Yoga for Cyclists Video with Ryan Leech

Apr 29, 2013
by Ryan Leech  
Sharing the benefits of yoga with other cyclists is why I became an instructor. Riders kept asking me for a video, and now I can deliver! Yoga for Cyclists on DVD & Download. Why do cyclists need yoga: sore backs, tight hips, stiff necks, weak wrists, rounded shoulders, weak core, poor posture…oh man, the list goes on!

None

Through my career I tried stretching, got bored. Tried pilates, got bored. Tried yoga, got hooked! Yoga allowed me to ride longer and with more style, magnify my focus, prevent injury, increase strength and most importantly enjoy the sport I love. For those unfamiliar with yoga, here's a quick video tip to give you an idea of some of the postures in video's yoga routines.

Views: 9,295    Faves: 34    Comments: 4


I made this video for a broad spectrum of riding and yoga abilities, from pro to beginner, and from road to dirt. My intent was to share my favorite cyclist specific posture sequences, and at the same time elicit a more awake relationship between how your body/bike moves, your mind thinks, and your spirit inspires.

Hip Stretch Balance Practice

Each routine blends gorgeous alpine mountain backdrops from Sol Mountain in the Monashee Mountains, an original musical score by Corduroy KId, and a healthy dose of channeled blissology from my yoga teacher Eoin Finn.

Here's another quick tip from an amazing hip stretch, good for any type of riding style:
Views: 6,335    Faves: 20    Comments: 1


Here’s a peak at what each of these routines offers:

Headset Routine: Cultivate inner-awareness and focus during this slow 30 minute contemplative full-body routine…

This steady sequence of postures is designed to elicit an exploration of your innermost thoughts, feelings, intentions, and values. There is a direct correlation between your inner world and your riding experience/capabilities.

Frame Routine: Invigorate your cycling body with this challenging 40 minute practice...

Designed to bring attention to the body with physically challenging postures. You will quickly discover your cycling muscle imbalances and the limitations that result. Once you feel these limitations, this practice strives to strengthen and stretch those areas in need.

Spokes Routine: Create a positive spin for yourself and thus others with this inviting 35 minute session...

With guest yogis Ian Verchere and Andreas Hestler, and yogini Kristen Smart, this routine brings attention to the “we” space, and how we are all connected as humans no matter our body type, yoga experience, or riding experience. Expanding our awareness to include others contributes to an awake culture and is a key for rounding out the quality of our riding experience.

Links Routine: Whether on the trail, road, or navigating your day, locate yourself with this to-the-point, 16 minute standing flow.

There are a lot of moving parts in our lives, fitting it all in is tough, this routine is designed with that in mind. This routine is a no-excuse-simple-flow that will help you to orient amidst your busy lifestyle–after this practice you’ll see that all trails and roads are connected. Do this routine even if you're out on the trail, no mat required!

Filming from Yoga for Cyclists DVD

IT Band Stretch

Two options to bring this yoga in to your riding life:
Stream and Download for $17
DVD for $20

There are three methods of simultaneous instruction in this product: first is obvious, the physical display of postures through video. Secondly my verbal instruction of technique and inner inquiry. The third isn’t as obvious but key: I filmed the sequences separate from the recording of my verbal instruction. Reason was so that I could get in the zone while practicing the yoga myself. A friend recently told me how peaceful and present I appeared in these yoga videos and how it was inspiring for him. Much like in my mountain bike movie segments, when a rider is in the zone, it is captivating and inspiring, and encourages people to get out on their bike, my hope is the same for this yoga video.

