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             23 January, 2021
 

    
Category:  Articles » Recreation & Sports » Cycling

 

How Yoga and Cycling Fit Perfectly Together

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         Views: 1521
2006-06-23 19:36:41     
Article by Keith Edwin Renninson

At first glance the two don’t seem to go together do they? Cycling can be so frenetic, and yoga so serene. Yet, yoga can enhance your cycling experience greatly.

I started cycling in 1992 with endurance rides in the Colorado Rockies. They typically covered anywhere from 68 miles on a single day ride to 700 miles on a multi-day event. Some of those miles were over 12,000-foot passes and others on the flat wide-open plains of eastern Colorado.

After a long ride I would most always pay for a massage to help eliminate the toxins, which had accumulated during the hours in the saddle. Having arrived home I would also stretch to stay limber and decrease soreness.

When I started practicing yoga a few years later I happily discovered unexpected benefits, which lent themselves to cycling very quickly and enhanced what I was already doing.

In yoga breathing is a vital part of every session. You learn to breath slowly, predictably and purposefully. This practice enables you to focus on the muscles being used, the balance required and the mental calmness needed to chase away the rest of the world for a few precious moments.

In cycling breathing correctly is a vital part of the ride. Does that sound familiar? When I saw how much my breathing during yoga changed how I performed, I knew instantly how it would affect my cycling. Learning to breathe during an endurance ride or a race is an important part of performing properly.

Yoga teaches us to breathe into the muscles being worked, relaxing and energizing them at the same time. When I am racing a time trial, which is a race against yourself and the clock, I have learned to apply these yoga principles to keep my breathing under control. Breathing deeply, slowly, and by mentally directing the oxygen and energy toward my legs, lower back, neck, or triceps I can reduce the pain and suffering and increase the effectiveness of racing techniques.

As I mentioned earlier, in Colorado we ride a lot in the mountains and they present a whole host of problems to a cyclist’s body. We climb to absurd heights, descend at ridiculous speeds while covering hundreds of miles. As you might surmise, this takes enormous concentration.

Yoga provides the techniques to concentrate on the tasks at hand enabling the cyclist to push through pain, long hours on a skinny seat, breathe sufficiently in the thin oxygen and focus on narrow roads while descending.

During a yoga session we learn to balance on one foot with our arms extended over our head in the tree pose. Poses like this help you have real sense of your body, gain stability, strength, and a quiet focus on your physical condition. This all translates extremely well to cycling.

Consider combining the two, you may find the results to be worth the effort.

Keith Edwin Renninson is co-owner, along with Jeffrey Forman, of Golden Years Videos, LLC a production company dedicated to offering exercise videos for those over 50 or of any age who are rehabilitating from an accident or illness.

Renninson is an avid exercise and yoga enthusiast. Now in his late 50’s; he still races bicycles and regularly skis the black diamond runs in Colorado where he lives. For many years, a bona fide gym rat, Renninson still loves to lift free weights and use exercise machines.

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