Posts tagged ‘Iyengar’

March 14, 2011

Cycling and Yoga

It’s funny to think of being new to something so old. Yoga has been around for how many centuries, and here I am stumbling around like it’s the greatest new invention since quick release wheels.

Cycling is all about flow. It is relatively low impact (unless your city doesn’t maintain your roads), but cycling injuries can derail all that fun you have on your bike. Staying loose and staying fit (to include a strong core) are both essential to racking up miles of two-wheeled smiles. Expanding your cross-training into a Yoga practice can help prevent many injuries, and keep you on your bike. (Physio Works is an informative site for learning about prevention, causes, and treatments of various injuries.)

All of the Yoga information on the web can be daunting, but if you’re serious about cross-training to enhance your cycling experience, I would suggest considering which of the following three questions best applies to you (courtesy of WebMD) and go from there.

  1. Are you doing yoga for fitness and to get in shape as well as to explore the mind-body connection? Then choose a more vigorous yoga style like Power Yoga, Ashtanga yoga, or Bikram yoga. All three styles combine an athletic series of poses into a vigorous, total-body workout.
  2. Are you starting yoga with an injury or a chronic medical condition? Or are you older and out of shape? Then start with a slower, more alignment-oriented class like Iyengar yoga, Kripalu yoga, or Viniyoga. All three focus on finding the safest, most precise alignment for each student in every pose.
  3. Are the meditative and spiritual aspects of yoga your primary goal? Then try one of the yoga styles that include plenty of meditation, chanting, and the philosophic aspects of yoga. For example, you might try Kundalini yoga.

Of course, the biggest factor is going to be what is available and convenient to you. Too much travel time on top of an already busy family, work, and training schedule might be even more discouraging to beginning a successful Yoga practice. Your local gym might offer Yoga classes, and many of these instructors are very well qualified and very effective. Yoga Finder is one of many great websites to find classes and styles in your area. Yoga Site offers short definitions of the seeming myriad of styles available.

Whatever you choose, even if your choice is to dabble, stick with it! Any new practice gets better with time, focus and dedication.