Bicycle Network: Health Matters
Yoga for riders
Bike riders make good yoga students and as Simon Vincett finds, yoga has plenty to offer bike riders as well.
When Allan Halyk ran a yoga course for bike riders in Hobart he was interested to find that “most were casual riders but they were some of the tightest in the lower body of all the students I’ve come across.”
A regular bike rider himself, Halyk offered the course in conjunction with Hobart’s Bike Week and attracted 45 people for the day course.
“I was surprised how little awareness they had of good posture. I guess that’s one of the great things about bike riding, you can just sit and push a pedal,” he says.
Regular commuters will recognise that riding brings the benefit of toning your thighs and butt. These muscles are used extensively for power in riding but they are never fully extended, creating inflexibility and poor posture if not stretched. Yoga stretches these muscles and all the other ones besides, maintaining flexibility along with strength.
Bike riders don’t tend to be drastically unbalanced from their riding, but it is a very linear activity that doesn’t develop stabilising muscles. The standing yoga poses in particular address this with extensive work in twisting and balancing positions.
This article was published in the June-July Issue 2010 of Ride On.
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