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Old 10-20-03, 05:21 PM   #1
astonv0l
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Mind & Body for riding?

So, as always, I'm trying to be a better cyclist and was wondering if anybody has tried Tia Chi or Yoga to enhance their flexability & concentration?
If so, did it help, and did you go to a class or use a book?
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Old 10-20-03, 06:57 PM   #2
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I've been a road cyclist for recreation and exercise for a number of years and have practiced yoga consistently now for 3 years. I have noticed that my yoga practice has enhanced my cycling in a number of ways:

1. core strength. with an increase in abdominal strength and tone, I feel like I am better balanced on the bike, have more strength to pull from on the big, long hills and my posture on the bike is better.
2. breathing. I've learned how to get a better breath (breathing in to the back of my lungs, expanding my chest, using my side ribs) which enhances my cycling endurance and help me normalize my breathing especially when I'm working really hard (that steep hill near the airport that i dread).
3. concentration and focus. yoga has taught me to enjoy the moment I'm in, find joy and pleasure in the action that I'm involved in and it helps me especially (again, hills...) when things get physically tough. i feel that i am more aware of my surroundings and am able to enjoy the ride vs. work my through a ride no matter what the course looks like.
4. flexibility. I've found that the yoga stretches after a ride, or after I've spent many days on the bike and muscles are getting tight is very helpful. also yoga practice can help balance out the body work; there are poses and asana's that can address upper body and abdominals while cycling addresses lower body.

I attend class once a week and practice at home. I have a couple of books that I can recommend if you are interested. Also, Yoga Journal magazine is a good resource for not only the experience practitioner, but beginner as well.

that's my experience. Namaste!
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Old 10-20-03, 07:08 PM   #3
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Wow, well I'm sold
What books do you recommend?
They are building a YMCA down the road from me, I hope they offer Yoga classes
Thanks for the reply
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Old 10-20-03, 07:14 PM   #4
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When I was taking Astanga and Hatha yoga, I did see a dramatic increase in my flexibility- I noticed I wasn't having any back pain, plus with the increase in my flexibility, I was able to increase my weightlifting routine. My cycling also improved too. Right after I stopped taking yoga, I threw my back and was out for three weeks. I don't take yoga anymore, but I'm definitely headed back in that direction, as my flexibility needs to increase before next summer.

When the Y does open, be sure to take all the different teachers and see which ones you enjoy most- they will really be motivating factors to keep coming back.

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Old 10-22-03, 01:47 AM   #5
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woo! I havenot seen yoga around me but I've heard it from BBC radio. Would you show me some wonderful websites about yoga?
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Old 10-26-03, 08:12 PM   #6
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I subscribe to Yoga Journal and find it very helpful and informative. You can get a lot of information as well search for a studio near you on their website. http://www.yogajournal.com/

the two books that I find helpful to my yoga training are these: How to use Yoga by Mira Mehta and Yoga; the Poetry of the Body by Rodney Yee. there are many, many great books out there as well as lots of instructional DVD's and videos.

there are many styles of Yoga and you'll want to choose the type that is right for you. Finding a certified yoga instructor is also important. good luck with your search!
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