Yoga For Cyclists
Coast Yoga offers beginners yoga courses suitable for cyclists. Yoga is an efficient and effective way to cross train, targeting tight muscles and joints. Beginners courses are held in the evenings so that time on the yoga mat won’t compromise the time on your bike.
Why do yoga when you would rather be cycling?
- Cycling, by its very nature, involves repetitive action for your muscles and joints. This results in shortened, tight muscles and joints.
- The seated position on a bike is static for long periods. This position, which involves bending forwards over the handlebars, puts pressure on the discs and vertebral joints of the spine and causes back and neck pain
- The position of the shoulders, wrists and elbows on a long ride can result in stiffness and pain in these joints.
- The leg muscles including hamstrings, adductors (inner thigh muscles) and hip flexors become strong and powerful but they also are shortened with repetitive activity. This can create pressure around the knee joint, groins and lower back because of the imbalance in the muscles leading to pain.
- Tight hamstrings and quadriceps can lead to lower back pain. Pelvic neuralgia can also result from long periods on your bike.
- These issues can accumulate, making your time on the bike less efficient, enjoyable and recovery after a long ride, challenging.
How does yoga balance cycling?
- Yoga is dynamic but in an entirely different way from cycling.
- It is the most non-repetitive exercise discipline there is.
- It targets every muscle and joint in the body even the small joints such as those in your feet.
- Yoga builds long, toned, flexible muscles balancing the bulky muscles which develop from repetitive action. Long muscles support and balance the joints increasing their efficiency and longevity. For sports enthusiasts, yoga poses that may help loosen tight hips.
- Yoga increases flexibility through your spine so that when you are on your bike you can easily turn and twist to stay aware of the surroundings. This keeps you safe.
- It improves body awareness so that you reduce overuse in some muscles such as the quadriceps and underuse in others.
- Yoga improves balance so that you stay upright when encountering unexpected obstacles.
- Yoga teaches mindfulness leading to a calm and focused mind, especially during a competitive cycle.
- Yoga teaches calm, deep breathing which enables you to breathe more efficiently decreasing fatigue.
Why practice Iyengar yoga
- Iyengar yoga, named after the yoga master BKS Iyengar, is a dynamic form of yoga emphasizing correct alignment and technique in the poses so it correctly stretches tight muscles and balances the joints.
- Props are used so that you can access the poses with healthy alignment.
- Teachers of Iyengar yoga have practiced and taught for many years before becoming accredited. They are skilled in adapting poses if there is injury, pain and stiffness.
Why cyclists should attend a yoga class?
- There are some great books and videos available on yoga for cyclists but research shows that we rarely have the discipline to practice independently.
- It is difficult to feel if the alignment is correct if there is not a teacher with a trained eye adjusting your posture.
- A teacher’s expertise will build a methodical program to target tight muscles correctly and build a balanced suppleness and strength throughout the body.
- Coast Yoga offers women’s and men’s beginners courses which are a good starting place for cyclists. Please check out the beginners page for the next start dates.