One wouldn’t think so, but yoga and running go really well together. Where running contracts the muscles, yoga stretches them out.
When I started running I was always aching, my knees and calves hurt and I felt contracted. But then, I combined my running with yoga stretches and that really helped to stretch out my muscles. Be sure to stay in each pose for at least 30 seconds up to two minutes in order to get the full effect of the stretch.
Virasana (Hero Pose)
This is a great pose that stretches the quadriceps and ankles. It will give you great relief after a long run. If you feel any discomfort, sit on a block. Remember to watch your knees. Don’t push yourself too much. If you’re more flexible, then lie down and go into Supta Virasana (reclined hero pose) to get an even deeper stretch.
Malasana (Garland Pose)
I know the tension you can feel after a run! And what a great way to release that tension, stretch the ankles, groin and back torso by getting into Malasana. You might find it a tad bit difficult to get into the full pose and stay there for a while, but try your best - or at least until you feel some release.
Downward dog is one of those poses that you don’t really think much about but really has a lot of great benefits. This pose will stretch your hamstrings and calves and help create length in the spine. Just stay here for as long as you need!
Gomukhasana (Cow-Face Fold)
Gomukhasana is a great way to really stretch the piriformis which is a hard-to-stretch muscle deep in your glutes, your iliotibial band (IT band) and your hips. It’s one of the muscles that gets tight when you run. As always, take it slow and never over exert your body.
Viparita Karani (Legs Up the Wall)
Finally, this is such a great restorative pose, even if you’re not a runner. Anyone who is on their feet a lot will surely enjoy the benefits of this pose. This pose allows blood that has accumulated in the feet and legs to recirculate in the body. It also helps to gently release the lower back and hamstrings.
I would even take it a step further and release the legs out to the sides so you’re essentially lying down with your legs against the wall in a ‘V’ shape. It is very relaxing! Stay here for up to five minutes if you feel like it.