Yoga After Running: 5 Post-Run Yoga Poses for Every Runner

Yoga after running can be a game-changing recovery tool. Implement these post-run yoga stretches to recover better and faster.

Yoga After Running: 5 Post-Run Yoga Poses for Every Runner

Yoga after running shouldn’t be an afterthought—these post-run yoga poses can be a game-changer for your recovery and performance.

Your entire body feels the impact of your legs pounding the pavement, trails, track, or treadmill day after day. It’s a lot for your body to handle–making burnout and running injuries common. However, post-run yoga can help immensely!

Infusing stretching and cross-training activities into your schedule is a great way to shake things up and prevent injuries. For example, spending 10 to 15 minutes practicing some post-run yoga exercises as a part of your cool-down is a simple way to stay limber, soothe your muscles, and stay healthy.

You may have heard that yoga for runners is an excellent activity for runners–but you don’t quite know where to start.

Before we get into the yoga stretches, let’s talk about why doing post-run yoga is a fantastic idea in the first place. After you run, your muscles are already warm and pliable, so you’ll be more flexible and your quads, glutes, hamstrings, and lower back won’t tighten up nearly as much once you’ve cooled off.

Furthermore, tight, tense muscles don’t have as good of blood flow, so post-run yoga helps your muscles gain access to blood and oxygen. This also helps your muscles recover and stay healthy for your next run!

Read on to learn four yoga for athletes moves that you can start incorporating into your running routine today.

Should You Do Yoga Before or After Running?

Deciding whether to practice yoga before or after running largely hinges on your personal goals, body needs, and the intensity of both activities. Each option, pre-run yoga or post-run yoga, offers distinct benefits.

Yoga Before Running


  • Warm-up: Gentle yoga helps to warm up the muscles, promoting flexibility and preparing the body for the physical exertion of running.
  • Mental Preparation: The mental focus cultivated during yoga can help set a focused and calm mindset for your run.
  • Increased Flexibility: Practicing certain yoga poses can enhance flexibility and help in achieving a more efficient running form.


  • Stick to a gentle and shorter yoga session to avoid tiring yourself out before the run.
  • Focus on poses that activate and loosen up the muscles used in running, such as the hamstrings, hip flexors, and calves.
  • Perform dynamic exercises that replicate what you'll be doing on your run. For example, you might want to focus on slow lunges or warrior poses rather than static child's pose.

Yoga After Running


  • Cool Down: Engaging in yoga post-run serves as an effective cool-down and aids in gradually reducing the heart rate.
  • Prevent Stiffness: It helps in stretching and elongating the muscles that were utilized during running, preventing stiffness and facilitating recovery.
  • Enhance Recovery: Yoga can enhance recovery by promoting circulation to the muscles and joints, which can be particularly beneficial after a strenuous run.


  • Post-run yoga should emphasize relaxation and recovery, with a focus on stretches and restorative poses.
  • Be mindful of any areas that might be particularly tight or fatigued after your run, and approach these areas with gentle stretching and breath awareness.

Yoga and running can complement each other when balanced. A gentle, awakening yoga session before running or a soothing, restorative session afterward can both be beneficial when appropriately executed. You might alternate between the two options based on your daily needs and running intensity.

5 Best Post-Run Yoga Stretches

1. The Deep Lunge

runners doing a low lunge

This yoga pose is also called the “Anjaneyāsana.” Fortunately, the exercise is easier to perform than it is to pronounce–plus it’s great for opening up your hip flexors, chest, and stretching your spine.

  • Begin in a downward dog position.
  • Raise your right leg behind you.
  • Bring your left foot forward between your hands.
  • Lower your body into a lunge position, bringing your right leg down to the ground.
  • Lengthen both arms above your head and push your hips forward to open your chest.
  • Breathe in for five seconds and out for five seconds. Repeat three times.
  • Switch sides and repeat the exercise.

2. The Half-Split

runner doing a half split
Photo credit: Man Flow Yoga

Don’t worry, we aren’t suggesting you have to be flexible enough to do the splits for this post run yoga move! This move stretches your hamstrings and calves–and is known as the “Ardha Hanumanasana”.

  • Start in a deep lunge with your right knee in the back.
  • Press your right knee on the floor.
  • Place your hands on the ground with your left foot in between them.
  • Press your hips back so your body is hinged over your left leg.
  • Breathe in for five seconds and out for five seconds. Repeat three times.
  • Switch sides, and do the exercise again.

Tip: If you want an extra stretch, trying flexing the foot in front upwards.

3. The Toe Squat

woman doing toe squat yoga pose
Photo Credit: Sporteluxe

Ever wake up to a charlie horse in your foot after an intense training run? This post-run yoga move can help prevent them! Here’s how:

  • Kneel with your legs and feet slightly apart. To make it more challenging, place them closer together.
  • Tuck your toes under and sit back on your heels.
  • With your fingers, space out your toes as much as you can.
  • Breathe in for five seconds and out for five seconds. Repeat three times.

Tip: If you can’t comfortably sit all the way back on your heels, don’t worry–it will come with time. You can set your hands in front of you to support a bit of your body weight.

4. Seated Stretch

woman doing seated 4 figure stretch
Photo Credit: Kai Simon Post

If you deal with tight hips, this stretch is for you–it’s one of my favorites. It’s great for opening your hips up after a hill workout, too!

  • Sit on the floor and bend your knees, placing your feet flat on the ground.
  • Place your hands behind your hips with your fingers pointing away from your body.
  • Cross your right ankle over your left thigh–right above your knee.
  • Keep your spine long, and breath in for five seconds and out for five seconds. Repeat three to four times.
  • Switch legs and do it again!

Tip: You can do this exercise in a chair. Cross one ankle over the opposite thigh and lean forward until you feel a satisfying stretch in your outer hip.

5. Deep Breathing

woman in relaxation yoga pose
Photo Credit: Well+Good

If you’ve ever been to a full-on yoga class, you’ll notice many classes end with conscious deep breathing, similar to meditation. It’s not a vigorous stretch, but it definitely boosts your energy after a tough run and helps you relax.

As a bonus, a Northwestern University study found that conscious deep breathing can positively affect the parts of your brain responsible for fear and memory. Awesome!

Wrap up your yoga practice by laying in the “savasana” or relaxation pose. Inhale for six seconds and exhale for six seconds. If six seconds feels too cumbersome, start with three or four and build your way up. Keep breathing like this for at least three minutes–more if you have time!

Tip: If you have trouble falling asleep at night, this is also a great way to calm your mind and promote a restful night of sleep. Namaste!

Make Yoga After Running a Priority

Integrate post-run yoga into your regular routine to ensure it gets done. Yoga after running shouldn’t be a maybe or an afterthought.

Ready to prevent injuries, get faster, and reach your running goals? Join The Run Experience training club today for immediate access to individual training plans, our complete injury prevention guide, coaching support, and more!