Yoga & Tapering: Dealing with Your Mind

Tapering has always been a bittersweet time in training for me. I’m super psyched to be done with the grueling long runs and the anxiety and physical wear and tare that can come with it, but I also crave and miss the challenge. My mind always becomes restless as fear starts to set in. Did I run enough? Did I stretch enough? Do I have my pre-run hydration and eating routine down? Can I really do this?

Yoga is not only a powerful way to stretch and strengthen your body for running but it helps your mind deal with this anxiety. It allows you to release this fearful voice in your head. Remember, your only true challenge on race day is getting out of your head and into your heart. You are the only obstacle that lies before you and that finish line.

Here is a short meditation and visualization exercise that I have found helpful to deal with this race anxiety.


Find a comfortable seated position. It can be on a chair, on your couch or up against a wall. Just try to sit up straight.

Then close your eyes and start to connect with your breath. Take around 10 rounds of breath to bring some ease and relaxation to your mind and body.

  • Imagine a race or run during this training when you had the most fun. Let go of the pace, the distance, the time. What did it feel like? Where was it? Were you with someone? Why did you love it?
  • I want you to really focus on what you’re feeling as you replay this run in your mind—what words come to mind? Laughter, community, strength?
  • Bring both of your hands to your heart and I want you to repeat that word to yourself. I want you to once again feel that word in your body, in your heart.

Open your eyes.

This is a powerful exercise I encourage you to do everyday until the marathon, for it will help with the pre-race anxiety. It’s important to keep your body and your mind at ease over these next couple of weeks. Remember, you have the power to achieve anything you want: Believe it’s possible and let go of the fear around it.

Give it a try and let me know what you think! Cheers & Namaste!




Categories: Yoga for Runners