I trust it will serve you well!
With smiles,
Ryan


70 Comments

  • + 81
 which yoga pose will let me whip like brendog??
  • - 19
flag mfbeast12 (Apr 29, 2013 at 17:36) (Below Threshold)
 yoga for cyclists isn't gonna cut it. gotta watch "Balls for cyclists" to do that.
  • + 24
 drop your ego, yoga is awesome
  • - 27
flag Questrails (Apr 29, 2013 at 20:34) (Below Threshold)
 There is no place in this forum or sport of mtb for aggressive behavior. Please Mr Leach teach and preach to us the very essence if your mortal being. For the oat bran vegans and granola eating yuppies with no real talent we need something to fill the massive void between our ears.
  • + 7
 Sorry bry, there is no known yoga technique powerful enough to overcome such a gaping difference of talent Wink
  • - 2
 Why call it yoga when the term has quite a negative connotation (esoteric yuppie b.s.) to it and essentially these are a cycling specific bunch of stretching and breathing exercises? I once attended a 'real' yoga class and you couldn't pay me enough to go again, so much arrogance in such a small room..
  • - 11
flag Questrails (Apr 30, 2013 at 6:51) (Below Threshold)
 I agree with you, yoga is for metrosexual yups with subaru's and a brick if oat bran hanging out they ass. Yo Ryan do a wheelie or something this montel williams workout not doing it for us.
  • + 4
 have you every tried yoga questrails? or are you just too concerned with how cool you are? i do yoga, and im sure a lot of other guys that do can are able to shred a lot harder than you. Check out dylan sherrard hes all for it. Stop your hating ways, it does you no good, and doesnt belong in biking.
  • + 13
 www.stack.com/2012/09/17/yoga-athletes
please go tell the all blacks, that they are metrosexual yuppies
  • + 2
 a "real" yoga class full of arrogance, huh? Haven't been to one like that, though I've certainly been to many that have utterly kicked my ass an humbled me. Not to mention healing chronic injuries and pain. Just cuz certain members of a community are hot-headed and judgmental doesn't mean everyone that rides bikes is. Oh wait. Did I just say that? Smile
  • + 5
 just clarifying: I wasn't being negative towards yoga, in fact, its really helped me recover sometimes after races. Simply saying its not gonna do it for whipping like brendog, you gotta have major balls to do that
  • - 7
flag Questrails (May 1, 2013 at 21:22) (Below Threshold)
 One time I was at yoga class wearing the recomended loose fitting stretch clothing. Unfortunately this real hot chick next to me had her camel right in my face. I was asked to demonstrated the upwards jackhammer in front of class. As I start my bend the stretchy clothing tore off and I ended up fully nude and heavily aroused and at full back arch, then on top of all that I farted. Ryan do you have any tips to please help me with this. Maybe I should change my granola or something.
  • + 3
 your not funny, more embarrassing than anything else
  • - 2
 his probably just joking, calm down a little bit.
  • - 2
 his probably just joking, calm down.
  • - 5
flag Questrails (May 2, 2013 at 20:52) (Below Threshold)
 Hey are you trying to give me the double talk. Booom boop nyaaaaaaaa nyuk nyuk why I oughtta. Woop woop wooop Why certainly this happened Moe I was doing yoga then Larry knock into this hottie babe. Boing
  • + 23
 I used to suffer from lots of pains from injuries and poor movment paterns from years of riding until I added yoga to my training routine. My balance, strength, flexibility, power have all increased since getting hooked on yoga. As a plus this video does not look all fluffy and weird as most yoga videos do.
  • + 17
 Awesome Michael...and yeah, your story is so common. While I avoid the fluff, I do call for awareness of breath (huge for focus on tough riding lines) and an ability to witnessing your thoughts; I also call for setting intentions and visualization, and each routine has a slightly difference focus. So yes, fluff to some, but in my opinion, essential inquiry and practice for maturing as a rider...worked for me, hence why I'm offering this yoga video!
  • + 1
 thanks Ryan, I just ordered your dvd. I suffer from lower back pain and why not become a better rider too. This is just what I was looking for.
  • + 18
 ...but yoga pants make my ass look big!
  • + 6
 and mine sexy!
  • + 11
 I think this is great...as cyclists we put our bodies in pretty repetitive positions...(ala the 'attack' position) when descending as well as the seated climbing position...both can wreak havoc on our bodies over time if not balanced with something like yoga or pilates...

The pigeon stretch is legit, I always warm up with that along with some other goodies... A simple down dog is great for the hamstrings too.

