Post-Marathon Yoga Recovery

2 12 2015

Many of you are running the St. Jude Half or Full marathon this weekend. It’s important to fully recover from such an event, and yoga is a great tool for runners to use to maximize your recovery. The first few weeks following a long race should be spent letting your muscles and mind take a break.  Don’t worry about rushing or being powerful.  With the help of our resident yoga teacher, Lisa Warmuth, we have compiled a list of yoga poses you can do at home that will target the most common tight spots for runners including the back, hips, ankles and feet.

Lisa Warmuth

Begin with a mild warm up.

  1. Start with child’s pose or Balasana. Be mindful of how this feels for you. Tight hips may require you to bring your knees together, and more open hips can take big toes touching and knees wide.  You can rest your head on a block if you need to.  Take 10-15 breaths here.

Targets:  hips, back

  1. Move into downward facing dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana). Hips go up, tailbone lifts and legs straighten as much as your body allows. If your hamstrings are tight, this pose may pitch you forward making it feel more like a push up.  Remember it is okay to bend you knees!  Take 5 breaths here.

Targets:  Hamstrings, shoulders, back, hips

Flow between these two poses 4-6  times.

  1. Low Lunge. Bring your right foot forward and come down to the back knee. Lean your weight forward slightly and tilt your pelvis forward.  Hands can be on your right knee, the floor or two blocks.  Hold for 5 breaths.  Repeat on the other side.

Targets:  Hip flexor, glutes

  1. Ankles and feet stretch. (Virasana or heroes pose variations). From down dog, come to high knees. Curl your toes under and slowly sit back on your heels.  Hold for 5 breaths if you can.  Switch to the top of your feet and lean back on your hands.  Hold for 5 breaths.

Targets:  Feet, plantar fascia, ankles and calves.

  1. Butterfly pose (Baddha Konasana)

Sit and bring the soles of your feet together with your knees bent out to the sides.  Explore where your feet need to go (closer to the pelvis or further out).  Exhale and fold forward.  If you have a block (or two), place your forehead on it.  Relax your neck and your lower jaw.  Hold for 5 breaths.

Targets:  Hips, glutes, inner thigh

  1. Move to a mat or soft surface for a quad stretch. Lie down on your belly and support yourself with your forearms. Bend your right knee and grab your right foot with your right hand. Press your foot into your hand for a few breaths and then relax into the stretch. Hold for 5 breaths.  Repeat other side.

Targets:  Quadriceps

  1. Cobra pose ( Bhujangasana). From your belly, slide your hands under your shoulders, elbows bent. Legs remain on the floor.  Lift your heart forward and up.  Elbows remain slightly bent.  Hold for 5 breaths.

Targets:  Parispinals, low back

  1. Eye of the needle (Sucirandhrasana). Come to your back and hug your knees to your chest. Place your right foot on the floor, knee bent. Cross the left foot on the right knee and flex the foot. Draw both legs toward the chest and thread your hands behind the right thigh.  Pull gently until you feel a little sensation.  Hold and breathe 5 breaths.  Repeat on the other side.

Targets:  Glutes, hip flexors

  1. And to finish, one of the best recovery poses for runners– legs up the wall pose (Viparita Karani). Find an open wall and shimmy as close to it as you can. Swing your legs up the wall.  You can place a pillow or blanket under the small of your back.  Arms fall to the side.  Relax.  Hold this for 5-10 minutes.

Targets:  Relieves tension from the legs. Reduces edema in feet and legs.




Lisa Warmuth RYT 200 is Fleet Feet’s resident yoga teacher and an avid runner.  She offers two FREE classes for runners a month at Fleet Feet.  Visit for a schedule. She also teaches at Hot Yoga Plus in Germantown.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: