Benefits of Yoga for Cyclists

Hi. So before we jump straight into the yoga for cyclists practice, I thought we would talk a little bit about some of the benefits that yoga can have for cyclists on their physical health and for their cycling as well. Well then that talk briefly about what you can expect during a yoga class and a couple of things that you just need to be aware of. So I’ll start with the benefits. So one great benefit to yoga is it can really help improve efficient breathing. So during the cycling we do tend to or most people tend to breathe quite rapidly and the breath tends to be quite shallow, so we’re breathing, breathing mostly into the chest. So what yoga does is it brings awareness to your breath. It helps to really utilize the diaphragm by breathing into the belly. So this can really help with more efficient breathe. And even if, when you are cycling you do notice that rapid breathing coming back, you can bring that attention back to to the breath and utilize more diaphragmatic breathing if you like. So another benefit to yoga, it can really help to build a strong core. So because when we’re cycling, we tend to be in the same position for a very long period of time. That means that our spine is taken a lot of pressure, my build in that strong core, we support the spine that can help with posture as well. So that can reduce things like experience in lower back pain, and maybe pain on the shoulders as well. So strengthening that core area stabilizes the spine, which can help with your posture while actually on the bike. It can help with engage in those core muscles of breathing. Some awareness to those areas as well. So that’s another way that yoga can really benefit your cycling. A third way that you can benefit your Cycling is it increases your focus, and it can also decrease your stress levels as well. So the calming nature of Yoga means that it’s quite a slow practice in comparison to cycling, then you do have different types of yoga. Some are quite fast paced, but generally speaking, it is a much slower pace. So it really balances out that fast pace that we tend to take while cycling. And then we’ve got the more slower pace, we have time to process how the body is feeling and just reduce the those reduce the tension levels in the body as well. So this will be triggering the parasympathetic nervous system which has the calming effect on the body. So this helps bring the body in balance. And it can also help with focus as well, which is great when we’re on the bike as it helps us look out for things such as traffic or the cyclists. And it can also help with endurance. So for anyone that’s a long distance cyclist out there yoga community help with the mindset that you’re in on a long ride, as well as by bringing some focus clarity, and being able to to allow you to stay on the bike for many hours at a time potentially. So we’ve covered efficient breathing, improved core strength, and increased focus levels. The fourth one is improved spine health so briefly already spoke about in proving the core strength. Now we’ll talk a little bit about the spinal health. So when we say We tend to have the spine flexion. So we tend to be kind of hunched over, like in the shape, we can be in the shape for sometimes a few hours. When I was doing my cycle trip, I would often be in the shape for maybe six hours a day. And that’s the spine in flexion for a very long period of time. So what this does, is it can weaken and structure the ligaments that support the spine. Because we’re in this dis kind of position for a very long period of time. What yoga does is it helps to align the spine. So bringing again some awareness to a neutral spine, how that should feel it should help with your posture when you’re off the bike. But it also can be used to really start to open up and stretch through the chest and also build some strength in the back muscles that can help. These are the muscles that tend to get weak when we’re in position. So, by strengthening these muscles will start to bring our spine back into a more neutral position, kind of counter balancing the position that we are in our cycling. So that’s the fourth benefit of using yoga with your cycling. They last benefit that we’ll cover today is the is yoga can be used to reduce the risk of injury. I feel like maybe for most people, this might be the most obvious one because when we cycle we get tight muscles we are contracting the muscles in the legs and the hamstrings in the calf. And I’m sure most of you’ve probably experienced at some point cramping of those muscles, you sometimes can just feel how tight those muscles are getting. So that means that the muscle is shortening and it can mean it’s more likely to Tear or strain, when you suddenly do stretch out that muscle. And that could happen to a point just walking along or something like that, if the muscles are really tight, you, you do have that potential to do some serious damage to the muscles. So yoga really helps with stretching those muscles out. And that in the long term can reduce the chance of tears and sprains and other muscle injuries as well. Even ligament injuries. And that can it can reduce the chance of those. Yoga, as I mentioned a little bit before can also help build some strength in other muscles that we don’t use. So those muscles that tend to get weak because we’re not using them during cycling. yoga can be used to strengthen those muscles that again, can reduce the chance of injury. So that’s the five benefits that I wanted to cover today. Now before we do get started in the practice, I just wanted to make you aware that yoga should never be painful. It may at times feel challenging, and that’s fine. But you should never feel any pain or any numbness or anything like that. And if you ever do experience that, please just gently come out the pose, you might like to take the pose that we’ve previously taken so often in yoga, we’ll start in one pose, and we might take a few more variations of the pose, you can come back to a previous one, you can come down to a resting pose, or if there’s, if you’ve got props around the block like this, you might want to use that to support yourself during the pose and that can also help as well. Also, if you are new to yoga, if you have any medical issues if you’re pregnant, anything like that, I definitely recommend speaking to a health practice. practitioner or a doctor beforehand as well. You do have to make sure that you are in a good position to practice these classes. I do give lots of options, but it’s still down to you to notice how the body feels that only practice if you feel you are able to do so. So please don’t push yourself only work within your limitations. And I think that is everything I want you to cover. Like I said, there’s lots of benefits to yoga, we just have to make sure we’re mindful about how we feel and only work within our limitations to be able to get the best benefits from yoga that we can. So I hope you enjoy the short course. The next class is one on props. So we’ll go for a few of the different props you can use and some of the household items that you can use now place a great day. Enjoy the course.