Yoga is the yin and cycling is the yang

Yoga - AngeloI was recently approached by a Sydney-based yoga/cycling enthusiast who has developed his own yoga classes just for cyclists called Pedal Stroke Yoga. As a fan of yoga I was intrigued by Angelo’s upcoming workshops so asked him a few questions about what’s behind it.

How can yoga benefit cyclists?

I believe that Yoga is the yin to the cycling yang. Both of these complimentary halves work together to create a ‘high performance’ version of you as a cyclist and also as a human being. My Pedal Stroke Yoga workshops are designed to put back what your cycling takes out. When you are in a Pedal Stroke Yoga class you are essentially performing a full service and maintenance on your body and mind, the same way you do on your bicycle. Your body will outlast that expensive carbon frame bike you own, so why not take the same care with your body that you do with your bike. That way when you do get back on your bike to race, or go on a ride, your body will perform to its maximum potential and maybe even beyond.

Cadel Evans is a great yoga fan and credits it with helping him improve his performance on the bike:

‘ People who know me may remember all those yoga exercises I do. No one understood why I spent so much time putting myself in those strange positions. Well , it’s to improve my form on the bike. I sit on the bike with a much flatter back now than I used to three or four years ago’ – Ride Cycling Review

Is Pedal Stroke Yoga just for serious cyclists only?

No, there are benefits for all levels of cyclist and everybody for that matter. The Pedal Stroke Yoga classes are delivered using ‘cycling language’ so cyclists can find it easy to relate to, but the benefits of Pedal Stroke Yoga can be experienced by everyone.

If you think about it, our modern lifestyles are very much performance orientated, and we do spend most of the time using our mind to push our bodies to perform. The classic example is when you stay up late at night working when your body is saying ’I need rest’ or when you are pushing through back pain when sitting at a desk, or performing manual labour.

What actually happens in a Pedal Stroke Yoga class?

In the Pedal Stroke Yoga classes we start by using breathing exercises to allow your mind to drop down into your body and familiarise itself with all the aches and pains, and injuries that you have been neglecting on and off the bike. We also check in with your energy levels, to see if you are feeling fatigued and then we work at topping up your energy container so you leave feeling refreshed.

Then we use the Pedal Stroke Yoga sequence of Yoga poses to open and lengthen the tight muscles that have been overused, and we activate and strengthen the weak muscles that have been underused. Then we finish by doing a visualisation exercise to create razor sharp focus to help propel you towards your goals.

What is your ultimate goal?

I would like to work with a pro-cycling team as a body maintenance coach, and hopefully I can get some time in to ride all those classic climbs myself!

Upcoming workshops

Redfern on Saturday, 15 November 2014

Cammeray on Saturday, 22 November 2014

Concord on Saturday, 29 November 2014

And you can sign up for them at Angelo’s website.

 

And I know that I normally focus on women in my blog posts but from my experience women are far more likely to take up yoga than men, so it’s a perfect fit for female cyclists – yoga classes just for them. And hopefully their menfolk will follow…..

One comment

  1. Totally agree Nicola! Apart from loosening up tight areas after a ride, it helps with upper body strength. I’ve just returned to yoga (after finally accepting that I needed a spinal fusion- had to stop a couple of years ago because of a manky spine)….and it was a huge eye-opener about my drop in upper body strength! I rode the Alps and Pryenees in July = strong legs etc! but…..had neglected the rest!
    Now I feel so good if I’m able to get to a yoga class after a ride because I always leave with my body humming 🙂

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