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Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

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Old 08-17-09, 04:55 PM   #1
palookabutt
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Yoga, Anyone? (Mostly OT)

Anyone else in the 50+ crowd do yoga? I made a promise to myself to start before my flexibility and balance went too far downhill. Found a good place that (a) caters to beginners, (b) isn't too expensive and (c) is a short bike ride from the house. After one month, I think I like it.

Minuses: tight hamstrings from cycling -- ooh, my hams do not like some of those poses! Mirrors across the front wall, so I can demonstrate my lack of flexibility and coordination to EVERYONE. I've got a long way to go.

Pluses: hanging out with cyclists all the time, I had no idea how buff my legs looked! And those nice, strong legs are learning the balance part pretty quickly, though my "tree" tends to wave in the breeze a bit.

...and of course, lythe young ladies in yoga tights -- ahhh! As in cycling, sometimes you just wanna enjoy the view.

I know there are cyclists who do yoga for all-around fitness. I'm curious to know how many stay with it into your 50+ (60+, 70+, ...) years, and how well it's worked for strength, balance, etc.?
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Old 08-17-09, 05:08 PM   #2
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I signed up for Yoga this past winter at one of our local shops, as I have wanted to check it out. I like stretching exercises. However, my schedule just would not allow time for it and, I never had the first class. But, my plan is to try again this winter. It seems to now be offered in more places, which indicates its growing in popularity.
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Old 08-17-09, 05:22 PM   #3
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I've been practicing yoga for over 4 years. It's helped with my balance, core strength and breathing especially during a race. The gals are all used to my "biker" tan lines. I remove my shirt after Sun Saluation A, nice and warmed up and my leg tan lines are exposed during headstands!
I'm usually in the yoga studio twice a week during race season and 3-4 times a week during the off season. I do mainly Vinyasa and some times a Power class. The best part is the gals can't believe I'm 51!
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Old 08-17-09, 05:30 PM   #4
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I have been doing yoga once a week for the past two years. This has helped my balance, core strength and keeps my back happy. I too enjoy watching the younger ladies clad in spandex. I have had the fact that I have tight hips pointed out at least each session with some of the poses I try to get into. My instructor says that we practice yoga and it is a 50 year journey. As long as I work towards the pose and feel the strain that is good. I recommend it for anyone over the age of 30. I just wish I would have started it much earlier.

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Old 08-17-09, 06:39 PM   #5
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My wife and I have been taking a "Yoga for Seniors" class for the last 6 weeks. Helps loosen up the tight leg muscles. We've already registered for the next session of classes.
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Old 08-17-09, 08:31 PM   #6
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I've not gone to any classes, but I'm about to hit 60 and have been doing some yoga poses at home on recommendation of a physical therapist. I still work, and sit for quite a lot of the day, and osteoarthritis conspire to make me one stiff bugger if I don't do the stretches. So, I may take my wife up and start going... 'tho I'm such a cheapskate that I will likely say I can do it at home...
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Old 08-17-09, 09:43 PM   #7
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I took yoga classes for a number of years before I started riding. I believe there are few things better for increasing flexibility and helping with balance. I still do a few moves in the mornings while I shower to stretch out and my workout videos include yoga. After a long ride, I find it really helps relieve tension in my shoulders and neck. I am more flexible and can balance in weird positions longer than any of my three teenage kids can. I highly recommend it.
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Old 08-17-09, 10:01 PM   #8
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I don't do yoga, but love my Pilates Reformer. In addition to stretching, don't forget that it's important to do strength training with weights. On different days, I use two separate sets of free weights (one is much heavier) as well as a weight machine. For cardio, I bike and use my ski machine. I try to work out 6 days a week.
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Old 08-18-09, 09:24 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by tony2v View Post
I remove my shirt after Sun Saluation A, nice and warmed up and my leg tan lines are exposed during headstands!
I'm usually in the yoga studio twice a week during race season and 3-4 times a week during the off season
Headstands? I'm impressed. I can only dream of those at this point. But one thing I like about yoga is the fact that there will always be intriguing challenges.
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Old 08-18-09, 09:50 AM   #10
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I have been doing yoga once a week for the past two years. This has helped my balance, core strength and keeps my back happy. I too enjoy watching the younger ladies clad in spandex...
I have been doing yoga almost daily for the past two years along with year round cycling. In addition to balance and core strength, I find yoga helps with breathing and what I would describe as "energy flow." IMO, cycling improves my yoga more than the reverse. This has been a good cycling summer and I've attained the most extremes in some postures, even more than when I did the same yoga over thirty years ago.

I am self-taught by Richard Hittleman's Yoga: 28 Day Excercise Plan in which he teaches a couple dozen postures, including a headstand, over 28 days, and then offers a repetitive three-day cycle of them. I'm not into the meditative aspects, and usually listen to Talk Shows while doing the excercises. So I suppose I wouldn't fit well into a group class, and get to enjoy the younger ladies in spandex.
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Old 08-18-09, 10:33 AM   #11
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I stretch every day using Active Isolated Stretching: The Mattes Method. And I use the foam roller. I do both of these activities at the gym.
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Old 08-18-09, 01:56 PM   #12
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I'm not into the meditative aspects, and usually listen to Talk Shows while doing the excercises.
I'm not into the meditative aspects either, but... talk shows? There are far more pleasant ways to kill brain cells.
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Old 08-18-09, 02:09 PM   #13
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I just got a Yoga starter kit (pad, book, DVD) and am planning on giving it a start. I sure am not flexible. Looks interesting. I am already starting in with Mantras... One of my favorites "you have all the time in the world..." I am so used to being efficient, I am struggling getting involved in things that take time to do.

