Yin Yoga for Runners

The benefit of taking the time to unwind – One time a runner should slow down!

Let’s talk more about post-run yoga, for deep tension release and recovery…

Last week I shared a sequence with you that I do really regularly as my post-run yoga stretch routine – but I also mentioned that, later on the same evening, I do another, more restorative, yoga session.

This type of practice, that’s much, much slower and restful, is known as Yin Yoga. By spending longer in fewer poses, you’re able to relax the tissues and therefore release deeper set tension.

How does recovery yoga work?

The idea is to get comfortable, using props if necessary, so that you’re able to stay there for several minutes. You’re not even trying to stretch and the sensation is usually much subtler. This, I find is a hard aspect to grasp for many athletes, who are used to trying hard to achieve something!

But, the fact that you are staying there for three minutes plus, at a time, means that there will be effect taking place, that’s much more effective in releasing tension in the deeper tissues, rather than only the superficial muscles that a dynamic/ active stretch has. This is why this type of recovery yoga is incredibly important after a long run or a race, once or twice a week.

Here’s a 12 minute Yin Yoga video, mainly focused around the hips. The hips, particularly the piriformis muscle, can accumulate lots of tension in many people, not just runners, so this is a great practice to get into the habit of doing. Remember that every time you do a class, your body will feel different, so if you’ve done this class with me before, see how it compares to last time!

This class is designed to do cold, as we’re not actively stretching the muscles, so I recommend doing it a least a couple hours after running. Last week’s class is for immediate/ soon post-run.

Write to me here, join the conversation in our community group and leave a comment below the video. I look forward to chatting to you soon!

Thank you so much for reading and watching,


Comments (2)

  • alex


    Hi Helen, this is wonderful – I struggle with tight hips (esp that piriformis). Sometimes that tightness spreads down my hamstrings and calves. Are there Yin style yoga exercises you would recommend for those areas.

  • Helen Clare


    Thanks Alex, glad you like it! Stay tuned for a new video focusing on piriformis, but try this Yin class for hamstrings: https://youtu.be/7w1s2WYaXrY Let me know if it all helps

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