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How Yoga Made Me a Better Runner

Before Yoga & Running

Long before I started doing yoga, I was an athlete. I ran – a lot. But I didn’t really have a good pre-running routine, and I noticed it. It felt awkward, just starting to run without any sort of mindful warm-up. Stretching didn’t help, because even before I became a fitness professional I knew that you shouldn’t do static stretching to warm up.

Dynamic warm-ups were definitely the way to go, but even those didn’t feel quite complete to me. My solution was the workout-run-stretch combo. I would first spend anywhere from 20 – 45 minutes exercising at the gym, whether that was doing weights, cross-training, or rowing on an erg, and then I would go for a run.

How Yoga Helped My Running

Then I started doing yoga, and one day I decided to do some yoga and then go for a run. YES! I finally had a winning combination. After finishing the run, I did some yoga stretches to help recover more quickly. Without really knowing the most effective postures to cool-down from a run, I did everyone I could think of. The cool-down process took about 25 minutes with all the stretching. Then I did the math.

I had just spent about 85 minutes on my warm-up and cool-down for a 20-minute run. Wasn’t there a quicker way to do this? There had to be a more efficient way to properly warm-up, go for a run, and then cool-down. After all, I had a life to live! I can’t spend 2 hours every day doing a workout that wasn’t even that effective.

I knew the solution, and I went to work.

I needed to find the right combination of postures to:

  1. Properly activate the muscles that needed specific targeted exercises to turn on. (i.e. glutes, hip flexors, core)
  2. Establish a basic level of pre-workout mobility in my ankles and hips, so that my lower-back and knees wouldn’t be exposed to unnecessary stress.
  3. Get in the mindset for an awesome run.

I chose a few postures that adequately addressed these concerns, put them together, and BAM! I had a fantastic, effective pre-running routine that took just about 5 minutes for me to complete. I then looked to yoga stretches for my post-running cool-down. The goal was to select as few postures as possible, to make the cool-down as quick and efficient as possible.

I didn’t need to include every yoga stretch – I just needed the ones that hit all of the muscles I wanted to target. Using the same process to choose my warm-up postures, I eventually narrowed down the stretches into just 5 total yoga postures. Wooh! Mission accomplished.

Now I could warm-up, go for my 20-minute run, and get an awesome stretch at the end in just about the same time it takes to watch a 30-minute TV show. The yoga-run-yoga sandwich was born. I now use this combination for almost all types of workouts, including weight training, biking, hiking, and even for my lacrosse games. Though each activity requires its own specific yoga postures and stretches in order to be as effective as possible, I now had a template that I could apply to each activity.

Yoga Makes Better Runners

I’ve been talking a lot more about running.

I’ve released 3 blogs that have to do with yoga for runners. (5 Best Pre-Run Yoga Postures for Runners, 5 Best Post-Run Stretches for Runners Cool-down, and 3 Reasons Yoga Makes You a Better Runner). I’ve also been fortunate enough to hear from runners who credit their improved running performance to following Man Flow Yoga workouts. These runners are made up of people of all ages and various running activities, including triathlon athletes, men who have completed Ironman competitions, 10K runners, and more! I’ve listed a few of them below so you can see what I’m talking about.

Working with Ralph directly (see his testimonial below!), I put together a Yoga for Runners program so runners can get the yoga workouts they really need to become more efficient, injury-free, and faster runners – rather than simply giving them one-size-fits-all yoga workouts.

These yoga for runners workout programs include options for 2 or 3 days of yoga per week. If you’re reading this now, and want to use yoga to become a better runner, with fewer injuries, a better stride, faster miles, more fluid movement, and fewer aches and pains, I highly encourage you to sign up for a 7-Day Trial for the Man Flow Yoga Members’ Area. Join runners like Ralph, David, and Edgar in the Man Flow Yoga Community, follow our Yoga for Runners Programs and check out the rest of the Man Flow Yoga Workout Library.

It’s easier than you think! Just take it one workout at a time, follow the program, and put in consistent effort. If you do, you’ll notice positive changes within just a couple of weeks! (Not months.) Click below to sign up for your 7-Day Trial. $1 gets you unlimited access to all of our workouts, workout programs, the Man Flow Yoga Community, and more!

The Man Flow Yoga Members’ Area 7-Day Trial


Read testimonials from runners in our Man Flow Yoga Community

Crow Pose on A Bridge - Yoga Makes You A Better Runner

Ralph Benitez, Upstate NY

I added Dean’s ManFlowYoga to my workout regimen last month. In this short period of time, the long term discomfort I had in one foot has greatly diminished. I attribute the change in the stretching and activation of muscles through yoga that weren’t adequately prepared for running, or for recovery post-run. I have also seen physical therapists for the same problem, but yoga seems to address the problem more completely. I now realize that yoga needs to be a regular part of my life to enable the running I so much enjoy.


Marathon Running - Yoga Makes You A Better Runner

David Cotton, Retired USAF Brigadier General

I added Dean’s ManFlowYoga to my workout regimen last month. In this short period of time, the long term discomfort I had in one foot has greatly diminished. I attribute the change in the stretching and activation of muscles through yoga that weren’t adequately prepared for running, or for recovery post-run. I have also seen physical therapists for the same problem, but yoga seems to address the problem more completely. I now realize that yoga needs to be a regular part of my life to enable the running I so much enjoy.


After Run - Yoga Makes You A Better Runner

Edgar Ramos, Dallas, TX

I never thought I would follow video workouts but I got hooked after my results and how great the instructional techniques were. I travel a lot for work and races so it could not be more convenient. Soreness from my triathlon workouts vanished sooner than expected and I learned poses and movements to improve mobility. I’ve even gained muscle mass.


Additional Resources

About the author, Dean Pohlman, Founder & CEO of Man Flow Yoga, Author of Yoga Fitness for Men, Expert on Yoga Fitness for Men.

Dean Pohlman is an E-RYT 200 certified yoga instructor and the founder of Man Flow Yoga. Dean is widely considered to be an authority on Yoga for Men. He has worked with physical therapists to create yoga programs for back health and spinal recovery. His workouts and programs have been used by professional and collegiate athletes, athletic trainers, and personal trainers; and have been recommended by physical therapists, doctors, chiropractors, and other medical professionals.

Dean is a successfully published author through DK Publishing (Yoga Fitness for Men), selling 35,000 copies worldwide in English, French, and German; in addition to being a co-producer of the Body by Yoga DVD Series, which has sold over 40,000 copies on Amazon since its release in 2016.

Man Flow Yoga has been featured in Muscle & Fitness Magazine, Mens’ Health, The Chicago Sun, New York Magazine, and many more major news media outlets.

Dean And Dog

Looking for non-spiritual, yoga for men workouts?

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1 thought on “How Yoga Made Me a Better Runner”

  1. Even I’m a runner. I practice few Yoga stretches after my post running session and they really help me to feel relaxed after my running session. Practicing Yoga is really a healthy habit.

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