Oh well. I have all the time in world to learn to take my time.
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Old 08-18-09, 03:07 PM   #14
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I'm not into the meditative aspects either, but... talk shows? There are far more pleasant ways to kill brain cells.
I even listen to Talk Shows while cycling and while at work. In fact, without them, the silence is deafening. I am listening less though on the bike since I recently got an I-pod and have been filling it with great cycling tunes. (Please, no popcorn threads on the topic of listening.)
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Old 08-18-09, 06:58 PM   #15
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My husband and I were taking free yoga classes three time a week at our local gym. Sadly we had to give it up. Between the morning dog walk, gym class after that and then an hour of yoga, all that ate up half of our day.

I promised myself I would do yoga at home at night -- hasn't happened very often. I'm not sure if the yoga was really helping me or not, but I still do a little. I liked the corpse pose the best. LOL
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Old 08-18-09, 11:13 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I even listen to Talk Shows while cycling and while at work. In fact, without them, the silence is deafening. I am listening less though on the bike since I recently got an I-pod and have been filling it with great cycling tunes. (Please, no popcorn threads on the topic of listening.)
of course, everyone can and does approach things their own way. But yoga offers something few other activities seem to these days - time with yourself. The 'meditative' side might just start with the experiencing of yourself as you go thru a 'practice'.This awareness has many benefits, a few of which include learning a lot about how your body feels/experiences the simple act of living/being. Add the strength, balance, breathing and movement of your practice experience and there's a whole new perspective of what your body is.
Then there's the learning to control your mind. The mind is an un-quiet thing, always needing interaction/distraction. And not surprisingly, if denied something to munch on, the mind will create its own 'attention'; often to our detriment. Yoga offers the opportunity to start controlling that loose cannon, the mind (if you want to and prefer to control yourself, rather than let the mind run amuck as it usually does).
Then there's 'now'. Yoga certainly is one of few ways for us to be fully present, here, now, living the precise moment and place you are. Not distracted by where you might be 10 secs away or 10 days out, or 1 hour past. Now. It's actually a difficult place to be consistently until it becomes more commonplace as you work/practice to being there.
Cycling can, in its most immediate form, be a great way to be here, now. If you (I was gonna say "let it", but thats not accurate - these days being here, now, is very hard with all the distractions we wrap ourselves in) work at it.
The days I am not 'strong' (determined) enough to have a Yoga practice, are poorer for not having it.
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Old 08-19-09, 07:47 AM   #17
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I studied Iyengar yoga during the 1980s and keep intending to get back into it, but I am having trouble making time for it. There are many different flavors of yoga, and you have to find one which suits your objectives and desires.
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Old 08-19-09, 09:13 AM   #18
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I have been doing yoga almost daily for the past two years along with year round cycling...I'm not into the meditative aspects, and usually listen to Talk Shows while doing the excercises. So I suppose I wouldn't fit well into a group class, and get to enjoy the younger ladies in spandex.
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of course, everyone can and does approach things their own way. But yoga offers something few other activities seem to these days - time with yourself...Then there's the learning to control your mind. The mind is an un-quiet thing, always needing interaction/distraction. And not surprisingly, if denied something to munch on, the mind will create its own 'attention'; often to our detriment. Yoga offers the opportunity to start controlling that loose cannon, the mind (if you want to and prefer to control yourself, rather than let the mind run amuck as it usually does)...
Hi cyclezen,

Thanks for your comments, including approaching things your own way. I happen to be of the type who enjoys, and virtually needs external input, not as a distraction but as a way to focus: on my mentally intense job, while cycling, doing yoga, and various activities in between. In fact, I find the silence distracting, or “deafening” as I posted. My highest meditative state is to read the newspaper uninterrupted. This may seem pedestrian to many adherents, but I feel my inner life is very rich, and expanding in the ”right” direction.

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...The 'meditative' side might just start with the experiencing of yourself as you go thru a 'practice'...
I find one of the intriguing aspets of yoga is to improve the postures, often by seemingly spontaneous flashes on a body part, e.g. a vertebra, that is affected by or allows for improvement. These insights are seemingly to me not hindered by external stimuli. This argument is so similar to the perennial BF threads about listening to a device vs. just hearing the sounds on the road. As a subscriber posted to such a thread: “...why don't people get it that the right music complements the ride and doesn't detract from it. Epic ride + epic tunes = good ride.”

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...Then there's 'now'. Yoga certainly is one of few ways for us to be fully present, here, now, living the precise moment and place you are. Not distracted by where you might be 10 secs away or 10 days out, or 1 hour past. Now. It's actually a difficult place to be consistently until it becomes more commonplace as you work/practice to being there.
Cycling can, in its most immediate form, be a great way to be here, now....The days I am not 'strong' (determined) enough to have a Yoga practice, are poorer for not having it.[/
I am not as enamored of yoga as I am of cycling, but I do try to do yoga daily, if at least to be able to maintain my level. I once posted to a thread about cycling in the "zone":

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...I think the time between such extraordinary, "peak experiences" is often a a long time. I think there are ways to introduce high points into the mundane day to day existence.

I have previously posted this anecdote: I once had a memorable lunch-time discussion with a surgeon and an internist that turned to the vicissitudes of life, e.g. sudden death, or trivial symptoms that are harbingers of a serious disease. The best conclusion we could come up with was the old chestnut to live each day to the fullest. As we were leaving, the surgeon, a Marathon runner, said, “Well any day that has a run in it is a good day for me.” That clicked for me that any day with a bike ride in it is a good day.

Maybe it’s just the endorphins talking, but to me a cycling lifestyle embraces a philosophy as well as a technology…
BTW FYA, as I was looking for the above post I came upon this thread, “How do you relax / meditate?”: How do you relax / meditate?

Take it with a grain of salt; it was in the Foo Forum.

Thanks for the opportunity to write.

Jim
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