Yoga for the City Rider

Yoga is a glorious and accessible complement to cycling. Try some post-ride yoga and see how great you can feel.

Yoga is a glorious and accessible complement to cycling. Sometimes riding causes pain or stiffness, but yoga can bring your body back into alignment to help keep you pedal-happy and beaming. Yoga postures target and treat road-rage-infused thighs, ropy hamstrings, wandering kneecaps, and a gamut of other maladies brought on by having too much fun riding.

Practice yoga and you can look forward to improved posture and flexibility as well as increased lung capacity and stamina. In addition, a focus on non-competition in postures helps cyclists become better at cooperating with our sometimes overly reactive road neighbors. Try some post-ride yoga and see how great you can feel.

Try the following yoga poses at home or in your office after a ride:

Seated Pigeon

Sit in a chair with a long spine and your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Cross your right shin on top of your left thigh. Spread the toes of your right foot to stabilize your knee joint. Feel a stretch in the right hip complex. To deepen the opening, slowly lean forward, maintaining a long spine, and linger in a sustainable position where you can continue to breathe smoothly. Repeat on the other side.

+ benefits: stretches the hip complex and improves flexibility and circulation.

Seated Twist

Sit with your feet planted beneath your knees, hip-width apart, and parallel. Place your right hand across your body to the outside of your left leg. Press your feet evenly into the floor to stabilize your body from the pelvis down. As you inhale, press your seat bones into the chair to lengthen your spine from tailbone to crown. As you exhale, twist everything above the navel to the left. Continue for a few breaths. With every inhalation lift your torso upwards and with every exhalation gently twist the right ribs to the left. Be careful to keep your spine and neck long, your shoulders wide, and your breath easy. Repeat on the other side.

+ benefits: lengthens the spine, opens the shoulders, and tones the organs.

Seated Forward Fold

Sit with your feet anchored beneath your knees, hip-width apart and parallel, with the toes pointing directly forward. Round your upper body over the legs, resting your chest close to the thighs. Let your arms dangle, your head hang heavily, and close your eyes for a few moments of introspection.

+ benefits: stretches the neck and back, balances the body, and calms the nervous system.

Meet the Teacher: Charlotte Herst is a yoga teacher and musician based in East Vancouver, BC. Charlotte pedals with a child’s curiosity, whether she’s laden with grocery-filled panniers or not, and sees each ride as an empowering and freeing adventure. you can hear her fly down hills singing and see her practice yoga poses on her bicycle that you should probably not try yourself.

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