TWIST Tips: Yoga for Runners


Article by Twist Yoga teacher, Ali Matt

Photos by Twist Yoga teacher, Natasha Nemyre

A typical runner can experience anything from achy shoulders, tight legs to a sore back. Running often lends itself to tightening and shortening of muscles and high impact on the joints. Yoga, however, elongates and lengthens muscles, finding ease and stability in joints.

Although running and yoga may be on different ends of the movement spectrum, the two compliment each other quite well. While running can provide a level of strength and endurance, yoga can help the body find balance and symmetry.

As you prepare your body for a long run or race, try supporting your body with these post-run yoga poses to increase flexibility and reduce those nagging aches and pains



Toe Stretch
Benefits: Opens muscles of feet
From your knees, sit down on your your heels.
Tuck all toes under so that you are on the balls of your feet. If the stretch is too much, lift the hips away from your heels.




Low Lunge
Benefits: Lengthens the hip flexors
Place one foot forward, lining the knee over the ankle.  Bring your back knee to the floor. Hips square forward. Lift the torso and arms up. The hands can rest on the front thigh, or if steady, lift overhead. Repeat on the other leg.




Garland Pose
Benefits: Opens the hips and groin
Place your feet wider than hip width. Begin to sit your hips towards the floor, separating your thighs wider than your torso. Place your elbows on the inner knees and palms together at the center of your heart. Keep your spine long and shoulders down your back.




Reclined Pigeon
Benefits: Opens hips
Lying on your back, place your right foot on your left thigh. Interlace your hands behind the left thigh. Keeping your shoulders and head relaxed on the floor, gently draw your left thigh in toward the body as the right knee draws away. Repeat on the other leg.




Supine Twist
Benefits: Relieves back tension
Lying on your back, extend your arms out, wrists in line with shoulders. Bringing your knees in toward your chest, let your knees fall to one side. Repeat on the opposite side.




Legs Up The Wall
Benefits: Reduces swelling and encourages relaxation
Lying close to a wall on your back, place your legs up the wall, stacking your ankles over your hips. If this feels tight on your hamstrings, place a blanket or pillow underneath your low back.