Enhance your cycling experience with yoga!
Are you planning on heading to the countryside on a cycling trip this weekend? Or just in the mood to pull up your socks, re-inflate those tires and get ready to shed some weight? Whatever be your reason, taking up an activity such as cycling requires certain amount of preparation before you actually hit the pedal. Cycling infused with a couple of simple yoga postures can shield your body from injuries and help improve your stamina. So, let's gear up for a few basic pre and post-cycling postures:
Begin with a few breathing techniques like Bhramari pranayama (Bee breath) and Nadi Shodhan pranayama (Alternate Nostril Breathing) to calm your mind and relax your body. This will relieve any stress in the mind and body and prepare your mind for the postures that follow.
Marjariasana (Cat stretch)
The Cat stretch improves blood circulation in the body and strengthens wrists and shoulders. It also relaxes the mind and brings flexibility to the spine, and is ideal for a long cycling ride.
Adho Mukho Svanasana
(Downward facing dog pose)
The Downward facing dog pose is good for strengthening the arms, shoulders, legs and feet and gives you a strong structural support. It helps tone the muscles, gives relieffrom headache, insomnia and fatigue. This pose also improves blood circulation and rejuvenates the body.
Trikonasana (Triangle pose)
The Triangle pose stretches the hips, groins, hamstrings, calves, shoulder, chest and spine. It also strengthens the legs, knees, ankles, arms and chest. This pose helps reduce anxiety, stress and back pain. This is a simple stretch that strengthens many body parts and also helps improve your stamina.
Utkatasana (Chair pose)
The Chair pose helps strengthen the lower back and tones the muscles of the ankles, thighs, legs and knees. It also exercises the spine, hips and chest muscles.
Badhakonasana (Butterfly pose)
The Butterfly pose is a very effective pre and post-cycling posture. It stretches the inner thighs, groins and knees; improving the flexibility of the hip and groin region. It also eliminates fatigue and can be practiced post-cycling also.
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge pose)
The Bridge pose strengthens the back muscles and relieves the back of tiredness. It stretches the chest, neck and spine while calming the brain, reducing anxiety, stress and depression. This is a very effective pose to relax in after cycling.
Shishuasana (Child's pose)
The Child's pose is a very good posture to relax the back, thighs, hips and ankles after a tiring ride. It also calms the brain and helps relieve stress and fatigue.
Viparita Karani (Legs-up-the-wall pose)
This pose is very good to relax the legs and feet after cycling. The back legs, back of the neck and front of the torso are stretched in this pose and thus the tension in the body is released.
A few minutes spent practicing these simple yoga poses can help your body prepare itself for a long cycling trip and also help relax those tired muscles after the trip. Yoga works on the physical as well as mental level and helps improve your stamina as well as your ability to push your limits on the cycle.
Yoga practice helps develop the body and mind bringing a lot of health benefits yet is not a substitute for medicine. It is important to learn and practice yoga techniques under the supervision of a trained Sri Sri Yoga teacher. In case of any medical condition, practice yoga techniques after consulting a doctor and a Sri Sri Yoga teacher. Find a Sri Sri Yoga course at an Art of Living Center near you. Do you need information on courses or share feedback? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.