5 Different Yoga Sequences with Hannah Barnes & 14 Ideas for Productively Filling Time

Mar 25, 2020
by Hannah Barnes  
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Words by Hannah Barnes


Since doing my yoga teacher training last Summer, sharing yoga with friends, family and together with Specialized at events has been amazing. I love teaching a weekly class for the local mountain rescue team too. It will be a while however until we can all enjoy these social luxuries again. Due to Coronavirus, we all know that the world has dramatically been turned upside down. This is a crazy new reality we are functioning in right now, where staying at home and physically isolating ourselves is the most effective and socially conscious action we can do, have to do, in our efforts to manage COVID-19. We are isolating ourselves at home and having to quickly adapt to a new normal.

I’m sure most people have said so at some point that they should really do some yoga, to loosen up and help fix a bad back or tight hips. Usually, time is the limiting factor. Why not try it now? The physical benefits are widely appreciated - practicing regularly builds a stronger, sharper, more supple, balanced body.  A body that can stay at its peak for longer. Working towards building stability without tension and rigidity. Yoga brings mind body awareness, the ability to slow down and really listen to the body’s subtle needs. Everything is connected. Ultimately, it is a great addition to any sport, overall fitness, health and wellbeing.


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Sun Salutations warm up the body and increase flexibility in the muscles. This flow, and variations of it, is central to most of my yoga practices.

My teacher said that the fire inside us burns impurities, and the quality of our breath affects the quality of the flame. I love this analogy. With ‘normal’ breathing we utilise roughly 500cc of O2 intake and lung capacity, but as much as 3000cc by training our respiratory muscles with pranayama and yogic breathing techniques. It’s all about the breath!

Whilst we all have limits to flexibility due to age, gender, muscle mass, joint structure and genetic influence. Most people feel reduced flexibility, due to:
Underuse - layers become bound together.
Overuse - connective tissues comes accustomed to increased tension.
Injury or tear - Scar tissue.


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Cat/Cow: this gentle flow warms up the body and brings flexibility to the spine, opens the chest and encourages breath to become slow and deep, whilst also connecting movement with breath.

Stiff joints & tight muscles block the flow of energy. Yoga helps to create internal space, releasing bound up tension at a deep level from the tissues, organs and joints. How to increase connective tissue length? YOGA! The perfect combination of heat and time under tension. Yoga is preventative medicine!

Pay attention to your body and make minor adjustments, to alignment, to breath. Much as in the same way we do in life, we listen and we learn, we make minor adjustments in all aspects of our life. Yoga is the art of listening. Listening to our body and our mind.


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High lunge with a twist: I sometimes add in slowly lowering my back knee so that it hovers over the ground. Stay here and aim to relax your breathing for say 5 deep breaths. Focus on the exhale. They say that the pose begins when you want to come out of it! Rise back up to a high lunge and then twist. I love adding in as many twists as I can to my yoga practice. Twists help develop length and flexibility in the spine, they also aid digestion by creating movement in and around our organs.

Good for you if you can do a pose, good for you if you can’t, the beauty of it is that it really doesn’t matter. It’s about attitude, approach, learning about yourself, willingness to listen and allowing yourself to change and grow - on the mat and off the mat. Turn up and see what happens!

You cannot compartmentalise health. A healthy body and healthy mind is not possible without each others full support, and as the great yogi BKS Iyengar says “It is through the alignment of the body that I discovered the alignment of my mind, self and intelligence.” Now more than ever we need to give attention to our mental and physical health to maintain our wellbeing in this stressful uncertain time. If we look after ourselves, we are better able to look after others.

I like to remind myself when I feel sluggish “Focus on keeping the spine straight. It is the job of the spine to keep the brain alert” BKS Iyengar. It works every time!


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Pigeon pose: This asana is the king of hip openers, targeting the psoas muscle and hip flexors, and requires an engaged core to keep the hips level. Be mindful of your knee, you shouldn’t feel any pain or sensation there at all.

