Yoga for Cyclists – Q&A with Kristen

yogaThis Wednesday marks the last yoga class of our six-week winter series. The class has been geared towards active people who are generally new to yoga with special attention on the places cyclists need more strength and flexibility.

This week on the blog we’ll be posting some yoga for cyclists Q&A based on recent inquiries from students. If you have any of your own questions or want to sign up for the last class on 2/19, email kristen@bicyclehabitat.com.

“I noticed that some poses feel much different on the left side than the right. How can I work on this?”

For cyclists and other active people, left-right side balance should be the focus. Instead of working on going farther into a pose, aim to do it the same on both sides. This helps you to be more efficient and avoid future injuries. A simple way to start out is to hold the stiffer side a few seconds longer to give that side a chance to catch up.

Everyone has imbalances in their bodies. We all have a dominant hand, foot, and other habitual preferences. Repetitive motion sports like cycling cause imbalances to add up, leading to biomechanical inefficiency and injury. If your average cadence is 90 rpm (rotations per minute), that’s over 10,000 pedal rotations in a two-hour ride. Our bodies are like a machine and become injury prone when one side compensates for the other.

The good news is that yoga allows us to be proactive about addressing our problem areas. Most poses will feel slightly different on each side, but take note of the ones that are markedly different and add them to your training routine. Then do them consistently. A few minutes of stretching every other day is better than an hour every other week. If this is hard to do at home, look for a yoga class that allows you to hold poses for at least 45 seconds on each side.

Also keep in mind that if your body is used to riding a bike, it’s not necessarily used to a vigorous yoga routine. Cyclists become strong, weak, flexible, and tight in predictable areas. In yoga, every pose requires different areas of strength and flexibility. When starting yoga, give your body time to adapt in the same way you build your cycling miles. Don’t do too much too soon, and allow time for recovery.

Yoga with Kristen is this Wednesday, February 19 at 7:30pm in Soho. 

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About bicyclehabitat

New York City's neighborhood bike store since 1978
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