Keep it up Mr. Leech!
Namaste...
  • + 8
 I basically ski and bike all year so everything is focused on lower body and nothing on the core or flexibility. Yoga once a week is a life-saver.
  • + 3
 ski touring is also amazing for the spine eh!
  • + 9
 Yoga is killer. Pain-free for a long time now.
  • + 6
 I love the idea of focusing on breath in order to focus your attention. I'm always catching myself over thinking a line or section while riding or over correcting my balance while slack lining.
  • + 4
 one of the comments talking about a "regular" yoga class and a bunch of arrogant people in there. Unfortunately there are a lot of yoga nazis around who think their sun salutation is better that yours. The good thing about Ryan and his videos: he makes you feel that you are welcome, challenges you and gives you a positive vibe every time.

Love this new videos which are a perfect addition to my training. Keep it going!
  • + 4
 I truly appreciate the setting and vibe of each segment of this collection of routines, and look forward to attaining some semblance of proficiency at each over time. The Headset routine is where I started, and I'm hooked. (never done Yoga before)
  • + 3
 Cool Reverend...'proficiency over time' is the key word (and wise word) there! Headset routine is gentler, the frame routine has more of a workout worked in...happy yoga'ing!
  • + 4
 If you ever get the chance to meet Ryan Leech and talk to him i highly recommend it!! i met him this year at sea otter and he invited me to hang out with him for a while and i just sat around with him for a little over an hour just talking with him and a few others from Norco. He is hands down one of the coolest and happiest people i have ever met! and even on the drive home we were driving right next to eachother for a little over an hour just fooling around on the road. he is a great human being! and really cares about the sport in general. TWO WHEELS MOVES THE SOUL!
  • + 3
 As a mountain biker/ hockey player I admit stretching has been at the back of my training for years, it was one of those things I would do on occasion if time allowed after a workout. Yoga provides a workout and provides the benefits of stretching which has become even more important as I get older. Thanks Ryan for sharing your yoga techniques...it helps even if I only get time once a week.
  • + 2
 I love yoga for indirectly helping with my riding, ice hockey, running, all the sports I do. It not only helps with balance and muscle strength but is a great exercise in getting to know your own body and its boundaries. I think it suffers for a poor image but if you can find a nice down to earth class that focuses on balancing and stretching in more of a fitness guise than the spiritual type classes it can be accessible to any type of sportsperson. I took some of the guys from ice hockey once that thought it was lame and for girls and they ached for days. It's tougher than it looks but you feel amazing for it afterwards. Don't hate till you've tried it.
  • + 6
 Warning! Yoga when stoned can cause enlighten ed thoughts.
  • + 5
 I watched Ryan's trials demo at Sea Otter. Awesome stuff!
  • + 1
 Me too. Rad
  • + 1
 I know there are they"those people" in every sport. So committed to their narrow interpretation of what that sport is that they down right hate other ideas and people/athletes. Just imagine the odacitcy that another person may enjoy stretching or yoga or 29" wheels or smoothies or xc or road. Fixie or 30 speeds. It doesnt even matter. Im convinced that all these haters and trolls dont get there fulfilment from biking (maybe they are too sore) so they come here to be part of the "online community" of bike experts and tell me what it takes to belong.... No thanks


Awesome vid by the way, i do yoga 1 time a week for 40 mins (sometimes 2 times) and ill be stealing pretty much all these poses. If you have bad joints (my knees!) then you know all about how great yoga is. Even if just once a week.
  • + 1
 For those of you who have purchased the DVD, can you share whether it's more of an instructional video or a routine? I'm used to P90X2 yoga which is a good hour long, moderately paced and beginner-intermediate. I'm looking for something similar, with good pace and intermediate to advanced poses to add to the mix.
  • + 1
 Bouldering is awesome, I was a climber way before I rode...

Just bought these vids, the download function doesn't work... Can't see files in my ageing mac downloads folder.. Frown

Just streamed the 16 minute session. As a beginner having tried a few DVDs, this is very good. The other sessions look very challenging in part, which is good.
  • + 1
 Glad you liked the short standing session. For the download, if its still not working, please reply to the questions/help email address from your purchase confirmation email and we'll get you sorted!
  • + 1
 *in an ignorant grumpy old man voice* That there pussy yoga sh*t is for the weaker sex. As a matter of fact, where's the motor on them bikes? That must be why Lance had to use drugs... he ain't got no testosterone of his own. I'll just go back to my black lungs and cheap whisky while you health nuts continue your sissy shenanigans.