Downward dog: This inversion is the ultimate all-over rejuvenating stretch. Move around, experiment with what feels good, walk the dog, try a deep bend in your knees to lengthen your spine, push your heels towards the ground to lengthen and stretch the backs of your legs.

Three-legged dog: Make circles with your raised knee, really open your hip up. A great prep for deep hip opening poses.

Practice daily, little and often, and I’m sure you’ll reap the rewards short and long term.


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Lizard pose: This is another great hip-opening pose and also strengthens the muscles in your legs. I then added in a twist here too to give some love to the spine and open up the chest, let your front knee fall open too to open up your hip at the same time.


Let's give mention to a few more asanas that cannot be forgotten.

Childs pose: I love coming into this deep relaxing pose throughout my yoga practice. Try knees together or wide, really let go and relax into it.
Tree pose, Eagle pose and Warrior 3: I try to include balancing poses such as these, which are great for strengthening, honing all over body awareness, proprioception and focus.
Happy Baby and supine twist: lovely therapeutic poses to include during winding down your session before Savasana.

There are lot’s of fantastic yoga teachers and videos online, have a look and see what style suits you.

Here are a few ideas:

• Lululemon have great videos with something for everyone: here
Yoga With Adriene
Yoga for Cyclists with Ryan Leech


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Thoughts on how to keep sane and healthy at home during this crazy period:

• Run and ride, only if we can do so safely. Keep it local, minimal risk, and by ourselves (or household).
• Home workouts, yoga.
• Routine! Go to bed at a reasonable time and get up early. Get productive, write lists. Have weekends away from admin/e-mails/work, draw boundaries.
• Minimise time spent pouring over coronavirus news updates, it is overwhelming.
• Limit screen time.
• Connect regularly with friends and family via phone, face-time etc. Do what we can to help and support each other.
• If it works for you, share, connect and check-in with the online community on social media, inspire and support each other to help us feel connected, inspired and motivated.
• Eat healthy delicious homemade food. We need our immune system to be fully functioning. Take this time at home to cook the nice meals, bake bread and make the tasty home-made treats we always wish we had time to do. It’s pure wholesome fuel for the body, and therapeutic to cook and bake too.
• Clear clutter. Tidy and organise cupboards, paperwork, the shed, all the boring things that always get put off. De-cluttering the home de-clutters the mind.
• Gardening, it’s the perfect time of year to get going with it. I’ve just planted salad, rocket, herbs, garlic, rhubarb, blueberry and strawberry plants.
• Do something new and challenge yourself in some way - I’ve set a challenge to walk along our slack-line. It is so hard and I get so impatient that I can’t do it, practicing patience and perseverance is as much of a challenge as the physical element.
• Play my fiddle every day, even if it’s just a few tunes whilst dinner is cooking.
• DIY
• Remind ourselves of what we are grateful for, who we are grateful for, and that we are all in this together.
• Put in as many hours as is necessary in A&E [Accident and Emergency in the UK = Emergency in North America] during this crazy period. Then, if there are time and energy left, I can enjoy and work on all of the above.


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Mellow trails and socially distanced. How riding will look like for the coming months. I'm grateful to live where we do and be able to ride at all during this time.

This period will be so difficult and also different for all of us, trying to navigate it the best we individually can. If you don’t already practice yoga, I hope it will provide a welcome addition to your day. Now is the perfect time!

Stay healthy everyone. Much love!

