5 Pre-Run Poses for Better Running

yoga - run

Whether you’re donning your first pair of trail kicks or training for your fifth marathon, adding a little yoga to your routine is a great way to amp up your run. Seattle University Village store ambassador, Erin Jasmine Taylor, shows us a five-minute, pre-run Jasyoga sequence that will help warm you up, align your stride and prevent injuries.

five pre-run poses to warm up your engine

For maximum benefit, complete the entire sequence in order and hold each pose for 5–10 deep breaths, engaging the muscles you need and relaxing the ones you don’t.

interlace and fold


opens chest and shoulders, stretches hamstrings

• start by standing hip-width apart. On your inhale, bring your arms overhead.
• exhale as you reach your arms out and back, interlacing your fingers behind you—use a strap or towel between your hands if it’s a struggle. Take a few breaths here to broaden the chest.
• fold forward, taking your arms up and overhead, keeping bend in your knees.
• shake out your head and relax your neck. Eventually release the interlace and drop your hands toward the ground for the last few breaths.

high runner’s lunge

(from forward fold)

trains the knees to stabilize, strengthens and lengthens stride

• take a long step back with your left leg and come into a lunge with your front knee at 90 degrees, tracking directly over the ankle.
• keep your back leg straight and your front knee stable over the ankle as you raise your arms overhead.
• find your balance, relax your neck and shoulders and breathe deeply—think less effort and more ease!

high runner’s lunge with side bend

(from high lunge)

lengthens side body, stretches top of the IT band and improves balance

• place your right hand on your right hip, bend your torso to the right and reach your left arm overhead and to the right—stretching the left side of your body.
• remember to keep that right knee stable over that ankle!

warrior III

(from high lunge)

strengthens ankles, legs, core and improves proprioception

• balance on your right leg and lift your left leg behind you as you drop your torso parallel to the ground.
• keep your arms out like airplane wings, or reach them forward.

low lunge twist

(from warrior III)

stretches hips and twists spine

• step your left leg back into a lunge, dropping that knee to the ground and releasing your hands to the ground.
• put your right hand on your right thigh as you rotate your chest to the right, while keeping your left hand on the ground.
• reach your right arm up and look skyward.

and repeat…

Return to your standing forward bend and repeat poses 2–5 with the opposite foot forward…

Now you’re ready to get sweaty and hit the ground running!

Erin Jasmine Taylor is the owner and head coach of Jasyoga, a mobile yoga studio that helps athletes around Seattle—from rec soccer players to NBA basketball players—find their flow. Special thanks to Nate Burgher for all the amazing photography!

Race #1 – National Capital Race Weekend is here!

A few years ago I signed up for my first 10k race. It was Ottawa’s National Capital Race Weekend and it was the most exhilarating experience of my life. I felt like a superstar with crowds of family, friends, and running enthusiasts lining the streets to cheer each runner on across the finish line.

I think the greatest part of the experience was the energy from the spectators. It didn’t matter if you were running the 5k, 10k, half marathon, or full, people were cheering for you! For a moment I felt like a superstar and it was a feeling I never wanted to forget. I also decided I wanted to keep running. There was a high like no other and I decided I could really get used to this… I can see how people turn to running, like addicts turn to heroine.

This was probably 8 years ago and a lot has happened since then. A torn ACL and surgery, stress fracture in my ankle/shin, broken collarbone and dislocated ribs have all let me to the conclusion that maybe soccer isn’t the best sport for me as I age. I’ve also had a baby and look for things that I can do with my little girl that will be fun, keep me active, and inspire her to want to be active too.

So, here I am, ready to run!

Well, almost ready… I feel a level of shame or weakness because it’s only a 5k. I don’t feel like this is any great accomplishment, but also know that there will be some 6 year old out there on the run who will pass me. Originally I wanted to run the 10k – that would feel good to me, something to be proud of – but I didn’t sign up soon enough and it was sold out. Mind you, I’m not sure the 10k would have been a good idea knowing what I know now. I haven’t really trained – I haven’t even run in the past month! My original goal was to train so I could finish the 5 in 27 minutes… but life and laziness got in the way. I can’t imagine what I’d be thinking right now if I was supposed to run a 10 on Saturday!

Despite some of my worries, I’m excited to feel the energy of the crowd again. I’m ready to run my guts out, and hope I can push myself to finish in a respectable time. It has been a few years since I’ve done Race Weekend and I hope it will be what I need to fuel my spirit and make me want to do more. When I see motivational posters and quotes about running, I want to be that person with sweat running down my face, or the beautiful skyline ahead of me. Fingers crossed this will be my motivation to get back into something I love.