That's about what I'm hearing from the haters. Go crawl back into your cave.
  • + 4
 Good article! thanks for the tips
  • + 2
 I own this dvd. I I think it's a great spin for cyclist. It's not hard. It's just what you need to keep on keeping on. If you don't have it... Get it.
  • + 0
 Great stuff overall, yoga can help keep you young and flexible.

My only disagreement is the hip stretches where you twist your hip hips sideways agressively. I believe this is counterproductive for long distance peddlers, they left me so sore I didn't want to pedal the next day. My instructor told me that it just proved I needed more flexibility in my hips even though I was one of the most flexible people in the class. So I stuck with the hip stretches and all it did was leave me with continually sore hips. I finally gave them up and did other stretches instead, and never had sore hips since.

If you pedal tons your hips develop a certain muscle structure that is very specific, and in my opinion the aggressive sideways hip stretches a are just asking too much from your body, it disrupts your muscle structure and puts your hips in a constantly confused state....they are saying "do you want to pedal all day or do you want to be able to do the splits...Make up your mind!"
  • + 3
 You continued todo a stretch that caused you pain... None of these shoud cause pain. It makes me think, mr #1 stretch, that you overdid it.
  • + 2
 The hip is the most stable joint in the body and can get very tight. Sometimes yoga practice uses "capsular stretches" (i.e. in yin yoga) to try and increase range of motion in the ball and socket joint (the interface of the femur and the pelvis). I dislike this -- this type of stretching should only be used if prescribed by a sport med doctor who has diagnosed (using imaging) a tightness in the labrum of the ball and socket joint. I totally agree with jcklondon -- if it it "hurts." don't do it but if it "hurts so gooooooood!" (like foam rolling) then you probably need more of it.
On the flip side -- stretching the hip muscles may make you feel weaker pedaling in the sagittal plane on the road bike shortly thereafter (life.nationalpost.com/2013/04/05/stretching-before-workouts-may-weaken-muscles-impair-athletic-performance-studies); however maintaining hip flexibility to be able to open your hips and get your knees outward to stabilize you mtn biking is highly important. Thus maybe the timing of *when* you perform these stretches is the most important factor.
  • + 1
 I never experienced pain while actually doing the hip stretches, it was usually just the extreme soreness the next day I didn't like. I know the difference difference between a good pain and bad pain. But you both make valid points, thank you for your thoughts. also wasn't aware that stretching before can hurt your performance, darn, I used to do that all the time when I was competitive.
  • + 1
 As well as yoga I also hit the streets and skateparks on inline skates brilliant cross training improves your ballance and adjility so much
  • + 3
 Damn that hip stretch feels good!
  • + 1
 Gotta try 'Pigeon' and some real stuff for hips.. Forget classes, just get some good DVD's to learn.
  • + 1
 This video is gonna be awesome, finally some serious work done by a real mtb rider. Looking forward to working our some kinks!
  • + 3
 Love the names of all the sessions. Original ideas, I like it Smile
  • + 1
 these are the kind of hippies that ride 29ers and fixies, get those graze boxes and hug trees.
Not my cup of tea but each to their own Big Grin
  • + 1
 Congratulations on the video. I hope that lots of people will give it a try. Bikes and yoga are two of my favorite things.
  • + 1
 Just ordered the DVD myself. I'm excited to see if this will eventually help out my back pain while riding. Thanks!
  • + 1
 This is yoga for cyclists!

www.pinkbike.com/photo/9529227
  • + 2
 Norco Invisible Seat
  • + 1
 now i understand why i haven't come to pinkbike too much...
  • + 0
 Yoga is a dangerous sport. I hear all my joint and bones all the time. Downhill I much safer.
  • + 0
 If you want to feel agile, try bouldering.
  • + 1
 Bouldering is intense!! one of my son's loves bouldering he's a natural climber leaves me with my bad wrists and shoulders in his dust
  • + 0
 Wow - gayest shit I've ever seen !!
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