk of injury. And as if that wasn’t enough, yoga focuses on breathing techniques and mental focus, which means we’re less likely to get out of breath when pounding the pavement.
Below you’ll find the ten best asanas to support running and discover why they’re so beneficial! Practicing these asanas after a run or during a rest day is recommended to help ease soreness and tension in the muscles and restore fluid movement.
1. Reclining Cow Face
Great for loosening tight glutes and hamstrings and improving the range of motion in the hips, the Reclining Cow Face pose is a great addition to your post-run cool-down session.
This asana is also effective for improving flexibility and restoring energy after a particularly strenuous session! Some yogis also believe that Reclining Cow Face aids digestion and circulation.
2. Warrior III
This asana is a great example of how running and yoga make perfect partners. This pose helps develop strength in the spine, core, torso, and legs while also helping with balance and concentration. Warrior III is a holistic asana that may improve every aspect of your running endeavors.
3. Eagle Arms
Use this pose to stretch out the shoulders, which can sometimes get overlooked when it comes to running cool-down routines. It also strengthens the core and promotes focusing on the breath and postural awareness, as well as helping boost balance and concentration.
Relax and stretch those hard-working inner thighs, psoas, and lower back, which may feel tense and tight after a run, with this peaceful pose. It can also help improve the overall range of motion, has a soothing effect, both mentally and physically, and offers a gentle infusion of energy to the practitioner.
5. Bent Standing Split
Regular runners may well find that they experience frequent tightness in the hamstrings, quads, and hips. For those wondering how does yoga help with running, the Bent Standing Split pretty much sums it up. It’s a great stretching asana to relieve that tightness, increase coordination and balance and strengthen the knees, thighs, and ankles, thereby decreasing the risk of injuries to these areas.
Widely regarded by yogis as the keystone of all standing poses, the Mountain promotes both inner and outer stability and is an important resting – yet intentional – asana that can help us reconnect with our bodies and physical sensations. After a run, the Mountain pose is useful for tuning into how our muscles feel and identifying areas that could benefit from a little TLC!
If you’d like to create a sequence of asanas for your post-run cool-down session, then transitioning from Mountain to Crescent works really well. The Crescent is a dynamic standing pose that increases strength in your lower body. It’s also a helpful pose to boost balance and stability.
8. Tree Pose
This pose is perfect for promoting better balance and also building up the abdominal muscles: it’s not just leg strength that’s vital for running, after all! Tree pose is great for stretching out thighs and shoulders, too. As a way to build up the tendons and ligaments in the feet, it’s also ideal and effectively tones the entire standing leg.
The Tree Pose is a well-known asana for supporting self-esteem and confidence, so if you find yourself not feeling up to the challenge of meeting your running goals, it’s a great pose to bring into play. Learn more in our yoga vs. running guide.
9. Reverse Child Pose
A wonderful, nurturing pose, Reverse Child is a good post-run stretch asana that also releases tension in the quads and hip flexors and relaxes the entire body. Its restorative, peaceful vibes make Child Pose and its variants popular with yogis of all levels and abilities.
10. Legs Up The Wall
Another great stretch for those tired hamstrings and glutes, and one of my personal favorites, Legs up the Wall, can also relieve tension in the legs, feet, and back. This asana can also relieve strain felt in the lower back and help with any strain or discomfort experienced in the feet or ankles following a run. If you liked this post, you might be wondering are yoga pants good for running.