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Yoga Takeaways For Cyclists

16 October, 2013

We all know that yoga rejuvenates our bodies and calms our minds. And for one I love to spread the love of nurturing one's body and soul. With a serious mission to build inner strength and balance, I took on a recent daily practice of yoga to help me recover my body and peace of mind from daily stresses of living and biking in New York. Here are some take aways on how yoga can help you improve your ride recovery and keep you mindful for a better ride.

Connecting With Your Breath
Yoga teaches an inward focus of the mind (and through this, deep awareness of the present moment) by bringing awareness to our breath. Strengthening this mind-body connection helps us concentrate on our cadence. When we are able to clear our minds of distraction, we can really fill our lungs to open our bodies and spirit.

Clarify Your Vision
Studies have shown that the power of visualization really works. Building relaxation and mental clarity by practicing yoga is a powerful tool to harness that focus and visualize success (like a double fist pump when we cross the finish line first).

Prevent Injuries
Spending hours hunched over the handlebars and pedaling past the point of pain can cause overuse injuries of the knees, backs, quads and hamstrings. I love yoga for its stretching and strengthening properties.

Strengthen Your Core
Yoga’s focus on flexibility, finding the edge and staying balanced builds full-body strength. A strong core “holds it all together” and provides the power to push through personal limits. 

Here are some of my favorite yoga poses I love after a ride.
photos: triatholon
For Chest and Shoulders
Cobra Pose:  Lie facedown and place your hands underneath your shoulders. Gently press up, keeping a slight bend in the elbows.

For Quads
Quad Stretch: From a kneeling position, sit back on your heels. Place your hands on the floor next to your hips. Lift your hips and chest to the sky. For a deeper stretch, place your forearms on the floor.

For Hips and Glutes
Upside Down Pigeon Pose: Lie face up on the floor, and bring your right ankle to your left quadriceps. Pull your left knee in toward your body; push your right knee away gently.

Forward Fold. While standing, hinge forward and fold at the hips. Grab onto elbows, or for more intensity, grab your ankles.

Image: Bicycling

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