By Hannah Franco
I seriously have the greatest grandmother ever. She’s in her 80’s and every year (basically since it started) she has ridden her bicycle across the state… the state of Iowa. I tried one year to go with her when I was around 17. I did my best to keep up, thinking I was pretty strong (I was on swim team and I played soccer regularly) but she still left me in the dust… I only lasted 3 days. She doesn’t seem to even notice that she’s 80 now and she still takes down 60 mile days like its nothing. In honor of her and all the other people who don’t let anything get in the way of living fully I thought I’d pull together a top 10 poses to do pre or post cycle. This yoga sequence for cyclists is perfect before spin class, mountain biking, road cycling or even just a nice cruiser bike ride. Regardless of how you choose to exercise, yoga is a great way to prepare your muscles as well as aid in recovery!
1. Foreword fold with hands interlaced behind back (Uttanasana)
101: Feet are hip width apart. Fold forward. Interlace your hands together behind your back and let the arms hang over your head.
Variations: Reach down and grab your ankles
Benefits: hamstrings/shoulders/ chest
2. Pyramid Pose (Parsvottonasana)
101: Both legs are straight. Spine is long. Hands to the hips, shin, or floor.
Variations: Hands interlaced behind the back.
3. Pigeon / Downward dog (Kapotasana /Adomuka Svanasana)
101: hands are shoulder width apart. Hips are up towards the sky and your spine is long. Cross your left leg over the right thigh. Flex your left foot and press the left knee out to the left. Bend in your right knee coming up on to the ball of your right foot.
Variations: Normal down dog, both feet on the floor.
Benefits: hips/ hamstring/ quad
4. Half splits (Ardha Hanumanasana)
101: (front) Left leg is extended straight, flex your foot. Right knee and ankle are stacked. Hands are to the hips, shin, or floor. Spine is long.
Variations: Full splits but be kind! No rushing!
5. Low lunge (Ashwa Sanchalanasana)
101: (front) Left knee and ankle are stacked. Your right leg is extended behind you and you are on the top of your right thigh not knee. Hands to your hips. Spine is long.
Variations: Reach around and grab the foot of the extended leg bringing it closer to your hip
Benefits: hip flexors/ quad
6. Cat /Cow (Marjaryasana/ Bitilasana)
101: Knees and hips are stacked, hands and shoulders are stacked. Arch the spine up and down with the breath
Variations: Move the spine in a circle around to the right then left.
7. Half bow pose (Dhanurasana)
101: Your right forearm supports you. Reach back for your left foot or shin with your left hand. Kick the foot in to the hand to lift the let.
Variations: Grab both legs at the same time
Benefits: back / chest
8. Seated twist (Matsyendrasana)
101: Your spine stays long. The bent left leg crosses over the right extended leg. Your left hand is on the ground supporting you and your right arm wraps around the left leg. Look over to the right. Do both sides
Variations: You can tuck your extended leg up by your hip
9. Seated forward fold (Janushirshasana)
101: Your spine stays long, you don’t have to touch your toes. The left side foot touches your right inner thigh, lean forward. Do both sides
Variations: Don’t forget to do the second side!
Benefits: hips/ hamstrings
10. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana)
101: feet hip width apart. Knees and ankles stacked arms by your side.
Variations: The hands can be interlaced behind your back.
Benefits: back /chest /shoulders
Happy Cycling! See you in class!