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  1. #1
    Has a magic bike Heathpack's Avatar
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    Who else does yoga?

    I naturally have tight hamstrings and am inflexible. Since I started cycling 10 months ago, that tendency has only gotten worse. I was doing yoga at the Y at the time, but it didn't seem like the greatest class. So last summer, I got a membership to a fancy yoga studio, thinking I could go multiple times per week. But the classes were so crowded, you never got much individual feedback, I was getting nowhere and couldn't figure out if it was me or what the issue was. But I really wanted something to counter the hamstring tightness and also work on core & upper body strength, as a complementary activity/counterpoint to cycling.

    So I decided to try a private yoga session. I sent out my basic story via email to a few candidate yoga instructors and I eventually scheduled with an instructor who is a former cyclist himself. The session was great. One hour, solid work, just the things that help me. It was a little more athletic than a lot of yoga classes, a little more like a personal trainer session than a typical yoga class. My intrustructor is something akin to a kindly drill sergeant ("just" 10 more seconds?!, you're killing me dude!). I signed up for a 7-session package.

    Just today I finished the 7th week and I've gotten farther than I did in 6 months at the crowded yoga studio. I only do one yoga session per week and I don't practice at all the rest of the week (too much time cycling, lol), so I'm a little surprised to at the progress- more so in upper body & core strength than in flexibility. I've re-upped to another 5 weeks. I'm not sure how much more of this I can afford but I'm semi-addicted to it now.

    I don't hear much discussion here about yoga, Ive even had a few passing comments suggesting I shouldn't do yoga in favor of more cycling. When I had my fitting, the fitter (who is involved with a fair number of elite performance cyclists) asked what else I did- when I said yoga, his reply was "good". Not that it really matters what anybody else thinks, I'm definitely sticking with the yoga. But why no love here for yoga? Is it because y'all are mostly menfolk and prefer to lift weights and just stretch on your own? Or do people do yoga but it just doesn't come up because this is a cycling forum?

    H

  2. #2
    Administrator CbadRider's Avatar
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    I think there are quite a few people who do yoga on this forum; there just haven't been any threads about it recently.

    I have also found yoga classes at the Y to be overcrowded so I started taking a Yin yoga class (stretching poses held for five minutes or more) at a smaller studio and I really like it.

    The private lessons sound intriguing, though. Are they terribly expensive?
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  3. #3
    Has a magic bike Heathpack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CbadRider View Post
    I think there are quite a few people who do yoga on this forum; there just haven't been any threads about it recently.

    I have also found yoga classes at the Y to be overcrowded so I started taking a Yin yoga class (stretching poses held for five minutes or more) at a smaller studio and I really like it.

    The private lessons sound intriguing, though. Are they terribly expensive?
    Yes, they are $$$ (but I'm in California, maybe would be cheaper elsewhere). My first 7 sessions were a special pre-Christmas deal, $75/hour. The regular price is $100/hr, but if you buy 5 sessions it is 10% off or $90/hr. This is vs fancy yoga studio which is unlimited classes for $75/month (but still a bad value for me personally given the crowding) or the Y which has 3 yoga classes per week I could attend in theory (schedule-wise), plus lap pool, weight room, cardio room & other group fitness for $36/mo (great value). The Ys yoga isn't terribly good and right now with my cycling training schedule, the class times don't really work for me, but Im still a member because of the lap pool. The other key thing for me right now with the cycling schedule- the private yoga is 5:30 am and doesn't interfere with anything else.

    H

  4. #4
    Senior Member GeorgeBMac's Avatar
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    I've never tried yoga -- but I recently started getting involved with Pilates -- which I think shares some common ground with yoga. And, like you, I ended up with private lessons -- and I am seeing benefit from it.

    Frankly, I think I may be too much of a clutz to go very far with it (too many complicated movements and too many parts of the body to keep track of at once for my little brain). But I am hoping to learn enough and develop enough that I will be able to continue at least some of it on my own...

    But, I agree with your fitter: "that's good".

    As much as I enjoy cycling, it has dawned on me that cycling is a lot like going to a gym and only using one of their machines... It tends to overdevelop certain muscles and parts of the body and under develop others... A complimentary cross training program is good to balance things out.

    But, like my exercise physiologist told me: 'Doing it is good, but don't sacrifice the cycling to do it'.

    Or another study that I just read said: 'Strength training decreased the likelihood of developing Diabetes -- as did aerobic training... But the best was not one or the other, it was both'
    --------------------------------------
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  5. #5
    Senior Member robabeatle's Avatar
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    After taking a few classes, why keep paying? Do the routine that you like on your own. If you need to change it up, go to a class. Unless you like the social aspect...

