Yoga for Runners – Reclined Pigeon Pose

by Sally Drake

Each month, I will feature a yoga pose, breathing technique or guided meditation that is beneficial for runners. Yoga helps improve flexibility; increase strength; enhance balance and stability; provide stress relief, better breathing and faster recovery. Even just a few minutes of yoga added to your pre or post run routine will positively impact not just your athletic pursuits, but all areas of your life.

Yoga for Runners
Pose of the Month: Reclined Pigeon/Supine Figure 4 Stretch (Supta Kapotasana)

Reclined pigeon pose stretches the outer hip flexors and glutes, as well as the IT band, the connective tissue that runs along the outer thigh to the shin. It is a gentle hip opener and may also help relieve low back pain. Reclined pigeon is extremely effective for runners with tight hips and often more accessible than pigeon pose. Reclined pigeon is perfect to do post-run.

How To: Begin by laying on your back with the knees bent and feet on the earth. Make a figure-4 with the legs by lifting the right foot, opening the knee to the side and placing the right ankle on the left knee. Gently press the right knee away from you. Keep the head, neck and shoulders relaxed on the mat. If you feel a good stretch in the outer right hip with both feet planted, keep them on the ground. To go a bit deeper into the stretch, lift the left foot off the mat and wrap your hands around the left thigh, gently drawing the thigh closer to you. Hold for several rounds of breath and repeat on the other side (*picture shows pose on left side).




Sally Drake has been a runner in the Capital District community for over twenty years. In May 2023 she received her 200-hour yoga teacher training certificate from Styles Yoga at the Hot Yoga Spot. 

Follow her on Instagram at @sdrakeyogi for more yoga inspiration.




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