At the Yoga Space many of our members cycle to class which is a great way to help the environment and your fitness, but how can yoga specifically help cyclists?
In this blog we explore yoga poses specifically for cyclists as well as some tips on how to develop flexibility, strength, and relaxation to improve your ride. You can also attend our Yoga for Cyclists workshop – details at the bottom.
Take a breath
The breath in our poses makes Yoga so powerful and this can be translated through to our time on the bike. Through deep, fluid breathing, we can take control of our heart rate and access more power.
Paying attention to the breath can also increase our mindfulness and bring us into the present which can mean we pay more attention to our body, decreasing the likelihood of injuries and also importantly increase our enjoyment of cycling.
Setting up your home practice? Read our blog with some great tips here.
A gentle warm up
Cat/cow poses will open the spine and allow us access the shoulders, and we can move the wrists in different directions too. Downward dog, the ultimate pose for the whole body engagement, and feel-good lengthening and stretching, can follow this. Some low lunges will open the hips and back of the calves.
Legs and Hips
Crescent moon (anjaneyasana) followed by half hanumanasana (half splits), will start to bring flexibility into tight hamstrings, and open the front of the hips flexors.
Long holds on any version of pigeon poses will help to work into very tight outer hips. And lying on the back of the body extending the legs with a belt will further open up the joints and muscles in the legs
Shoulders and Wrists
Poses such as gomukhasana (cow face pose) and garudasana (eagle pose) practiced an a daily basis can give more suppleness and openness in the front and back of the shoulders. As does prasarita padottanasana (wide legged forward bend) with the arms behind the back.
All the back bending poses are brilliant for cyclists, as they open up the heart centre, make us more fearless, and counteract all our forward bending on the bike. A daily bridge pose will keep the glutes strong, the hips open and strengthen the spine.
Unwind your Spine
Seated and prone (lying down) twists will help to unwind after a ride, and keep the spine healthy…twists can also be done on the bike while waiting at traffic lights!
Finally never underestimate the power and benefits of doing regular restorative poses. They will help to regulate your parasympathetic nervous system and recharge your joints, muscles, and you in general
Be a cyclist, be a Yogi, save the planet!
It will give you:
- Time to focus on your own needs
- Decreased stress levels
- Increased strength and flexibility
- help to open closed areas and build the strength to stay open
- release blocked energy
Yoga for Cyclists workshop with Gerry – 28th March 4-5:30pm
During this workshop Gerry will focus on areas mentioned above such as hip flexors, calf muscles and lower back, but additionally, wrists, hands, feet and shoulders which are often in one position whilst riding, as well as learning some poses that will help you deeply relax to promote better muscle tone.
Whether you are a serious cyclist or just ride you bike to the shops this workshop will be fun, useful, and your cycling will be enhanced afterwards!
Investment £15 – book below
Gerry is a choreographer and dancer and brings people together to share positive physical experiences. She has come to her yoga mat since the 1980’s. Her influences have been Iyengar, and Hatha techniques, and she has taken inspiration from dance and yoga flow, which is introduced in her classes.
It provides an opportunity to focus on the breath and open the joints and muscles in the body in a gentle and Gerry works on correcting skeletal alignment, and uses yoga to make the body more mobile for use in everyday movement. She will guide you through the postures, to soften, let go, and strengthen. Breathing techniques will allow deeper stretches and clearer focus. Gerry’s yoga class will invite you to open the body and mind, and leave you feeling relaxed and calm for the rest of the day. Gerry teaches Monday at 5:30pm, Wednesday at 10am, the last Sunday of every month at 4pm and Restorative Yoga on the last Friday of each month at 7pm.