Reese Witherspoon’s
Red Carpet Yoga and
Running Routine

By Dana Meltzer Zepeda


If the nominees for women who have it all were up to us we’d include Reese Witherspoon. Why? She strives for off-screen balance. She runs and she stretches. She mothers and works. She works hard and plays occasionally. The 32-year-old actress and single mother with triceps to die for has what we call the yoga edge. Dana Meltzer Zepeda sat down with Reese’s yoga teacher, Matthew Reyes, owner of YogaHop, a Santa Monica, CA studio famous for hot music mixed with hard yoga classes. He explained the workout behind a body like hers, sharing the special yoga routine that allows her to gracefully rise above tacky tabloid stalkers, rumor mills run amok, and work-life challenges.

How much yoga does she do? And how often does she run?
For the past two years, when she’s in town, I see her one to three times a week for a 90-minute class or in-home private sessions. I designed a workout that takes into account Reese’s three or four runs a week. She’s a hardworking woman between acting, being a mom and running a production company. This workout is made so that if you can only do one thing in your day, this is it.

Why are yoga and running good complements?
In Reese’s case she runs a lot so her legs had a good level of strength but now her upper and lower body are evenly structured. Also, when I coached runners, people got leaner but their joints would hurt more. Yoga makes people’s bodies look incredible with no trade-off. The reason I solely do yoga now is because I’ve seen bodies change the quickest, in a healthy, good way.

Can you give us an example?
Having been an athlete, run marathons, taught distance running, spinning, tennis, and weight training, I focus a lot on standing poses to stretch out her legs. Crescent is great because you increase your stride as a runner and it opens up any tightness. It’s important for runners’ ankles to be strong so they don’t twist them. Crescent also builds balance.

Why is your class good for athletes?
If you go to a gym, it’s never silent. So each of my classes consists of an hour-and-a-half soundtrack of rock, rap and hip-hop tunes. On any given day, you might hear John Mayer, U2, The Pussycat Dolls or even Michael Jackson. When I was teaching spinning, there were certain songs that sounded like you were going up a grueling hill; there were songs that sounded like you were doing a sprint; there were songs that sounded like you were relaxing. If you can hit all of those in a spinning class, the class is going to move better. So I learned it there and brought it into the yoga world.

Reese's Yoga Playlist


29 May 2008, 14:45
It's nice to give routines for people to follow, but to give the notion that this particular routine is 90 minutes is WAY off. this might take 25 minutes, and that is holding each pose for at least 8 breaths.

Good routine, but should be longer if people want to look like Reese W. this artical was very misleading.

Anita Owen
29 May 2008, 19:08
A pleasing routine, but most yoga books and journals over past 30 years have mentioned (when suggesting daily practice sequences) that ending the session with a twist isn't good. General guidelines: Twist is best counterpose to backbends; inversions are good prep for twists; a forward bend such as Janu Sirsasana is good counterpose for twist; & never end a session with a twist.

Edith C.
03 Jun 2008, 13:32
Good warm up routine. I've been doing yoga for 10 years. Where are is the routine after this warm up. No way she got that body with those few poses. Misleading article.

09 Jun 2008, 14:39
The sequence here seems like a pretty good workout to me! When you add in all the vinyasa "flows" and do both sides for each pose, it was definitely more than a warmup. Plus, Reese runs a lot so this and the running are prob what gives her such a great body.

16 Aug 2008, 09:51
I read the entire article and cannot find why anyone would think it was misleading. This routine would take 90-minutes and along with her running, she looks fantastic:

The Sequence

Reese's Yoga Playlist

Done to the "fast song" playlist
Down Dog
Vinyasa + Down Dog
Warrior 1 to Warrior 2
Vinyasa + Down Dog
Crescent + Warrior 3
Vinyasa + Down Dog
Warrior 1 + Warrior 2 + Half Moon + Warrior 2
Vinyasa + Down Dog
Crescent + Warrior 3 + Half Moon + Crescent
Vinyasa + Down Dog

(repeat above on both sides)

Done to the "slow song" playlist.

Forward Bend

16 Oct 2008, 11:38
i want to do yoga exercises with the purpose of to improve helth , to live active everywhere , every time every situation ,to do strong memory , to do strong my body.these things i want to improve.

Leave a Reply

Notify me about new comments on this page
Hide my email
Security Image: