Yogic Path

Yoga for Cyclists – 7 Effective Yin Poses For Post-Ride Recovery

Updated on 18 October 2020 • 3 minute read
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Whether you like the occasional weekend ride or prefer the competitive cycling vibes, yoga can help you improve your performance, enhance your experience, prevent potential injuries, and recover faster. 

At its heart, the ancient practice of true yoga is about creating union and connection, first in the body and within ourselves, and then outwardly in the external world. 

While yoga is primarily thought of as a physical practice and even a workout, the origins of true yoga made it a holistic practice that cultivates the mind-body connection. 

There are various different styles of physical yoga, some are fast-paced and rhythmic like vinyasa and Ashtanga and others are much slower and even static, like Yin yoga. 

 

Both fast-paced yoga and slow-paced yoga can benefit you as a cyclist. 

There’s no reason you can’t harness the power of both in your training. 

The faster-paced styles, poses, and sequences can help you build endurance, leg strength, and lower back strength. 

 

In Yin Yoga, you hold the poses in stillness for typically anywhere from 1-5 minutes depending on the intensity of the pose. 

This slower-paced style of Yin yoga calls for long-held static poses meant to strengthen connective tissue, tendons, and ligaments while also relaxing and soothing sore or overworked muscles. 

These poses also help to ease tight hip flexors and can even support injury prevention. 

 

Other lesser-known but equally potent forms of yoga practice are: 

 

  • Breathwork (Pranayama) 
  • Tapas (Self Discipline through pain and challenge) 
  • Svadhyaya (Self-study) 
  • Dharana (One-pointed focus) 

 

7 effective Yin poses for post-cycle recovery: 

The following poses are based on Bernie Clark’s book ‘The Complete Guide to Yin Yoga.’ 

1 – Anahatasana (Melting Heart Pose) 

Hold time: 2-3 minutes

 

Contraindications: 

  • Careful not to strain the neck, especially if you have neck and shoulder issues
  • Watch out for tingling in the hands and fingers as this may be a sign of nerve compression. Come out of the pose if you feel any tingling or numbness. 

 

How-to: 

Get on all fours (hands and knees) and glide your hands forward as your chest drops towards the floor. Hips should be directly in line with your knees and hands should be shoulder-width apart. 

 

2 – Butterly

Hold time: 2-3 minutes

 

Contraindications: 

  • If you have sciatica as it may aggravate it. 
  • Lower back issues. 
  • Whiplash or neck curvature issues. 

 

How-to: 

Take a seated position and joint the soles of your feet together and slide them away from you. Round your back as you fold forward over your legs (and possibly even feet). Please your hands either on your feet or on your legs or the floor next to you. Hang your head and neck down towards your feet. 

 

3 – Half Butterfly 

Hold time: 1-2 minutes each side 

 

Contraindications: 

  • If you have sciatica as it may aggravate it. 
  • Lower back issues. 
  • Watch out for sharp pain in the knees. 

 

How-to: 

Take a seated position, drawing one foot in towards your inner thigh/groin area. Stretch the other leg straight. Fold forward and round your back down the middle in between both legs. 

 

4 – Cat Pulling Its Tail

Hold time: 1 minute each leg

 

Contraindications: 

  • Knee issues
  • Lower back issues

 

How-to: 

Sit on the floor with both legs out in front of you. Twist to the right and place your right elbow on the ground. The right leg (bottom) remains straight as the left leg (top) extends out to the side. Bend your right leg (bottom) by bringing your right heel towards your butt. Use your left hand to reach back and grab the bottom of your right foot. If you can, pull the foot away from you. 

 

5 – Child’s Pose 

Hold time: 3-5 minutes

 

Contraindications: 

  • If you are pregnant
  • If you have acute digestive issues

 

How-to: 

Get on your hands and knees and press yourself back so that your butt is touching or close to your heels. Uncurl your feet so the tops of your feet are touching the floor. Bring your forehead down to the ground and place your arms either beside you or keep them in front of you. 

 

6 – Dragon Pose

Hold time: 2-3 minutes each side

 

Contraindications: 

  • It may be uncomfortable for your knee cap. Place a blanket or cushion over the knee that’s on the floor.

 

How-to: 

Start on all fours and step one foot in between your hands. Walk your front foot forward until you form a 90-degree angle between your knee and foot. Slide your back knee as far back as you can. Keep your hands on either side of your front foot. 

 

7 – Squat 

Hold time: 1-2 minutes 

 

Contraindications: 

  • You may strain the knees if your hips are too tight
  • Avoid entirely if you have knee issues

 

How-to: 

Stand upright, feet hips’ distance apart. Squat down, bring your hands to prayer mudra in front of you. For added depth, your elbows can be pulling gently against your shins/knees. 

 

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