Yin Yoga For Runners: Saddle


About the asana


Hi, this is Tim with MidpackRunner.com. I’m here today with another stretch for the active runner.

This time, we’re targeting the quadriceps and the lumbar spine. This asana is called saddle in yin yoga. I’ve also heard it called camel, so you may be more familiar with it under that name. We’ll be holding this asana for 3 to 5 minutes.

This pose can become a very deep stretch, perhaps too deep for some people. You’ll want to be especially careful with your knees and lower back.

As with all of our poses to this point, if you ever feel any pain, stop and consult a trainer before continuing.

The asana

Begin kneeling with your legs wide enough for you to sit down between them. Your feet are pointed back behind you. Tilt your pelvis forward as you lean backward onto your hands or your elbows.

If you’re especially flexible, you can come all the way down so that your back rests on the floor. In this position, placing the crown of your head onto the floor will open up the neck and deepen the stretch slightly.

Remember, don’t feel compelled to go all the way back right away. This is an intense stretch, and you may need to work up to it. As your flexibility increases over time, you will be able to get deeper into this pose. You definitely want to be patient with this, and all of the stretches in this series.

Modifications

If you’re like me, and you find that this asana bothers your knees, you can open them up by placing a rolled hand towel into the crux of the knee before lowering back down.

The other modification that can be helpful is sitting on the edge of a block to help keep your hips tilted forward. Just be aware that you don’t want to lower down as far if your using a block. I generally recommend that you don’t come any further down than your elbows in this case.

Finally, you can play around with sitting on or between your legs. Sitting between your legs will provide a deeper stretch in the hip flexors and quads. Sitting on your legs will put the focus more into the lumbar spine.

If you do play with sitting on your legs for this, just be sure to pay careful attention to your ankles, and this modification can cause additional strain for some people.

  7 Responses to Yin Yoga For Runners: Saddle
  1. Rico

    Good job Tim… way to break down these stretches. Very excited for the next yoga stretching installment!

    • Tim Woodbury

      Thanks, Rico! I’m excited for the next one, too. Frog may be my favorite stretch ever!

  2. Kung-Fu Dave

    Awesome! Cool site, I look forward to check back on new updates.

    Looks like the frog stretch is next! Saddle and Frog are some of my favorites! Thanks for sharing.

    • Tim Woodbury

      Hey Dave,

      Thanks for the comment!

      Frog and saddle can be the hardest asanas for a lot of people because of how deep the stretches get. That said, I feel like they’re also the most helpful. Especially for runners and martial artists, the hip adductors can get pretty tight if you forget to stretch them occasionally.

      Thanks again for stopping by, Dave!

  3. Ken H

    I like this, but I’ll be really impressed if you can bite your own toenails. ;) All joking aside, I need more yoga.

    • Tim Woodbury

      Tempting thought, Ken, but I think I’ll stick with nail clippers if it’s all the same to you. ;)

      Athleticism – true athleticism – comes from a holistic approach to training. You can be good without addressing all training focus areas, but being great requires them all.

  4. [...] was Yin Yoga. I knew it was gonna be a good idea and I was right!!! Especially since we did the Saddle pose, which incidentally is really beneficial for runners. It was a very deep stretch and required [...]

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