Category Archives: Yoga

6 Perfect Post Run Yoga Poses

post run yoga

Back in January, when I asked what the readers wanted more of, I got quite a few requests for yoga for runners. As luck would have it, I love to talk about yoga and running.

I look forward to Tuesday and Thursday.

Why? Those are my days off from going into the hospital so it means I have the whole day to myself. Once I walk the kids to school, it’s my time. It’s still a work day for me thanks to all my writing assignments and keeping up with blog stuff. But it means I have more flexibility in my schedule. I can squeeze in a run in the early morning and then a yoga class after dropping the kids off, yet still have time to focus on writing.

There’s no doubt I feel tons better after a yoga class. The head massage during savasana is a large part of that but the class itself is amazing. All my tight spots from my run are relieved. My legs may be fatigued and screaming at me while I’m in low lunge, but at the same time, I can feel the tension release. I walk out of class a new woman.

post run yoga | Yoga is also good for a mid run #stopdropandyoga.

Why should runners do yoga? Besides improving flexibility, easing aches and pains, and helping you recover from hard workouts, long runs and races faster, it just feels good! Seriously. You ask a lot of your body in running. Treat it to some good ol’ stretching and soothing with yoga.

I can’t always make it to a 60-90 minute yoga class. But I can squeeze in bits and pieces of yoga throughout my day. Especially after a run.

These 6 poses are perfect for post run recovery. I like these poses because they target the hard working muscles that I know get tight on me – calves, hips, hamstrings, upper back.

Hold each pose for 3-5 breaths. Feel free to hold it longer if it feels good and you’ve got the time.

Six poses, 6 minutes after your run. You’ve got time for that, right?

FYI –  I am not a yoga teacher. I don’t even play one on TV.  These yoga poses are my favorite that I think feel the best after a run. Listen to your body and it’s limitations. Always consult a professional yoga teacher if you have any yoga questions or advice. 

6 yoga poses for runners

Downward Facing Dog

I can’t share essential post run yoga poses without including Downward Facing Dog. Down dog is the best, no? I love it for stretching my calves, hammies, releasing tension in my lower back and neck. If you have more time: Take one leg off the ground, reaching it straight back and out. Bend that knee and open your hips for a more intense stretch in Three-Legged Dog.

Low Lunge – This pose is great for not only stretching the hips and glutes but it strengthens the hamstrings and quads. It also hits the stretches the difficult to reach Tensor Fasciae Latae – the hip abductor muscle. All of these areas are essential for running strong. If you want an extra challenge go up on the toes of your back foot to work on balance.

Wide Legged Forward Bend – Not only is the posture great for opening the hips but is great for realigning the spine and stretching out hamstrings.  You can also do this pose with feet shoulder width apart for Rag Doll. Doing it wide legged just feels better to me.  It can also provide relief from headaches.


I love dropping into Malasana after a run to stretch out my ankles and calves. Spread your feet as wide as you need to get down into this position. If it’s not comfortable for you, try sitting on a yoga block. You’ll still feel a stretch. This pose also hits the groin and back.

Thread the Needle

I love this twist for working out the tension that builds in my upper body from a run.

Reclining Big Toe Pose – I like to start with my leg/foot straight up and then progress to moving the leg to the side from the hip joint.  A strap isn’t necessary but I find that it can really extend the stretch for the hamstrings and the hips.

Linking up with Wild Workout Wednesday and the Coaches’ Corner.



4 Quick Post Run Yoga Poses

Stretch it out and keep injuries at bay with these 4 super quick post run yoga poses. happyfitmama-com

I love running. That’s a fact.

I love yoga. That’s a fact.

But 9 times out of 10, if I’m going to skimp on something when it comes to training or exercise in general, it’s going to be yoga.

That’s what happened during the month of August. Life got busy. My daily schedule got changed around every day and hitting my mat in a yoga class got pushed down on the priority list. Does that happen with a run? Never. #priorities. I’m not saying it’s right. That’s just what happens with me.

Near the end of the month, I could definitely tell that I had let my practice slip. My calves were balls of knots (even more than usual), I felt like I had shrunk 5 inches and my back was making creaking and cracking noises every time I twisted. Not good. Not good at all.

Especially for someone who is known to get injured more than the average runner.

So it’s September, the kids are back at school. The lazy days are gone. It’s time to get back on my mat habit.

After my first class back on my mat, I felt the marvelous difference. It was like I could breath again. My calves eased up. My back felt more supple. I could move my neck without any stiffness.

I can’t get to yoga class every single day but I can make the time time to do some yoga #everydamnday. It makes a difference. Trust me! So whether you choose to go to a yoga class or pop out some poses after your run, just do it.

Here’s 4 quick post run yoga poses that increase flexibility, speed up recovery time, and can get us to the finish line feeling strong and hopefully, happy.

downward facing dog |

Downward Facing Dog

This is my favorite pose to hit most of the major running players – feet, calves, hamstrings and back.

