One of our resident yogi's, Lilly, runs through why yoga and cycling are the perfect combination.
What is yoga?
Yoga as we practice it in the West, is a combination of breathing techniques, exercise and meditation. The common questions and thoughts for yoga newbies usually include ‘don’t you have to be really flexible?’, ‘I can’t touch my toes!’ and ‘I don’t think I can just think about nothing and meditate’. If this is you, you are not alone! I would say almost everyone that has stepped on a yoga mat has started with these exact thoughts. You will soon find that there is so much more to yoga than this.
What does yoga have to do with cycling?
In essence, nothing! At its core, Yoga is essentially a lifestyle practice and cycling, a form of exercise or transportation. But wouldn’t be it so great if that achy back or tight hamstrings were relieved of their misery? Yoga can do just this! All of the physical niggles accumulated from the long rides, those thighs of steel and stiff shoulders can be rectified with some yoga before and after your cycle. This way, you can get back on your bike the next day feeling brand new.
Yoga works to mobilise the joints and keep the muscles strong that protect the joints. So that you can safely work with your body, knowing that it has been well prepared for more strenuous sport. Most importantly, yoga practices techniques on how to breathe better. These breathing practices tap into your parasympathetic nervous system, making you calm and it feeds your muscles. What this means, is that oxygen can be sent around the body more efficiently. Meaning less cramps and increased performance.
Without a doubt, yoga will reset and recharge your body. Still unconvinced? Have you ever done a lunge to stretch before cycling? That’s a yoga move, bruh. You’ve been doing it without even knowing it. Come learn some more :)