With a variety of yoga classes and short lectures, you'll practice yoga to gain strength, flexibility, body and breath awareness, and a strong, positive mindset.
Add Yoga to Your Training Schedule to Become a Better Runner
Yoga for Runners features 14 short pre- and post-run yoga practices, four yoga practices under 30 minutes, and four practices between 40 and 53 minutes. There are also four specialty practices: one for beginners, one for the core, one for hip strength and stability, and one for rest and recovery.
The short lectures give you more instruction about how or why we do certain things in yoga, and how yoga can help make you a stronger runner. Supplemental materials include links to a variety of articles and studies, as well as ideas for how to schedule the yoga practices into your life whether you want to practice twice per week or nearly every day.
This course is ideal for runners who are curious about yoga and how it can help their running, but want to focus their practices to complement their running and according to the time they have available.
I'm so glad you're here! I believe yoga is most effective for us as runners (and as humans!) when it's well-rounded and diverse. I hope you'll find some useful tips and practices to help you run faster, stronger, and without injury.
If you have questions as you go along, you can reach me here, or send an email to email@example.com.
Join the Yoga for Runners Facebook Group for tips, experiences, pose benefits, injury prevention, and more: http://tinyurl.com/RunningYogis
If you're brand new to yoga, start with the Yoga 101 practice! In this short lecture, I give you a few pointers for how to approach your time on the yoga mat.
In this introductory yoga class, we move through several common poses, and I offer some explanation of how the classes are designed and why we do certain things. This is a great place to start, especially if you've never done yoga before. Put your yoga clothes on -- this is the first yoga practice in the program!
You can do yoga every day. Of course, if you're especially sore or tired, you'll want to do a gentler yoga practice. However, I understand that if you're running a lot, it might be hard to find the time!
In each class description, I list several of the poses we do to help you remember which practice is which!
The 5-15 minute pre- and post-run mini-yoga practices are great additions to your warm-ups and cool-downs, and they're a good way to start getting some yoga in your life even when you don't have time for longer practices.
The pre-run sessions are generally faster-paced and more energizing than the post-run practices, while the post-run practices include more poses for strength, deeper flexibility, and relaxation.
They are paired because they often include some of the same poses in both (perhaps with a longer hold or a deeper stretch) but you can mix and match as you like!
Remember to include a savasana at the end!
6 minutes, 30 seconds
Breathing arms up/down, moon, starfish, sun god/dess, wide leg forward fold with twist, sun salutation variation.
God/dess with eagle arms, wide leg forward fold with twist, low lunge, lizard, sphinx, sitting on toes, child's pose.
7 minutes, 25 seconds
Cat, superman/woman variation, plank to downward dog, triangle, warrior II, balancing on the toes.
Balancing on toes, forward fold, warrior II, triangle, sphinx, pigeon, seated wide leg forward fold.
Standing twist, pyramid with balancing on toes, high lunge breathing arms up and down, 3-leg downward dog to plank with knee under chest, cat.
Chair, pyramid, high lunge to deep low lunge, flying bird, camel, kneeling downward dog, butterfly, bridge, windshield wiper twist, wind-relieving.
Standing twist, high lunge to figure four, downward dog, high lunge twist, rag doll sway, chair variation.
Balancing on toes, high lunge, low lunge, lizard variation, side plank variation, bow, crocodile, child.
Standing back round/arch, high lunge to downward dog to twisted lunge, side plank.
Child's pose, triceps push-ups, downward dog, high lunge twist, low lunge variation, side plank, pigeon, boat.
4 minutes, 40 seconds
Warrior II, side angle, crescent, three-leg downward dog.
Forward fold, triangle, moon phase, mini dancer, pyramid, back extensions, cat, child's pose, rock the baby, lying twist.
Puppy, rocket cat, cobra, spinal balance, spinal balance on the toes, three-leg downward dog, knee to elbow plank, chair, forward fold.
Sun god/dess, triangle, revolved triangle, fan, low lunge.
Let's talk quickly about your core muscles. They're more than just your abdominals, and a strong core is key to strong running. Yoga is great for building that core strength.
See the links in the External Resources section for more information about core muscles and the importance of having strong ones.
Cat, spinal balance, locust variation, side planks, planks with knee tucked to chest/elbow, side-lying leg lift series, boat, pilates single and double leg stretches, eagle crunches, lying twist, sphinx.
Though I didn't include savasana at the end of this class, I hope you do if you have time! It only takes a couple of minutes and it's worth it.
IT band syndrome is easier to prevent than it is to heal, so let's get started with proper hip strength and stability, as well as a few precautions when we're running.
See the links in the External Resources section for more information about IT band syndrome and how to prevent it.
