While yoga it’s connecting breath to movement, cycling means more power, speed, and endurance, but that two discipline have more in common and can help each other more than what we thought.
If you don’t think that before you keep reading this article just use your common sense and think about this. Yoga improves the breath linking and the stretching and the more you control your breathing and position (based in yoga flexibility) the more power you access on your bike.
Now that you have a little understanding of how this is connected, let’s keep going with the article. This article it’s divided into 2 sides, the first one about how the yoga and the cycling are connected and the benefit of yoga for cyclists, the second will be a small list with some bases poses that can help you if you are a rider and just want to learn how you can improve your performance by using yoga basics exercises.
How yoga and cycling can be connected?
I read this phrase on the internet and I think it’s the truest about both disciplines “Nothing’s more freeing than the open road—unless it’s the space you create inside.” For me, both disciplines help you to feel free, to improve your focus and to connect your body with your mind and environment in order to make your life better.
The practice of yoga is a personal transition between your breathing, strength, and stretch development, just like the bike ride has the breathing, pedals effort and the position on the bike. In both cases is an inner experience and you need to be conscient of every single move that you do to you can deal with the next step of the session. In the end, both practices have similar bases (breathing, stretch, strength, and focus).
Benefits of doing yoga:
- Improves flexibility on tight muscles, in terms of biking produce more extension and better position to ride against the wind.
- It helps to create a body that is pain-free and supple, so you can perform on your biggest potential if you want.
- Creates strength without adding bulk, for a cyclist it’s elemental have a strong body but not a really big one, the yoga will help to improve the core stability and strength.
- Strengthens muscles used in the pedal stroke to improves the power
- As it was explained in the beginning, it develops breathing exercises to improve lung capacity and endurance on the bike.
- Help to train your mindset to stay focus on your goal while you are riding.
- Mobilizes and balances the nervous system. The cycling session help to feel more relax and free, although sometimes we take our ride too seriously and we get some stress if we don’t achieve our goals. Yoga can help to contrast this feeling and your workout will make you feel any accomplishment even more.
Being precise, it alleviates tension in neck, shoulders, hips, knees and other joints that are impacted with the cycling session. So, it reduces recovery time.
Yoga poses for cyclists
The next will be a sequence of poses that I consider are basics and great options for those riders that want to involve in the yoga in order to improve their ride. The main goal is to use basics poses, that everyone can develop in a short or medium time, to help to alleviate pain and create more resistance and a better stretch on the riders.
This sequence is given in an order that I would do, starting work from the low body until the upper body and have a full stretch session.
- The left knee and ankle are stacked on the front.
- Your right leg is extended behind you and you are on the top of your right thigh not on your knee.
- Hands to your hips and push a little, making your spine is long.
- Deep breath and maintain the equilibrium
- switch legs and repeat
A great option to work your stability and relax your hip flexors and your quads
- Both legs are straight.
- Right leg on the front
- The spine is long.
- Go your chest down with your hands to the floor
- Go up, switch the leg on front and repeat.
Stretch especially the hamstrings and help shoulders and low back.
- Straighten your back while holding your body with your hands and knees
- Inhale roll the shoulders to your back away from the ears
- Then exhale and arch the back while pulling the navel inwards
- Repeat the move
This exercise will help you with your stability and it’s a great option to work your back and shoulders
- Lying with your both arms on the floor
- feet hip-width apart.
- Knees and ankles stacked arms by your side.
- Push and go up with your lumbar while your arms still are on the floor
- Deep breath and repeat
An excellent option to work and relax as well your back, low back, chest, and shoulders.
- sit straight with your hands on the front
- Inhale and Your left hand is on the ground supporting you and your right arm wraps around the left leg.
- Look over to the right.
- Do both sides and repeat
This exercise is wonderful for tired back and spine, but it helps as well to stretch and relax your shoulders
All these positions are easy and simple for any kind of rider but the rewards that come when you practice this usually will be great, mix these exercises with a deep breath, at least five seconds before you move, focus on your feelings, and your body will feel floating. We are not talking about doing this every day, sometimes you may have no time, but whenever you want to switch your routine and give a break to your body to make it recover, all these exercises would help you! and don’t forget, relax, enjoy, deep breath… oh! and whenever you can go back to your ride.