By – STEFAN GRECU
Yoga is great for cyclists to help improve flexibility and also for core strength. NAMASTE will show you two yoga poses each issue geared specifically for cyclists, so you can build a yoga practice into your schedule.
HAPPY BABY (Ananda Balasana)
Now that your 24 Hours of Adrenalin race is complete, you can bask in the good feeling of the accomplishment and happy baby pose! The event doesn’t end after 24 hours, and neither should your yoga poses. Happy baby is a great pose to stretch the lower back, hips, and adductors (inner thighs). Start with any sequence of your choice finding your way to a seated position. Slowly lie down and begin to bring your knees to your chest while exhaling. Grab the outsides of your feet or wrap your hands around your toes with the tops of your palms over the balls of your feet. Exhale as your begin to let your arms get heavy and pull your knees down and out to the sides. You will begin to feel the stretch and simply settle into the pose with steady breaths. Rock slightly from side-to-side to experience different feelings in the pose. If holding both legs is too much or to try a different variation, let one leg down straight while holding the other leg in the pose. This will give you different sensations in the hip flexor, too, so give it a try and find what makes you feel best. When finished, exhale to release and take a few breaths before coming up.
CHILD POSE (Balasana)
Child pose is a restful pose that can be used after any activity or warm-up to calm down a bit and feel a nice stretch. Try doing some cat and cow first, explained in issue 4, and then come down into child pose. Child pose will stretch the lower back, shoulders, quads, front lower leg muscles, and with variation you can stretch your feet. Find your way to all fours, tops of the feet down, and exhale as you begin to sit back toward your heels. Let your neck relax and your head hang keeping your hands stretched in front of your and your triceps turning down to keep your shoulders down. Creep your hands forward a little to increase the shoulder stretch. To try a variation, flip your feet so your toe pads touch the floor and sit back onto your heels to stretch your feet. Another variation is to slide one arm underneath the other, palm up, and turn your head toward your palm to target that specific shoulder. Stay in child pose for some time to really relax or come out after a few breaths as a small break from other activity. Inhale as you come back to all fours, do some more cat and cow if desired, then come to a standing forward fold. Feel a bit more stretch in your lower back as you’re folding, and then inhale as you lift and come up using your core and rotating your pelvis careful not to lift with your lower back.