Amanda Wass, yoga instructor

Post run yoga: a quick routine for loosening off after a run

Post run yoga, there’s really no better path to recovery. If you’re just back from a tough session out on the trails, road, or even the treadmill then it’s important to let your muscles recover and repair. This will not only leave you feeling better the next day, but it’ll keep your body more flexible and mobile in the long run. And, as a knock on, allow you to keep up a consistent training program.

The key to anything in life is balance; Yin & Yang. We cannot sustain anything without finding an equilibrium and yoga is a fantastic tool to bring that balance, especially if you’re training daily.

You can mix this sequence up by threading all the poses together or, alternatively, by taking long slow holds (around 5 breaths) in each pose, to really allow time to rest & release tension. Check out the video at the end for how you can make the sequence into a dynamic flow.

Post run yoga: Spinal roll into forward fold

Forward fold

Target Areas: Hamstrings, decompresses spine

  1. Come to standing with feet hip width apart, inhale, crown of head lifts towards sky
  2. Drop chin to chest, allow shoulders to round forward, arms to hang and roll down the spine, vertebrae by vertebrae
  3. Rolling down all the way until you are in a comfortable forward fold
  4. Head, arms, shoulders are heavy, release your head
  5. Options to bend and straighten the legs

Top tip: Focus on totally relaxing, rather than trying to touch the toes. Hang heavy & enjoy sighing the breath out of the mouth

Post run yoga: Downward facing dog

Downward Dog

Target Areas: Whole body strength & stretch

  1. Come into all 4’s: knees stacked under hips & hands underneath shoulders, fingers spread wide. Turn hands out slightly so thumbs and index fingers face front of the mat
  2. Curl toes under, lift hips to the back of the mat as you push the hands into the mat
  3. Stepping feet hip width & parallel
  4. Keep a straight spine so look towards navel or through thighs
  5. Either anchor heels into the mat or, if not possible, bend knees to lift heels
  6. Be curious – play with pedalling through feet, stepping feet further apart or closer together

Top tip: Breathe into the back of the body and internally rotate inner thighs to the sky and push the mat away from you.

Post run yoga: High lunge

High lunge

Target Areas: Quads, glutes, psoas, shoulders

  1. Come into a lunge, right foot forward, press through heel
  2. Left leg extended behind, heel lifted and toes pressing into mat
  3. Tuck tailbone under to encourage hips to sink, breathe into areas of tension
  4. Sweep hands over head, lengthening fingers up to sky as hands come into prayer

Advanced High lunge

Advanced high lunge

If you’re feeling up for it, then gives this a go while you’re in high lunge

  1. Reach hands around back, interlace fingers, drawing the elbows and shoulders blades together as the knuckles reach towards back heel
  2.  Heart lifted and gaze ahead
  3. Switch sides when ready

Top tip: Keep your heart lifted forward

Post run yoga: Warrior II

Warrior II

Target areas: Hip, hamstrings, quads, shoulders & core

  1. Standing at top of the mat with hands on hips.
  2. Take a big step back with left leg to back of mat, heel finds floor, opening to the side of the mat
  3. Front leg is bent with knee over ankle, back leg is straight
  4. Press down: through front heel & toe pads and blade edge of back foot and big toe
  5. Engage core, tuck pelvis under to avoid anterior pelvic tilt
  6. Stretch arms out to sides of body, in line with shoulders
  7. Both hands reach to opposing ends of mat, shoulders away from ears and shoulders stacked over pelvis – switch when ready!

Top Tip: This is a hip opener so keep the front knee over the ankle to avoid internal rotation

Post run yoga: Extended side angle

Extended side angle

Target Areas: Side body, hips, legs, spine

  1. Find warrior II
  2. Bring elbow to rest on top of knee
  3. Arm sweeps over head, fingers in direction to top of mat, palm facing floor
  4. Press the blade edge of the back foot down as you stretch along side the whole left side of body all the way to fingertips
  5. Gaze towards front big toe or lifted arm
  6. Breathe here then switch it up on the right side

Top tip: Keep reaching through fingers tips and open chest to side of mat, whilst always pressing down through back foot

