Yoga for Cyclists

“It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.”
– Ernest Hemingway

Hemingway had a valid point; nothing lets you explore and understand your world better than a bike. The focus required to navigate on a bicycle (without introducing your face to the pavement) engages you with your environment in a way unmatched by any other mode of transportation. This notion makes it clear why yoga, and the sport of cycling pair so well together, as nothing helps you connect to yourself better than the practice of yoga. While cyclists are continuously engaged with their environment; monitoring inclines, bumps, dips, and other potential road blocks, there is the potential for those attentions to distract them from listening to their bodies. Cyclists who practice yoga learn to attend to breathing, endurance, form and strength, all things that aid in building efficiency.

If you are looking to a deep stretch, try these classes:

  • Hip Opening – Monday @ 6:15 pm, Tuesday and Thursday @ 9:30 am
  • Gentle Yoga with Tune Up Balls- Monday @ 7:30 pm
  • Shoulder Opening-Tuesday @ 6 pm
  • Hatha Yoga – Wednesday @ 10 am, Friday @ 9:30 am
  • Yogahour – Friday @ 12 noon and Sunday @ 10:30 am
  • Restorative – Sunday @ 1:30 pm and Thursday @ 1:15 pm

If you are looking to a deep stretch, try these classes:

  • Yoga for Athletes- Saturday @ 12 noon
  • Any Hot or Warm Flow Class
  • Vinyasa Yoga- Wednesday @ 7:30 pm, Thursday @ 4:45 pm, Saturday @ 10 am, and Sunday @ 3 pm.
  • Fun with Inversions-Wednesday @ 7:30 pm
We spoke with Murray Buchanan, age 55; an Edmonton Elite Cyclist (well, we think so at least, though he was far too humble to label himself as such) about his experience with Yoga and with our own Yoga Central. Here is what he had to say!

quote1“I’ve been cycling for 17 years, however it would be a stretch to consider me an elite cyclist. I just enjoy the fitness aspect along with some friendly rivalries. Most of the year I dedicate my time to “road biking” and then in the later part of the year I focus on “Cycle Cross”. On average I ride four times per week, with my distances ranging from 50 to 100kms at a time; in 2014 I road approximately 5500 km. I’m a member of a local club here in Edmonton that has five scheduled rides per week, consisting of everything including an interval night, a hill circuit, casual rides, and weekend long rides. I endeavor to participate in those along with ad-hoc rides on my own with friends, my end goal simply being the enhancement of my own personal fitness.

I’ve practiced yoga for years now, and I’ve always enjoyed yoga and cycling together, and endeavored to work them both into my weekly schedule, however I was truly reminded of the benefits of yoga this past spring. I hadn’t been properly dedicated to yoga for a few weeks, and as I stared riding I noticed how sore I was, however as soon as I got back to a weekly yoga regime, I instantly felt better riding. Yoga provides me with the ability to not only ride more often but to ride and recover quicker. I feel like I can go longer or harder, and still recover and be set to go again the next day. I feel yoga benefits me the most when I’m on a long outing. My hips and back never seem to tighten up or even get sore and I attribute that to the flexibility that yoga gives me. After an event I’ll generally try to get to a yoga class two to three days after, allowing my body and muscles to recover. As mentioned, I defiantly find that yoga assists the most in recovery, however this past fall I was continually trying to remind myself of breathing control during cycle cross races. When I consciously practiced the breathing control I learned from yoga, I found myself more relaxed on the bike and was able to focus better.

During the biking season, my available time to practice yoga is limited, but I make sure to attend a session at least once a week to maintain flexibility and dedication to stretching. In the “off season” I go more often as I still find it very relaxing, and so totally different than sitting on a spin bike or lifting weights.

Yoga Central has a very warm and friendly atmosphere, and provides a great variety of classes that I generally attend; warm/hot flow and a class dedicated to Yoga for Athletes. The teachers are attentive to not only providing a good yoga experience, but will also focus on poses or areas that you feel will be beneficial to you, and your goals.”

We would like to thank Murray for his kind words and insight into yoga for Cyclists. We would like to invite other cyclists and athletes to visit Yoga Central and experience the change yoga can make in your athletic career. Whether you cycle, run, dance, swim, or tackle others on a football field, (Go Eskimos Go!) Yoga Central has a class for you. Building strength, flexibility and focus all lead to a stronger, safer experience when participating in sports, and yoga gives you all of that in a relaxing, stress free environment. You’ll leave blissfully exhausted and invigorated; ready to take on the world, and pedal into the wind.

See you soon!

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