Yoga For Runners

Find out how yoga can improve your running journey with 5 simple yoga poses!

Running Alongside Yoga by Shao Jie Ang (Freedom Yoga)

Looking to break your running PB? Here’s a hot tip for you – turn to yoga! Find out how yoga can be a tremendous counterbalance to your running journey, with 5 recommended yoga poses to achieve this. As told by yoga instructor at Freedom Yoga, Shao Jie!

a brief introduction

Hello, my name is Shao Jie, and I am currently a yoga instructor at Freedom Yoga. Running is a big part of my life. I started off as a sprinter in my school days, lacing up my track spikes to go as fast as possible. Running has now become a habit for me and I make time to pound the pavement or trails no matter how busy I am.

My yoga journey started out as an avenue to counterbalance my running. The intention was to help bring balance back into my body after all the impact and use. It has since evolved into something that has gifted me a better understanding of my body, of movement and mobility, which has, in turn, improved my running journey tremendously.

Whether you are a casual weekend runner or a high mileage enthusiast, these are 5 yoga poses that I’d recommend:

Pose #1: Half Split 

This pose stretches out your hamstrings, keeping them supple and flexible to support your “kick back” during runs. 

1. Start in a high kneeling position, then straight out the left leg
2. Place your palms on either side of your body to support you
3. Lean forward and crawl your fingers forward to deepen the stretch
4. Repeat on other side

Point to note:
Keep your back straight - use blocks for support if necessary

Running Alongside Yoga by Shao Jie Ang (Freedom Yoga)

pose #2: lizard

This pose helps to open your hip area, keeping your hip joints healthy to support the lifting and lowering of your knee when you run. 

1. Start in a high kneeling position, then place both palms on the inside of your left foot
2. Wiggle your left foot outside the left palm, keep the palms shoulder-width distance apart
3. Wiggle your right foot further back to deepen the stretch in the back hip 
4. To deepen - come down onto your forearms

Point to note:
Keep your spine straight as much as possible

Running Alongside Yoga by Shao Jie Ang (Freedom Yoga)

POse #3: twisted monkey

This pose helps stretch your quads, keeping them flexible to support the “push off” of your legs when you run.

1. Start in a high kneeling position, then place your right palm on the mat in line with your left foot
2. Lift the right foot off the mat and reach your left hand back to grab the ankle. Alternatively, use a yoga strap to loop around your ankle to help you catch your foot.
3. Pull the right heel to your backside and twist to the left
4. Repeat on the other side 

Point to note:
If your heel does not touch your backside, shift your hips further back

Running Alongside Yoga by Shao Jie Ang (Freedom Yoga)

pose #4: pigeon forward fold

This pose helps stretch your glutes, releasing the tension that builds up in them with every step you take.

1. Place the left shin on the front of the mat with the knees flexed, straighten out the right leg
2. Slowly lower your body forward

Point to note:
Keep your hips level. Place a block underneath your left hip if it is too far from the ground.

Running Alongside Yoga by Shao Jie Ang (Freedom Yoga)

pose #5: Seated Forward Fold 

This pose helps stretch your lower back muscles, releasing the tension that builds up in them from the impact of running.

1. Start in a seated position with both legs extended straight in front
2. Bend both knees slightly and wrap your arms underneath the knees to hug yourself. Alternatively, loop a yoga strap around the soles of your feet.
3. Curl the spine up and tuck your chin into your chest
4. Straighten your knees to deepen

Point to note:
Maintain the curling of your spine in this pose

Running Alongside Yoga by Shao Jie Ang (Freedom Yoga)

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Running Alongside Yoga by Shao Jie Ang (Freedom Yoga)

shao jie ang

yoga instructor, freedom yoga

Yoga has since evolved into something that not only strengthens my body, but supports all the other physical activities I engage in!