I’ve been overwhelmed by how many of you have successfully integrated yoga into your training programs. From world champs to new mums, you tell me that:
- you’re feeling stronger and more supple
- your core strength and balance have improved
- you’re feeling more flexible
- you have greater joint mobility
- your hips are loosening up
- your recovery time has been cut in half
- your knee, lower back, shoulder and neck pain is no longer debilitating
- you’re faster, more agile and have better control of the bike
- you’re crashing less and recovering faster from injury
- you’re calmer, less anxious, more relaxed and sleeping better
- your headaches have gone away
- you’ve mastered some advanced yoga poses
- you’re feeling mentally sharper
- it’s easier to concentrate
- some of you can even touch your toes…
…and no-one’s even mentioned chakras.
This isn’t going to be for all of you but I know many of you are ready for a full-length class, and it’s tough for you to get to one. So, clear a space in your calendar, find a nice, quiet spot, roll out your mat and get ready for some big boy yoga.Some Details About The Routine
I’ve put together a dynamic and fairly challenging one-hour class. I wanted to give you something at the edge of your ability so that you can stretch yourself. (Pun fully intended.) If you struggle with any of the poses, you’ll find modifications on my website
or you can just send me a message.
This type of sequence is known as vinyāsa or flow. It’s designed to stretch every muscle in your body and take each joint through full range of motion. We’ll start with a series of sun salutation variations that include forward bends, backbends, side bends and hip openers, followed by some seated poses to wring out tension in your upper body, and finish with a long savasana (lying down bit) and relaxing body scan meditation.
You don’t need to warm-up before the class and you can do it at any time of day, though you’ll probably find it most energising in the morning.
A Word About Breathing
One of the definitions of vinyāsa is the linking of movement with breath. Breathing can be the hardest part of yoga for some students but it’s easier than it seems. Like riding a mountain bike, it’s not something you can master instantly. It takes time. When you realise this, you just have to commit to deliberate practice and trust that the results will come.
Think of it like meditation. In meditation, you choose something to focus on and every time your mind wanders off, you just keep bringing it back. Make breath the object of your meditation and try to be aware of it throughout the class. It’s not going to be easy even if you start strong, but that’s ok. The way to strengthen your attention muscle is to keep bringing your mind back each time that you notice it has disappeared off to follow some thought spiral or other. I’ll guide you through the breathing, so as long as you stay tuned into my voice, you’re doing it right.
Remember, it’s almost impossible to keep your attention on your breath for the full hour. Your objective is to try to be aware of it as much as you can, to synchronise your breath with your movements and to use breath instead of muscle to go deeper in the poses.
As always, let me know if you have any questions.
Here is the link to my Yoga For Mountain Bikers
video series if you're looking for a complete yoga program to support your training, and my Yoga For Mountain Bikers Pose Guide
if you're ready to take your yoga to the next level.
Photo credit: Graham MattockAbout Abi
Abi Carver designs yoga routines for mountain bikers looking to eliminate muscular aches and pains, gain an edge in competition and unlock razor sharp mental focus, for next level performance. Her aim is to make yoga more accessible to action sports athletes so that they can do the activities they are passionate about for longer, with less pain and with more skill. Follow her @yoga15app
for more yoga tips and tutorials.
Previous Yoga with Abi
:Take Control of Your Mind and Push Your Personal LimitsYoga To Relieve Pain In Between The Shoulder Blades15-Minute Yoga Routine To Build Core StrengthShort Yoga Routine To Help With Lower Back Pain in Bikers15-Minute Yoga Routine To Enhance Balance and Agilityl15-Minute Post-Ride Yoga Routine8 Quick Yoga Stretches To Do At Work