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View Poll Results: Yoga and Biking?

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  • I currently do Yoga with my biking and find it worthwhile

    15 40.54%
  • I currently do Yoga with my biking and don't find it useful

    0 0%
  • I used to do Yoga with my biking and found it worthwhile

    4 10.81%
  • I used to do Yoga with my biking and didn't find it useful

    0 0%
  • I might consider Yoga in the future

    15 40.54%
  • No way!

    1 2.70%
  • What is Yoga?

    2 5.41%
Results 1 to 22 of 22
  1. #1
    Senior Member DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Okay, the doc said my wife should take Yoga to help with some anxiety and breathing issues she is having. So, being the good hubby, I went with her yesterday to our very, very first Hatha Yoga class - "Gentle, Beginner" class.

    Despite trying to do some stretching lately, I was amazed at how tight my body is. Now, I have always had a tight body, but WOW, did I feel like the failure in this small class of five.

    Great instructor, patient and gentle, and BOY, is she limber. We signed up for a series of sessions.

    So, anyway, how many of you have ever tried or currently do Yoga along with your biking?

    What are your thoughts?
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 09-23-04 at 06:32 AM.

  2. #2
    The Cycling Photographer SipperPhoto's Avatar
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    I used to do Yoga a couple times a week, and still do a little now and then... Like you, I'm pretty tight... at least at first... after a month or so, I got fairly bendy.

    The biggest benefit I found was the breathing techniques... especailly using them on hills. I slow my breathing down, and concentrate on that... makes the hills just a bit easier to deal with...

    I think Yoga is great exercise... I've been telling my Mother inlaw for a few years she should try it, and she used to shine me on. That was, until a couple months ago when she started it at her local gym... she's 59, and her Yoga teacher is 71. Still going strong and staying active. So, my MIL really likes it now, and has some inspiration that at 71, you can still get it going!

    Jeff
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  3. #3
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    I try to do yoga, when I remember or have time.
    My wife introduced me to yoga when we were dating. We attended a series of classes. I didn't do well because this was before cycling and I weighed ~240 pounds. Cycling and proper diet have gotten my weight down to the 180s and yoga is much easier. I'm still tight because I don't do it often enough.

    We have five videos (Fit & Nifty Over Fifty, Stretching for Athletes, etc.) from Priscilla Patrick (South Carolina public television). She was in her mid-to-late 50s when she did most of the videos. She makes everything look so easy and makes me look REALLY bad, but I keep trying. Maybe I'll get there someday.
    My bikes: 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2015 Cannondale Supersix EVO carbon

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  4. #4
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    I think one important thing it focuses on for cyclists is core strength. Not just abs and lower back, but all the stabilizer muscles on the torso that can help in climbing, sprinting, breathing, and in general maintaining a good riding position. Improved stretching/flexibility is also a benefit, e.g. better aerodynamic position, avoid injuries due to tight muscles, etc.

    Dave

  5. #5
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    I'm actually thinking about it (wondering if yoga and meditation might help in my recovery from rides, which is the area I feel I need to improve). Right now my biggest problem is finding the time to attend classes.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
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  6. #6
    gentleman of leisure boze's Avatar
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    i'm a big fan of yoga in general and while it does take a lot of time and i don't do it as often as i'd like i have gotten great benefits from just doing it at home. most ppl i know who do yoga take a class and really don't do much during the week - i think this is a bit like taking piano lessons and not practicing between them. but anyway..

    yoga's awesome. stretching and breathing in a way that brings awareness to your body and encourages relaxation and flexibility. when i do a good yoga practice - on my own or in a class - my voice will be in a lower register when i'm done. the only other time this happens is when i get my high-priced massage every month or two. now i tend to do what i call "slacker yoga" at home because - well, i ride a fair amount and trail run and stuff and i'm not really looking for a "good workout" in my practice - i just want to slow down and relax and open up.

    so if i do yoga in the evening after a tense day doing web dev stuff then i feel like i'm settling down and stretching out. and if i do my practice in the morning then i feel sort of ginsing focused in a way that lasts throughout much of the day. in both cases i'm quite happy with the idea that while i can be kind of a **** in general i have a special way to improve the signal to noise ratio of my life.

    ppl always talk about the "mind/body relationship" and i think that yoga makes that feel like a false dichotomy for me. i mean why "mind/body" and not "lungs/body" or "bone/body"? the implication that your mind and your body are separate from one another is kind of obtuse, and yoga helps with that: you're not just sitting still and settling your mind, and you're not just stretching your hamstrings and thinking about whatever you want -- you're moving into a pose and holding it and moving into another pose and holding it and all the while you're breathing through your nose and feeling the air in your belly deepen the stretch in each pose. you have plenty to attend to while you practice, and the peaceful state that comes from doing this routinely leaves me feeling like there's way less separation between things we think of as "mental" and "physical" you might think.

    i'm not putting this all that well, but my point is that i think yoga offers a unique way to sort of come back into yourself where you should always be. it's like tuning a bike or a guitar - a tune-up for the self.
    Last edited by boze; 09-26-04 at 09:22 AM.