    I go through a routine after I ride that takes about 20 minutes. I'd call it yoga inspired stretching if anything.

  6. #6
    Has a magic bike Heathpack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robabeatle View Post
    After taking a few classes, why keep paying? Do the routine that you like on your own. If you need to change it up, go to a class. Unless you like the social aspect...

    I go through a routine after I ride that takes about 20 minutes. I'd call it yoga inspired stretching if anything.

    Two reasons:
    1. I won't do it on my own. It's hard in a way that's different than cycling. Cycling= invigorating hard, something I like to do and I don't need any motivation whatsoever. Yoga= just plain hard, esp the core work. I know I should do it but I won't

    2. 100% I am getting constant correction on form the entire hour. It's hard to keep track of the position of your toes, and your heels, and your thighs, and your pelvis, and your abdomen and your shoulders and your shoulder blades and your head all at the same time. As soon as I focus on one thing, something else goes awry. It's kind of the same thing as why someone would not just take 3 piano lessons, then take it from there on her own.

    H

    Edited to add: Oh yeah, then there's the breathing. Totally helps on the bike when you are working hard.

  7. #7
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    I'm a big yoga fan, Ashtanga specifically. I believe it'll cure whatever ails you for the most part, I just need to do better as far as fitting it in. I've got a couple of DVDs that I like and use at home, never seen the inside of a studio. I'd like to pick up Diamond Dallas Page's Yoga for Regular Guys. A lot of my meathead buddies really like it.

  8. #8
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I did yoga during the winters for 3 years ... the first two years, I had a really good instructor. The 3rd year the instructor was OK, but I didn't feel I had gotten as much out of it, and I got busy with other things, so I stopped going.

    I keep thinking I might start taking yoga classes again, and have been eyeing a yoga/pilates type of class that is held on Mondays ... maybe ...

    But I might wait till winter before I start. Given a choice, I'd rather be outside cycling or walking, especially when the weather is nice.

  9. #9
    Senior Member timvan_78's Avatar
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    i'm pretty sure I live at the epicentre of (north american) yoga, lol. It was inevitable that I eventually try it.

    I really crashed my knee so I was out of the intense impact stuff for a while (skiing/mtn biking/running) so I took up yoga temporarily.

    Hot/yin/power/flow--I've done probably 30 hours in the last 2 months. It is definitely beneficial and addictive. Find the type that works for you. Most yoga studios have a really cheap introductory month.

    I would say try it: your hip flexors/glutes will thank you.

  10. #10
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    Been doing it for 20 years. If not for yoga and my chiropractor I'd be a four legged life form.

  11. #11
    Senior Member GeorgeBMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heathpack View Post
    ....

    ....
    2. 100% I am getting constant correction on form the entire hour. It's hard to keep track of the position of your toes, and your heels, and your thighs, and your pelvis, and your abdomen and your shoulders and your shoulder blades and your head all at the same time. As soon as I focus on one thing, something else goes awry. It's kind of the same thing as why someone would not just take 3 piano lessons, then take it from there on her own.

    ...
    I get the same thing from my Pilates intructor... It's weird: she knows what my body is doing better than I do... And I agree its hard to keep track of what all those body parts are doing...

    But, I have to wonder if you could get 80% of the benefit if you were able to to form 80% correct -- and save yourself a bunch of money by going it alone?

    But, as you point out, there is the motivational factor as well...

    So, if you can afford it and you're getting the benefit -- GO FOR IT!
    --------------------------------------
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    I've been doing Iyengar yoga for three years now in weekly classes. The depth and intensity Mrs. RF and i can do has increased tremendously in that time. Iyengar is based on correct form and holding poses for a few minutes at a time. We also have a lot of coaching on recognizing when we might be pushing to a harmful level. The pain of a light muscle strain or a slight overstretch is ok, but th pain of a stressed tendon attachment is not. Despite the fact we have gotten our form much closer to the standard positions, we are still far from say, the textbook pictures in Iyengar's "Light on Yoga." So as far as difficulty and coaching, I think there's a never ending need, since it is so hard to reach the positions in the book. Similarly in cycling, there's never good enough, always the difficult task of getting better, whatever your current state of ability.

    But: riding in the drops is a lot easier, as is keeping a flat back. Doing minor tasks while on the bike, like adjusting a shoe or toestrap (yes, I still have them!) brake cable adjustment, fixing/donning clothing, more resiliency when climbing, are all better when we come back into a cycling season. Overall balance, agility, and "sure-footedness" are also a lot better.