  • Start in a tabletop position, with hands below the shoulders and knees in line with the hips.
  • Tuck the toes, and send hips to the sky in an inverted V position.
  • Push heels toward the earth and pull chest into thighs. Don’t worry about touching your heels to the ground. That’s not the point!
  • Pedal feet out for five breaths, then still for another five breaths.

Standing Forward Fold |

Standing Forward Fold

This pose is great for relieving tension in the shoulders and lower back. It stretches the hamstrings too.

  • Standing tall, fold forward with a straight back.
  • Tuck your chin in toward your chest, relax your shoulders, and extend the crown of the head toward the floor to create a long spine, straightening your legs as much as possible.
  • Place your hands on the ground or grasp opposite elbows for a Rag Doll position.

Low Lunge

Low Lunge/Crescent Lunge

Stretch out the running power house muscles – quads, psoas and hips – with this lunge. It also stretches the difficult to reach tensor fasciae latae at the top of the IT band.

  • Start on your hands and knees.
  • Step your right foot between your hands into a lunge, keeping your right knee directly above your heel.
  • Keep your back knee on the floor or slowly lift your back knee off the floor. Press your back heel toward the wall behind you as you begin to straighten the back leg. Keep your spine long as you hold and breathe.

Legs up a wall |

Legs Up the Wall

You may want to take a seat after your run but try it from a different perspective. Stay in this pose for 3-5 minutes to allow the blood to rush back to the heart rather than pool in your lower extremities.

  • Sit close to a wall, lie back onto the ground, then scoot your buttocks as close to the wall as possible and send your legs up.
  • Rest with your arms by your sides.

What’s your favorite post run yoga pose?





10 Reasons Why You Should Try SUP Yoga

10 reasons why you should try SUP Yoga.

Last week when I tried my first Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) Yoga class, I wasn’t lying when I said I was obsessed. I’ve been researching boards to find just the right one for all my needs and one that won’t break the bank. Yesterday I took my second class. And it fueled the obsession even more. I’m riding the marvelous of it all into Monday.

Since I took my first class, I’ve been raving about it to everyone. The initial reaction I get is usually “That’s so cool!” Followed by “I could never do that! I can’t do yoga on dry ground. Thanks but no thanks!”

That’s so not true! It’s easier and more fun that you could ever imagine. If you are on the fence about trying it, I encourage you to get out there and try something new. You won’t regret it!

Here are 10 reasons why you should try SUP Yoga this summer:

It’s for everyBODY – Just like any yoga class, SUP Yoga is for every single person out there. There’s no age limit. There’s no size limit.

SUP Yoga Koan Wellness 2

Photo courtesy of Koan Wellness.

Zen out – Have you ever sat on a dock and listened to the sound of the water gently lapping against it? That’s all you’ll hear while on your board. It’s the most peaceful sound you’ll ever hear. Go ahead, let your zen flow like wild.

Find balance – SUP Yoga is all about balance. It helps you work on moving from your core and can identify your weaknesses when it comes to balance. To maintain balance, you need to engage your core stabilizer muscles as you try to root down on an unstable surface. SUP tip: Center your belly button over the center carrying handle for better balance.

Challenge your practice – If you have found yourself in a yoga rut, SUP yoga offers a new challenge. If you can float effortlessly into advanced poses like arm balances and inversions on your mat, doing so on a SUP will make you appreciate all the strength and stability that goes into poses like that. I was shocked to find that Side Plank was so tough compared to on land. And it was no big deal to get up into Wheel.

SUP Yoga Wheel Pose |

Photo courtesy of Sup Yo.

Slow down – How many times do you find yourself hurrying through a vinyasa? Are you really linking breath and movement or are you going through the motions? On a SUP, you are forced to slow down the pace and the flow.

Every class is different – With practicing on the water, you will never know what will come your way. It may be windy and the water choppy. Or it may be calm with the water as smooth as glass. Each condition changes the tone of the class.

Enjoy nature – I love yoga in a studio but being surrounded by four walls when the weather is beautiful outside makes me want to skip class all together. Here in New Hampshire, we have a limited amount of warm weather. I want to soak it in as much as possible. And what better way than having the sky above me, water below and the wind blowing through my finger tips?

SUPYoga Koan Wellness

Change your perspective – The world looks like a different place when you are in down dog looking through your spread feet out at the water, the trees, the horizon and the sky behind you. Or when you are in a Seated Forward Fold. It’s like you are one with the water.

It’s empowering – When you let go of the fear, it’s hard not to feel like a bad ass as you flow through the class. If the class is in a popular area, you’ll most likely have on lookers watching in awe. Even if you feel like the least graceful person out there, you’ll look like a pro to those on shore.


It’s FUN! – Trust me, it really is so much fun. There’s laughter involved as each person tries to find their balance. And sometimes fall in. That’s part of letting go of fear and trying something new. But really, what’s the worst that could happen if you fall in? You get a dip in the cool, refreshing water. And a good laugh.

If you have any body of water near you, I can almost guarantee there’s a SUP Yoga class. Give it a try and you’ll soon be like water and go with the flow.

Have I convinced you to try SUP Yoga yet?