  7. #7
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    I started yoga classes in March with the neighbor who had turned me onto cycling

    It certainly is NOT for wimps and wusses

    After a class, twice a week I find myself in a far better frame of mind thought than 4 days at the gym

    Releases tensions, both mental and physical

    Recommend at least one visit to everyone, surprising how many continue it finding the same enjoyment I do

  8. #8
    mitosis freezin
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    Started yoga once a week at the gym over a month ago. After spending the summer laid up with a back injury, I vowed to stregthen the core area. I've laid off the weight lifting and am focusing on flexibility and core strength. Now I do yoga 3 times a week, bought a DVD to lead me through a simple routine. Really helps the back and especially the hips. Also very relaxing, I sleep like a corpse if I do yoga right before bed. The featured speaker at this month's club meeting talked about the benifits of cycling and yoga, I didn't go b/c it was yoga night at the gym. Om on

  9. #9
    band-aid tester Gasper's Avatar
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    i might be the odd man out in that i have been doing yoga as a primary activity and just got in from my 2nd road ride EVER today (i have been mt biking for 3 years, racing also).

    yoga's benefits are not as readily apparent as cycling - it takes months before you will feel appreciable benefits, especially in the mind. but for me and mt. biking at least, my recovery times are better, from both a physical and mental point of view. less stress = better healing also.

    yoga's isometric (static) poses can build core strength and endurance ideal for cycling, such as holding the "plank" pose for seconds to minutes, helping to firm up cyclists and runners notoriously weak abs (with respect to their backs). i like to lift weights also, but i think yoga completes a missing part in traditional exercise focusing on repetitive weight lifting and cardiovascular work.

    i have moved away from the "gentle poses" and focus on strength moves to complement my biking and running activities, and follow primarily Rodney Yee's yoga programs. If you are interested, I recommend doing both 30 minute sessions, back to back, on his tape (and my favorite) Yoga for Strength and you'll get a kick ass workout anywhere you are...
    "What am I on? I'm on my bike busting my ass six hours a day. What are you on?"
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  10. #10
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    If you're new to Yoga try doing a Sunrise Salutation before working out or riding. It's a great full-body warmup that only takes a few seconds.

  11. #11
    Not a senior! townandcountry's Avatar
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    I do a yoga routine every morning. Rodney Yee's AM Yoga. I've been doing this since July and I guess it has helped my cycling. I get into the quiet place a lot sooner, recovery times easier. I'll have to think about the hills, though. Also it has helped to lower my blood pressure. That made the doctor happy.

  12. #12
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    I took a Yoga class in college and really enjoyed it. I have recently been thinking about taking a yoga class because with the amount of activity I do I think flexibility is an important aspect of physical fitness that I sometimes neglect. I think this thread has inspired me to go for it and find a studio near my house and sign up for some classes. Thanks!

  13. #13
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    I love yoga and pilates. I think it has helped my cycling a lot. It will also prevent you from looking like a turtle as you get older and train more.
    Scott

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  14. #14
    Senior Member astompa's Avatar
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    I agree that the breathing techniques are great for the hills. On hills I "breathe from the diaphragm." Take a breath but first you let your stomach expand with air and then the lungs. I feel like I'm taking in a much larger volume of air. Try it!

  15. #15
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    I have been doing Ashtanga Yoga for the better part of 4 years now, going on 5. Ashtanga is a vigorous form of Hatha Yoga involving 42 poses that are linked by breath and movement from one pose to the next. It is very intense and the better you become the harder it is, much like Pilates. I actually took the cycling season off from doing Yoga and wish I hadn't done that. I had mastered the jump through and on good days had mastered the jump back. The jump through requires you to jump from downward facing dog pose to sitting while supporting your weight and gently laying your straight flexed legs into a sitting position. It requires great balance and core strength. The jump back is from this same sitting position back into plank pose before moving into upward facing dog pose. Because of the 8 months off from Yoga, I have lost this edge that I had. I started practicing again last week and I am glad I started up again. I will continue as my cross training during October and then continue with Ashtanga at least every other day doing the 45 minute intermediate form to keep my flexibility and core strength during the season.