    "all the little body parts and what they are doing ..." that's in Iyengar, too, but as managing opposing aspects of posture and body-driven stretching rather than as motion. The body is stretched based on your own muscle power and work against gravity, which implies a lot of isometric development. Also there's a lot of self-awareness required to maintain proper alignment and direction of limb motion, and to always consider "does this feel right? Can I do it just a little deeper for those next 10 seconds?"

    You really can forward-bend better if you raise your kneecaps and keep your feet parallel!

    Yoga is great all-year. For the off-season it doesn't have enough aerobic content, we finally decided. So, I'm back on the turbo again!
    Last edited by Road Fan; 01-23-14 at 06:28 PM.

  13. #13
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    Did a class a year ago. Tried it again today (hot / power yoga). It felt good and I can see myself doing it twice a week, in particular in the winter. I felt the core getting a workout and my glutes a nice stretch...among other benefits.

  14. #14
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    I have never taken Yoga classes but like and do some of the poses and stretches for 20 years or so. The main benefit for me has been maintaining flexibility. At the age of 75, I'm just about as flexible as I was at 40 y.o.The full range of Yoga asanas will also make one surprisingly strong. I recently bought a book on Yoga anatomy with a detailed section on breathing and the muscles involved in breathing. I learned that the chest cavity is criss-crossed with bands of muscle that assist and work in conjunction with the diaphram to cause the rib to cage expand or contract on inhale and exhale. As an asthmatic, maximizing my ability to breath keeps me on the bike.

  15. #15
    Senior Member GeorgeBMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by berner View Post
    I have never taken Yoga classes but like and do some of the poses and stretches for 20 years or so. The main benefit for me has been maintaining flexibility. At the age of 75, I'm just about as flexible as I was at 40 y.o.The full range of Yoga asanas will also make one surprisingly strong. I recently bought a book on Yoga anatomy with a detailed section on breathing and the muscles involved in breathing. I learned that the chest cavity is criss-crossed with bands of muscle that assist and work in conjunction with the diaphram to cause the rib to cage expand or contract on inhale and exhale. As an asthmatic, maximizing my ability to breath keeps me on the bike.
    That's good to hear. We have always been taught that stiffness simply comes with aging and cannot be avoided. I have not believed that: I would see these stiff, fat old ladies sitting in their stuffed chair with their feet on the ottoman watching TV all day and complaining: "It's hell getting old!" -- but I have believed their condition was usually or mostly self inflicted. It's good to get confirmation.

    Keep up the great work!
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  16. #16
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    wifey does Yoga, Zumba & Acupuncture
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  17. #17
    Senior Member smahler's Avatar
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    I've taken a few classes at the local yoga studio with my gf. I like it and see some increased flexibility. I want to try and do it once a week (about all my budget will allow at this point) because I'm going more aggressive with my bike fit. We get their early to get a spot. Also depends on the instructor - the one I like is more focused on the physical side and less on the spiritual (although she does include a little of that). But I've been pleased overall.
    LET'S GO FLYERS! And O's! And Ravens!

  18. #18
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    OP, have you felt a difference on the bike?
    I am riding 175 miles so kids with cancer can go to summer camp for free. You can help:
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  19. #19
    Has a magic bike Heathpack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikebreak View Post
    OP, have you felt a difference on the bike?
    Its hard for me to 100% say. I've overall improved everything cycling-wise because: 1. I am a new cyclist & have nowhere to go but up, 2. I'm training obsessed (I have ridden 2000 mi since I started training Nov 17), and 3. I bought a fabulous new bike.

    But I can touch my toes which I couldn't do before. I have a somewhat lower position on the new bike. I can control my breathing (which in turn lowers my heart rate) quite well on the bike. My upper body strength is much better.

    And I just love yoga.

    H

  20. #20
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by berner View Post
    I have never taken Yoga classes but like and do some of the poses and stretches for 20 years or so. The main benefit for me has been maintaining flexibility. At the age of 75, I'm just about as flexible as I was at 40 y.o.The full range of Yoga asanas will also make one surprisingly strong. I recently bought a book on Yoga anatomy with a detailed section on breathing and the muscles involved in breathing. I learned that the chest cavity is criss-crossed with bands of muscle that assist and work in conjunction with the diaphram to cause the rib to cage expand or contract on inhale and exhale. As an asthmatic, maximizing my ability to breath keeps me on the bike.
    That's great, berner! And with flexibility, I'm more flexible now at 60 than I was at 45!

  21. #21
    Senior Member hermanchauw's Avatar
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    I do. But there is no magic in the word "yoga". There are so many schools that the word "yoga" does not mean anything. You could call it "stretching", "compensatory movement" or some other names and that would be more specific.

  22. #22
    Senior Member long john's Avatar
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    My daughter does yoga in the city ny and all it costs is a dollor donation. She loves it I am going to give it a go

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