A Challenging One-Hour Yoga Flow Class - Monthly Yoga With Abi

May 20, 2016
by Abi Carver  
Abi doing yoga

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.

Views: 18,233    Faves: 262    Comments: 28

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 Mattock

About 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 Limits
Yoga To Relieve Pain In Between The Shoulder Blades
15-Minute Yoga Routine To Build Core Strength
Short Yoga Routine To Help With Lower Back Pain in Bikers
15-Minute Yoga Routine To Enhance Balance and Agilityl
15-Minute Post-Ride Yoga Routine
8 Quick Yoga Stretches To Do At Work

MENTIONS: @yoga15app

Author Info:
yoga15app avatar

Member since Feb 18, 2015
47 articles

  • 40 0
 What freaks me out is that whenever she says "Relax your face" is exactly when my face is screwed up. Either my face is always screwed up doing yoga or she knows exactly what parts of which poses makes people screw up their face.
  • 4 0
 I'm just psychic @iamamodel!
  • 24 1
 Stressful day at work. Sometimes I play these just to hear the soothing sound of her voice. Cheaper than a therapy session.
  • 2 0
 All part of the service @AllMountin!
  • 21 1
 Yes Abi is back!
  • 2 0
 Thanks for the support @vincent-batten!
  • 14 4
 It was really hard to check at the screen if the pose was correct when you´re completely twisted.
  • 8 23
flag Disaster-master (May 20, 2016 at 6:42) (Below Threshold)
 you know nothing..
  • 5 1
 Agree, this is why I had to watch ahead then try the moves together. Took much longer the first time but those twists feel amazing Smile
  • 5 1
 @David1po: and I bet you did sweetheart..I bet you did..ha ha..
  • 1 0
 Just watch the vids to see how I do the poses, then you can just listen to the audio and follow my instructions @spirit-of-enduro. It will take a little time.
  • 1 0
 @David1po: @David1po: I love twisting poses too.

I wrote an article on my site with some for you to try:

  • 8 0
 Thanks very much Abi. I am just getting into yoga and loving your videos. I am sure those ready for next-level yoga will be all over this routine.
  • 5 1
 @Fastestracer: Dafuq? Projecting your insecurities much?
  • 2 0
 Amazing @Makun. Let me know if there is anything I can help you with.
  • 7 0
 Hi Abi! Those neck and back tips you suggested for me a few months ago have helped a lot. Especially the trigger point release with the ball. Hurts like mother-effer sometimes but really gets in the and relaxes the knots.
  • 5 0
 literally a lifesaver... those videos dropped right when my back was starting to get unbearable from riding. I'm all set now after adding yoga to the mix!
  • 2 0
 Thanks as well.....Been doing an Abi video every day for the last month and it's an incredible improvement!
  • 2 0
 I'm so happy to hear that @sino428. Let me know if there is anything else I can help you with.
  • 4 0
 Many comments of this type, but this is a both useful and refreshing addition to the standard PinkBike fare. Yoga was the hardest day of P90X and I loved it, but it was nearly 2 hours... Too long. These routines are great and I can pick one for a specific purpose and length that will fit into my day. Props to all involved.
  • 1 0
 Thank you @Jensers - it sounds like you have done a great job of incorporating yoga into your training program.
  • 5 1
 Yoga is a great workout!

For all of you macho men, who aren't comfortable enough with your sexuality, talking shit on yoga, I suggest you give this video (or any moderately difficult hour long yoga video) a try and come back on here and tell me how feminine and easy it was.
  • 1 0
 Nicely put @only1mikey!
  • 2 0
 I had both my hips operated on this past winter. I've integrated just a few of the moves/poses into my therapy routine from Abi's past videos and I feel like they've been immensely helpful. Just in the past week or so I've been feeling stronger and somewhat myself on the bike again. Looking forward to finding some time to try out this practice (and good timing now that I'm feeling a little more able bodied too).
  • 1 0
 Amazing @thebigschott - let me know how you get on.
  • 1 0
 it would be awesome to post a bike video in the middle of a yoga site and tell the yogies to watch it to help improve there yoga. next will be a business segment so we can learn how to make money for our new bikes
  • 3 0
 Killing it with these segments Abi! I'll be doing this later on today, thanks!
  • 1 0
 How did it go @naisemaj?
  • 1 0
 Great @yoga15app! I forgot about it, so thanks for keeping me honest. I had never attempted wheel pose before either, so it was good to have that extra challenege. Thanks for the series, I try to mix in yoga with my strength training and riding to balance out my whole body and prevent injury.
  • 1 0
 That's awesome @naisemaj. The yoga should also help to increase your recovery time and decrease any muscle soreness. And when you get into a consistent routine, you won't even have to think about it. Let me know if I can help you with anything.
  • 2 0
 Thanks allot! Although I can’t fully agree on the less crashes benefit Smile
  • 1 0
 I'm hoping that by training your focus and attention, you'll have a few less crashes @sjogge!
  • 3 1
 "- some of you can even touch your toes…"
Big Grin

by the way, I think I have exactly the same yoga mat Smile
  • 2 0
 Good choice @darQ96 - Manduka are my favourite.
  • 1 1
 it would be awesome to post a bike video in the middle of a yoga site and tell the yogies they should watch it to help there biking. next will be a money making scam class so you can make money so you can afford a new bike.
  • 2 0
 Thanks Abi! Love your articles and both friends and I regularly use your routines.
  • 1 0
 Awesome @bryanmckinlay. And thank you for sharing with you friends.

Check out my MTB newsletter just in case you aren't receiving it:

  • 2 0
 I like that you get in some quad stretching. It seems like sometimes with yoga you don't stretch the quads.
  • 2 0
 And it is vital for riders @iantmcg. Half Reclining Hero, Low Lunge and Frog are some good stretches to hit the quads from multiple angles.

  • 1 2
 "NOGA" is what i prefer to call it; without the Guru B.S...! Hence,stretching with strength training is most effective for our sport. If stretching is all you are doing you are more prone to cause injury to muscles and ligaments. Plus you won't look like a string of spaghetti either.
  • 1 0
 No-one said that strength training isn't crucial too. I'd ask the pros what they think about including yoga in their training program.
  • 2 0
 Really liking these fitness/health features, especially these yoga ones. Hope there's more of the same in the future!
  • 1 0
 Let me know what you'd like help with @bikesandfun.
  • 3 1
 Live getting the yoga toga on each month
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