Hannah


39 Comments

  • 10 0
 I am not surprised in the slightest that Hannah Barnes has put up this article. I've been following her since she used to ride for Orange and released the awesome youtube video 'home'. Met her on a number of occasions, last time nearly running her over on a blind hill at a Cannock Chase demo day! Absolutely lovely person inside and out. She's a shredder, an NHS health care worker, and has still found time to put this together to help people. Thanks Hannah. I'm off to binge watch your brothers Dudes of Hazzard series again!
  • 9 1
 vote one for Yoga with Adriene. A good friend showed me her 30 day Yoga, day 1 on the weekend, just before lockdown came in. just done day 3. It is great!! and I am nearly 50 with a recentl slipped disc (wa son crutches just a week ago) so it's totally doable.
Great way to start my day :-)
  • 6 1
 Yeah Yoga with A is awesome. She's great because you can choose a practice that focuses on what you want. For example, I struggle with my lower back and hips so I do a couple of her targeted practices for those. Really helps me get closer to my personal fitness goals instead of doing an hour of yoga that doesn't take me in the direction I want to go!
  • 3 1
 Big up Benji. On another note, go to google and search for 'boho beautiful hipster yoga', for the excellent video that got me into stretching and yoga, maybe wait until no one else is around. Thank me later...
  • 1 0
 @swenzowski: agreed! Adrienne is my go-to instructor. Good demonstration, verbal instruction, love that she combines levels of ability into single programs. Her slightly quirky personality is refreshing vs many yogis that, for me, take it all a bit too seriously.
  • 1 0
 Aye, with you on that one - I've found her 45 min yoga for strength workout particularly beneficial for riding
  • 7 0
 Am I only the only one not worrying about finding ways to fill the time??? Schools are closed, kids are at home, and I'm expected to keep "working from home" while doing daycare and trying to keep the kids from killing themselves. I don't even have time to check PB anymore!!!
  • 20 16
 A more productive list - find a patch of grass to practice wheelies on - read a book - do some yardwork - discover lost scroll to hidden treasure - dress up your cat There's lots to do
  • 11 0
 That's not very friendly, foe
  • 2 0
 Watch Bo Selecta or Keith Lemmon, urban fox. This can be done before, after or during yoga with Annette.
  • 5 2
 me man, you woman... ug ug ug, beats chest.

youtu.be/9jCkrnl6dz0?t=604

Post up your effort on Pinkbike and link it to this comment Foeboy.

Cant wait....
  • 1 1
 @scottlink: your not my guy buddayyy
  • 1 0
 Saw the dog and had to click. Was hoping for some yoga tips and moves that involved the dog, kind of like the goat yoga that just popped up locally. I got a cat and she isn't much into participating unless its nap time or wanting to show me her new "toy" she brought in and let loose at 3am. As an aside, I always feel like Rocky chasing a chicken when I am trying to catch the mouse/rat/mole/bat/bird she bought in, unharmed. As an aside to the aside, I always catch them and let them go, even though my neighbor cusses me for letting rats go. If you can't tell, I'm bored at home.
  • 1 0
 Glad to see Iyengar mentioned...this is legit yoga. I know it's hard for some to deal with the other 'fluff'/fads of yoga, chanting, flow, hot, etc.... Iyengar is different. It's helped me recover from knee and shoulder injuries. It's also hard work and takes time and effort to get better at.
I highly highly recommend if you do get into yoga, find an Iyengar teacher. You will thank me.
  • 1 0
 Looks like this article could be a real "STRETCH" for PB. Seriously, yoga and stretching is so important, but after you warm up your muscles.

Great job Hannah and you have a beautiful dog. I have an amazing 3 year old female Blue Heeler (my 1st rescue dog) and she comes on almost all my rides, just not riding right now to do my part. At least social distancing does not include our wonderful loving 4 legged friends... Be safe everyone!
  • 1 0
 Thanks for the article, super helpful and motivating! I have a hard time getting myself to stretch, like most people I’m sure. But seeing these articles is helping me get started.
  • 1 0
 Great article. There is lots to do and lots still to be thankful for (for many of us). Also, call your mum, friends, check on your neighbours.
  • 7 9
 All cool, but can someone PLEASE make something like that with body weight training that does not involve Crossfit, Tabatha, Body Pump or any other kind of exercise form butchering Religion?

James Wilson, Dee Tidwell?
  • 1 0
 is HIIT acceptable?
  • 1 0
 Dee published something on here recently, James already has a bodyweight training program as you probably know already.
  • 10 8
 @danimaniac: How Insane Is This?

I am considering writing an article like:

5 things you can write in the comments to set Pinkbike comment board on fire.