Post run yoga: Reverse Warrior

Reverse Warrior

Target Areas: Hip, inner thighs, quads, shoulders & core/obliques

  1. In warrior II keep legs strong, (right foot forward)
  2. Flip front palm to face ceiling
  3. Reach forwards slightly before raising right arm to the sky, lifting your heart to the sky and reaching through fingertips
  4. Left hand rests on the back of left thigh
  5. Top arm reaches up to the sky, inline with shoulder, focus on lengthening through sides of body
  6. Breathe here then return to warrior II before switching slides

Top tip: Focus on lifting and finding length instead of bending back and dumping weight into lower back

Post run yoga: Low lunge with side bend

Low lunge with side bend

Target areas: Quads, glutes, IT band, psoas

  1. Come into a low lunge, right foot forward in line with right hip
  2. Left knee drops to the mat, in line with left hip and gently pressing top of the back foot into mat
  3. Tuck tailbone under to encourage hips to sink, breathe into areas of tension
  4. Sweep hands over head, lengthening fingers up to sky
  5. Reach the right hand around left wrist then gently find a side bend – taking left hand over to the right

Top tip: Keep reaching through your extended fingers to find lift & length as apposed to curling and crunching

Post run yoga: cat-cow

Cow pose
Cat pose

Target areas: Spine, neck, upper back

  1. Come to all 4’s: stacking shoulders over wrists & knees underneath hips, tops of feet gently pressing into mat
  2. Engage core
  3. Look at space between hands
  4. Inhale, drop belly, tilt sit bones and heart towards the spine
  5. Look up
  6. Lift out of shoulders
  7. Exhale, tuck pelvis under as you roll through the spine, bringing chin towards chest & curling through the spine
  8. Lift your heart through your back towards the sky

Top tip: In cat, protract your shoulders, in cow, retract them. Close your eyes and enjoy the wiggle!

Post run yoga: Child’s pose

Child’s pose

Target areas: Hips, lumbar spine, quads & ankles

  1. Form all 4’s click big toes together,  spread knees as wide as the mat
  2. Walk hands away from the body, torso comes to rest on thighs
  3. Sits reach towards heels, forehead rests on the floor

Top tip: sigh through the mouth for extra feel good vibes

Post run yoga: Pigeon pose

Pigeon pose

Target areas: Hips, glutes, hamstrings, IT band, lumbar spine, quads

  1. From all 4’s, draw right knee forwards to rest on the ground behind your right wrist with right foot placing just in front of pelvis.
  2. Left leg slithers back, in line with left hip
  3. Release muscles in both legs
  4. Place hands on floor for support, lift heart forwards, finding length in spine
  5. If space fold down onto forearms, release head.
  6. Fully folded with forehead resting on the mat, arms stretched in front of you for active arms or bend elbows and chill

Reclined Pigeon

Reclined pigeon

Target areas: Hips, glutes, groin

  1. Begin on your back, feet on floor at hip width
  2. Cross left ankle over right knee coming into a figure of 4, flex feet
  3. Hold here, breathe
  4. Lift right foot off floor, bringing shin parallel to floor and thread hands through legs to hold knee into chest
  5. Play with extending right leg to sky

Top tip: Relax head on the floor and close eyes for maximum chill factor



Target areas: mind, body, and soul

  1. Lay on your back
  2. Close eyes
  3. Take up as much space as you feel like and totally relax
  4. Let go of any control over breath & body
  5. Allow your body time to fully let go of any tension in the body, release all the muscles & shoulders especially, weighing heavy on your mat
  6. Pay attention to what you feel, how you feel, how your breath is, and notice if there are any other areas of your body that are tight, sore or need some love

Top tip: You’ve made it, it’s time to relax. If you’re struggling to switch off then use counting as a tool to calm the mind

Video: Dynamic Sequence

I hope you enjoy the yoga routine and that it helps to ease some of those aches and pains that we all feel post run. You can also test out my pre run yoga routine. If you’re interested in a 1:1 yoga classes which can be done virtually, then head over to my website:

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Teaching yoga is my calling but it goes further than that. For me, it's about inviting others to find that connection with themselves, to achieve those physical goals as well as getting those endorphins flowing within; to find that happiness and pleasure in moving - not focusing on what you look like but tuning into how you feel, to "breathe, move & be happy." Or, at least have fun trying!

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