Yoga for Cyclists—The 7 Best Poses for Bike Riders

Yoga for Cyclists—The 7 Best Poses for Bike Riders

A variation on pigeon pose, this is Refers version, with the bike as stabilizing prop. The pose works the piriformis muscle and strengthens the upper legs (and the core, if you use mula bandha). Tuck your tailbone just a bit here. Breathe in this pose, and come out of it when shaking sets in. Be aware of strain in your knees and counteract it by engaging leg muscles to bone. Rise up a bit if they still twinge.

Excellent at the start or finish of a ride, setu bandha counteracts the pulled-down positioning of many cyclists. Its a restorative pose, and yet, if a cyclist brings awareness to engaging the inner thighs while lifting the pelvis off the floor, it is also strengthening. Hold this pose for a minute or more, keep your knees together, so they don't flop away from each other.

The Warrior series of poses is said to build endurance. Your bent knee should be aligned over the top of your anklethink of heading your knee in the direction of your pinkie toe. Set your gaze out past the middle finger of your leading hand and, as you soften your focus, breathe steadily and deeply. Take at least five slow breath cycles here.

This pose (or its variation, called Sphinx) is a lovely way to restore curve to your lower back and neutralize the effects of bending forward in the saddle. Lying on your belly with hands at breast level, press up so that your upper back lifts while keeping the pubic bone grounded on the mat. Stare down the tip of your nose and find that gentle breath cycle. Hug elbows to your sides, press your shoulder blades together and down the back. Eventually, you may lift up further, bringing your belly button off the floor. Five deep breaths here.

This pose is an all-around winner for strengthening and stretching leg and arm muscles.With your feet parallel and three to four feet apart, slowly lower your torso down. If your hips are tight, lower your hands to blocks placed in front of you. Maintain a relatively straight back as you descend. Eventually, the crown of your head will hover above the floor, at which point you should interlace your hands at the base of your spine and begin to move them forward toward your head.Take it easy, take it slow, and enjoy the stretch.

Fish Pose traditionally dictates that your legs be in a full lotus. Here, you simply bend your knees and cross your legs while lying on your back. Slide your right hand under your right buttock, left hand under left buttock. Tuck your forearms and elbows close to your torso. Pressing through the elbows, lift your torso and head up from the floor.The weight is on your elbows, allowing you to gently lower the crown of your head to the floor. This is a pose to learn in a yoga class; however, you can gain strength just by pressing into your elbows and lifting and opening your torso in the first part of the pose, without worrying about needing to drop your head back, especially if your neck is tight. Breathe here for half a minute. On exhale, lower your torso to the floor.

Theres nothing more lovely or luxurious than five minutes in this pose after a long rideor even a long day. This pose requires no props but a wall. Simply sit on your mat, perpendicular and tight to the wall, and then begin to raise the legs up one at a timebending the knees a little is fineas the torso lies down. This lower back stretch can work even harder with a folded blanket under your buttocks and a bolster running the length of the spine. Dont forget to support your head, so your spine is straight from tailbone to the top of your skull. With arms out to the sides and eyes closed, drink in the sweet release.