1. 74 seat angle is good enough
2. Corona is just another flu.
3. Insert Trump into any ongoing argument “so you agree with Trump” even if two people argue about hydraulic bottom out.
4. Describe any girl as good looking
5. Say your new ebike is better than your previous one.
  • 3 3
 @WAKIdesigns: My Coronavirus looks like a Session
  • 1 1
 @WAKIdesigns:
TRIGGGGGGERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRED
Big Grin
  • 3 0
 Not sure exactly what you’re looking for... holding some of these poses can be the most intense body weight training you’ll ever do. Hold warrior 3 for 120s and tell me your quads aren’t on fire.
  • 2 4
 @robwhynot: isometric exercise like holding a pose has it's perks as well as short comings. Like almost every other form of exercise. Exercise selection is much more complex than "it burns so it has to be good". Planks burn too and they are completely useless. You will not sprint faster by doing wall sits which also burn as hell after only 60 seconds and symetrically, you won't be first on top of a long climb up a high mountain by just doing sprints and box jumps, even though type 2 mucles do type 1 muscle work much better than the other way around.

If you want to learn more about exercise selection check out Dr Andy Galpin or Thibarmy.
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I asked what you were specifically looking for, why do you assume I need to learn? Endurance, fast twitch, power... what outcome are you looking for by adding “body weight training” to a yoga program?
  • 1 4
 @robwhynot: I just wondered why is there so little strength/resistance training compared to Cardio and Yoga. I see it all over bike internet not just on Pinkbike. Even Fit4Racing skipps actual strength/resistance training aspect, they do HIIT and that's it. Zero technique lessons, just grab some little weight and toss it around in a manner similar to what you see on the screen. preferably in some woke as fuk manner. One could adress particular common shortcomings in people's fitness, like prehabing/rehabing rotator cuff, glutes, piriformis, shoulder in general, mobility screening - but all we see is Cardio and half arsed mobility/ flexibility, with rather poor advice. Looking at bike fitness world people may believe (sorry quite many do believe that) that training balance is about standing on a bosu ball. Possibilities for Resistance training without barbell are huge, nobody does it. It's preposterous that nobody in MTB really goes deep on hip hinge topic - that is something that should pop up time and time again.

I'm out. As usual.
  • 2 1
 @WAKIdesigns:

Fit4racing are pretty adamant on the hip hinge.

Ever thought about starting something yourself? You do seem pretty clued in. Or do you just like voicing opinions with no action to fill your egocentric life as being the most knowledgeable at everything?
  • 2 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Lee McCormack is quite into hip hinges too.
  • 1 0
 The content that James Wilson gives is really good, but his delivery is not. His preambles are far too long. Almost every video I've got to fast forward almost a third of it. It's too bad really, because he could be one of the best if he had a director/producer guiding him through some of this.
  • 3 0
 @WAKIdesigns

yoooo da man...

Record yourself doing this Yoga flow, post up on Pinkbike and link below.

youtu.be/9jCkrnl6dz0?t=604

No replies, excuses etc apart from you doing this Yoga flow.

(I will swore lots and when he did the hand stand and other stuff I had to skip as I cant do that at all, one day maybe...).
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Each night I lie down for 8 hours and get up tired. Maybe my duvet is too heavy....
  • 1 3
 @betsie: what for? A friend just asked me to join him to do some Crossfit test. Why? hhhhwhy? You can also do CT Fletcher camp, Hell week, get dropped in underpants in the middle of Siberia be my guest. Just not sure what your objective is? I never said Yoga is easy. Playing darts isn’t either.
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: that's a reply, where is the video link?

Calling you out here, not prove yourself Wink

We all want to see it I am sure.
  • 2 1
 @betsie: Challenge accepted - you'll regret it Fab
  • 1 0
 All good. Thanks for sharing this.
  • 1 0
 I lost interest when none of the yoga poses were done with Lumi.
  • 2 1
 My fiddles got corona
  • 1 0
 Cat/cow FTW

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