It seems yoga (the 5000 year old form of meditative exercise) is here to stay. The number of men practicing yoga has increased by 150% in just 4 years. There are over 300 million yoga practitioners in the world. There are over 60 million yoga posts trending on Instagram at any given time. It’s more popular today than any time in its 5000 year history!
Yoga is beneficial in many ways to the mind and body. For runners and cyclists it increases flexibility, balance, and strength both mentally and physically. Many professional athletes perform yoga to balance their bodies and minds. Yoga is a great way to improve your athletic skills, stamina, endurance, and performance. It is also a great way to keep in shape during the off-season when the weather’s lousy and the treadmill or spin bike is not an option.
There are a lot of yoga options out there and many poses and techniques that are specific to different parts of your body and wellbeing. Whether you’re a newbie or a veteran to yoga, we’ve listed below five poses that will benefit you as a runner and/or a cyclist along with links to various sites that show you how the poses are done properly.
One of the nice things about yoga is you don’t need much to get started, just a pad or a cushy floor and some comfortable non restrictive clothing. However, just because you’re not moving quickly doesn’t mean you won’t sweat so wearing a good performance fabric is a savvy move too.
Wearing Proper Attire
Yoga is an excellent way to stay in shape, but it's also important to wear proper attire during yoga sessions. Even if you are doing it at home, having the right clothes on will make your practice feel more rewarding. If you practice yoga regularly, you probably already know the value of dressing for your session appropriately.
To compliment your yoga sessions with the right clothing check out SweatVac’s clothing selection. There you’ll find a selection of men’s T’s and tanks that are perfect for yoga sessions long or short. We also have a fine selection for women in our women’s T’s and tanks pages. If things heat up a great SweatVac headband is always good to have also.
If you have any questions, want advice about our clothing or want some custom yoga clothing made, feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Five Yoga Poses for Cyclists and Runners
The yoga poses listed below are helpful for runners and cyclists. These poses are also beneficial to anybody who participates in a leg-heavy endurance sport. For those of you who don't like studio courses, have schedule issues, or need more efficient workout, yoga can be a great way to craft a routine that works with your body's schedule. Being able to benefit your body at almost any place or time is a great thing. Here are five yoga poses to help you get into that practice.
- Surya Namaskar B (Sun Salutations)
Sun salutations are one of the most basic and well-known aspects of a yoga class for a reason. It decompresses the low back, hamstrings, quadriceps and hip flexors. An open chest and the core will engage in this basic sequence of poses. It develops a rhythm in your breath and generates movement and heat in your joints.
Concentrate on moving through the sequence like a wave. Each position acts as a crest that flows into the next without interruption.
- Ardha Skandasana
Ardha Skandasana is a therapy for a frontal plane movement that is too linear. It stretches the inner thighs and hips. It also brings a side-to-side fluidity.
The various movements help release the tension on the hip and leg muscles and lubricate the whole joint.
- Quad Variations
Your quadriceps are the biggest muscles in your body and are a key muscle group for runners and especially cyclists so it’s a good idea to take great care of them.
If you run and/or ride a fair amount you probably know a couple of basic quad stretches. Here’s a link to 8 quad specific yoga poses that will do a thorough job of stretching your quads to the next level.
A major benefit to any runner or cyclist is increasing mobility and flexibility in the hips. This pose focuses on opening your hips, which supports mobility and flexibility in that joint. It also stretches your hip flexors and lower back, which are commonly tight due to prolonged sitting. This pose is done with slow movement rather than a static hold.
Here’s a link to a video that will help you to get started:
- Svanasana (aka “downward dog”)
Svanasana is the starting on your hands and knees pose that most yoga sessions end with. It's not very complicated but offers some excellent benefits. Masterclass.com sites several that are all beneficial to runners and cyclists. It stretches the lower body and helps you get into position to stretch the hamstrings, calves, and ankles fully. It’s also a weight-bearing position. As such it’s effective at building strength in your shoulders and arms while engaging your midsection to help build your abs. It stimulates blood flow. Like an inversion table, it positions your heart above your head letting gravity increase your blood flow improving your circulation. It also improves your posture by opening up your chest and shoulders which can align your spine. Furthermore it strengthens and stretches the muscles in your feet like the plantar fascia, which is the ligament that connects the heel to the front of the foot. This can help prevent foot injury on those long runs. Here’s a link to a step by step to going through this important pose: https://www.yogajournal.com/poses/downward-facing-dog/
If you’re new at yoga, have a qualified professional check your form to ensure you're on the right track. Ease into it, but stay with it. Commit to making it a permanent part of your exercise routine. Not only will it increase your performance on your runs and rides but it’ll make you feel better in general.