    It helps tremendously with cycling, in my opinion by improving the mind's ability to know where your body is at any given moment in space and time. This improves bike handling and the breathing practice helps keep you relaxed and focused during intense efforts on the bike. It helps improve your ability to use those hip flexors during hip flexion (lifting up on the peddals). Last but not least, a short 15 to 30 minute session after a ride helps flush the lactic acid and speed recovery for the legs.

    My wife is a Pilates Instructor and I think this is also very complementary for cycling.

    For those of you interested in Ashtanga, the following website is recommend for DVD's and books htt://www.ashtanga.net

  16. #16
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    I'm bumping an old thread, I know, but I just recently took the basics class in Ashtanga Yoga and was searching for the forums to see what experiences others have.

    My biggest problem is flexibility. I ride bike and I paddle, so you could say I'm flexible in the way crowbars are. When doing Ashtanga I especially notice stiffness in the back of my thighs. I'm still very much a beginner, but I am looking forward to learn more.

    Surprisingly, my kayaking experience gave me a swift start with the essential muscle locks (bandhas). Sitting and paddling apparently develops lower abdominal muscles, and perhaps more importantly makes you aware of those muscles. So getting started in that particular aspect of Ashtanga was relatively easy. The rest was, and is, not .

    One thing I struggle with is the breathing technique. I have had a singing hobby for quite some time, so I am aware of "how" I breathe. I need to do some thinking on how techniques tought in Ashtanga relate to my previous experiences and knowledge.

    I have to say I am happy that the spiritual side of Ashtanga is not very eagerly marketed in these early stages. Mantras, for example, are optional. I am sure I will develop an interest to that part of Yoga later if it is essential. Right now I am more than busy with all the physical aspects.

    I would encourage everyone to give it a go. And don't be afraid of Ashtanga's reputation of being very demanding physically - at least our class was told repeatedly you should do the practices to the extent your body currently allows, not beyond. You will get better at it with time and practise.

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  17. #17
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    I took astanga yoga for about a year before a groin injury sidelined me (from cycling). It probably was the time I became most flexible. I'm now just starting back up again, and even though it's years later, I still have some of the flexibility I had from before. It's a great way to work on breathing and flexibility.

    Koffee

  18. #18
    Zen Cyclist jslopez's Avatar
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    While not really the same thing but I go to regular martial arts classes twice a week and ride pretty much everyday (commute to work and longer weekend rides). I noticed that you don't use the exact same muscles, meaning after a hard ride I can still go to martial arts and not feel like mu muscles are giving out.

    They both challenge your endurance and the biggst thing that translated from martial arts to cycling for me is the breathing (or the concept of chi flowing thru your body). I'm in no means an expert in either but with all the good things I hear about yoga I believe that it will help you become a better cyclints mentally/spiritually as well as physically.
    ZEN CYCLIST once again...

  19. #19
    Senior Member jazzy_cyclist's Avatar
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    I've been doing yoga for a month and a half or so. So far, I really enjoy it. Hard to say how it works with cycling since I haven't ridden much outside for a couple months now, although I rider the trainer and have been doing some spin classes.

    I enjoy the flexibility benefit, but my primary motivation is to de-stress. We don't work on it specifically, but I notice that my neck muscles really end up feeling relaxed after a class.

  20. #20
    Who said turtles are slow
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave719
    I think one important thing it focuses on for cyclists is core strength. Not just abs and lower back, but all the stabilizer muscles on the torso that can help in climbing, sprinting, breathing, and in general maintaining a good riding position. Improved stretching/flexibility is also a benefit, e.g. better aerodynamic position, avoid injuries due to tight muscles, etc.

    Dave
    Sone forms of Yoga do work on core strenght, exspecially Ashtanga Yoga, it is based on strength training & stretching. You use your body as the weight and as the resistance.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Faust's Avatar
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    I have practiced the four yogas of the Mahamudra for many years. It is a mental discipline of meditation and wisdom teachings. Meditation on the four yogas brings about a radical insight into the nature of reality, and an enduring equanimity. Stretching and cycling complements the mind-body equation. Good music, laughter, and a wonderful wife are just icing on the cake.

  22. #22
    Sprockette wabbit's Avatar
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    BEing limber and flexible is something you develop over time. THe good thing about yoga is that you don't have to be as good as everyone else in the class- do what you can do. ANd it is more strenuous than it looks and not as easy as it looks! I find it's good for things like my back and neck, where I get stiff and sore, and also it is relaxing. It helped me after I had surgery last year and had to get limbered up after weeks of being immobile.
    You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. That's great...if you want to attract vermin.

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