26 minutes, 30 seconds
Forward folds, chair, half moon variation, forward fold variation, one-leg chair variation, low to high lunge, pyramid, warrior III, twisted moon phase, spinal balance with knees up, side plank, side leg lift series, bridge and one-leg bridge, lying pigeon, windshield wiper twist.
Though I didn't include a savasana in this class, I hope you take a couple of minutes to add one!
Hopefully you can find time to schedule a few longer classes into your routine.
The short classes are about 20-30 minutes, while the long classes are 40-50 minutes.
Each class has a theme that I chose specifically for us as runners. We focus on each theme as it relates to the yoga practice and how we can apply it to running and beyond.
22 minutes, 40 seconds
Child's pose, kneeling down dog, cat, spinal balance with extra extension, crocodile, side angle, sun god/dess, wide leg forward fold (with side to side), deep squat, staff, reverse plank, lying pigeon, windshield wiper, happy baby.
This class is very gentle.
Putting trust in our training process.
Child's pose, extended spinal balance, rocket cat, tricep push-ups, three-leg downward dog, side plank variation, humble warrior, warrior III, tightrope balance, seated twist, fire log, bridge, fish.
Strengthening the connection we have between breath and movement, mind and body, ourselves and our fellow runners.
Child's pose, cat, tiger, wild thing, warrior II, fan, side angle, snake, two-leg downward dog, one-leg seated forward fold, rock the baby, supported shoulder stand, lying twist.
Grateful for the opportunity to run. Grateful for a body that grows and changes according to the demands we place upon it.
Standing twist, standing cat, chair, triangle, low lunge with variation, half hero, seated single leg forward fold, stargazer, lying pigeon, lying twist with eagle legs.
Lots of love for the heart, both as a muscle and as that spiritual/emotional/mental energy that carries us through the hardest runs.
Learning to be mindful of the breath helps us learn to control it, even when we're working through a difficult pose or run. It keeps us aware of our bodies and what we're doing. Yoga's focus on the breath comes in especially handy in running.
See the External Resources for a great article about breathing and running.
Seated side bends, seated cat, arm stretches, puppy, cobra variation, sitting on toes, low lunge variation, kneeling hamstring, pyramid, mini dancer, kneeling side plank, pigeon, seated one-leg forward fold, stargazer, seated wide leg forward fold, lying twist.
Exploring flexibility not only in our bodies, but in our minds as we might deal with less-than-perfect training or race conditions.
Thunderbolt, cat, elbow plank, low lunge with side bend, warrior II, side angle, triangle with arm circles, warrior III, forward fold, lizard variation, pigeon side to side, hero, deep squat, seated twist for core strength, seated forward fold, reverse plank, double leg stretch, bridge, fish, lying twist.
Acknowledging the courage it takes to step to the starting line.
Windshield wiper, bridge, wind-relieving, boat variation, side plank variation, chair, high lunge variation, pyramid with arms extended, beautiful angel, twisted high lunge, chaturanga with knee on elbow, flying bird, crocodile, side angle, seated twist, fish.
We don't always find support for our running where we think we should; our friends and family don't always have our backs. But there is support out there--we just have to know where to find it.
Table, boat, standing twist, chair, twisted high lunge, triangle, revolved triangle, standing hand to big toe, fallen triangle, cow's face, seated one leg forward fold, stargazer, lying twist with eagle legs, supported shoulderstand.
Focusing on feeling light as we run, which allows us to run faster.
Restorative yoga improves our ability to access a calm state, improves vagal tone (function of the vagus nerve, which runs throughout the entire body), and decreases stress. It's a good way to keep up with your yoga practice even when you're too tired to do a vigorous practice, or when you would receive more benefit from rest and relaxation.
Visit the links I listed in the External Resources for more information, including studies on the benefits of restorative yoga.
Use as many pillows and bolsters as you need -- the more, the better! Take the time to make each pose as comfortable as possible.
Supported child's pose, supported crocodile, supported forward fold, supported bridge, supported shoulder stand, supported twist, supported savasana.
For a longer, more thorough restorative practice, check the External Resources for a link to a class on my YouTube channel.
Thanks for joining me! If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also visit www.yourbodybest.com for more yoga and fitness information, and to keep up with what I'm doing, when I think to write about it. :)
I have more yoga classes on YouTube, and I will be adding a few more for runners in particular. Give them a try for more variety and challenge: www.youtube.com/AmandaSidesYBB
I've been a fitness instructor for 15 years, a yoga teacher for 10 years, and a runner and athletic enthusiast for most of my life. I believe we're all capable of so much more than we realize, and it's so much fun to watch that emerge as we work toward our goals. I love to travel, and I recently relocated to Las Vegas after six years in South America.