Thursday, November 28, 2013

Where does Yoga fit in?

Discovering Yoga has been a welcomed addition to my training regime.  One of the bonuses of being a full-time athlete is having more time for it!  Ironically, it is when we are crazy busy and think we don’t have time for it, that it is really needed!  It is amazing how taking time to slow down and breath deeply can alter an entire day.
Escaping to a park on a 10hr layover to take in some sun.  Travel energy restored!

So where does yoga fit into my cycling training?

I like to start my day with it and this is something that everyone can do.  Take 10 minutes first thing in the morning to gently wake the body up with some sun salutations.  Start the day breathing deeply and becoming aware of how your body is feeling.  It takes only a few minutes to increase your range of motion and bring some heat into tight muscles.  This is also an ideal time to add in that core workout you like to avoid!  Spend another 10 minutes doing some crunches, planks, core rotation and hip strengthening exercises.  Voila you have just done something good for your body and only 20 minutes into your day!

I see yoga as aiding in two facets of my training:  Mental and Physical

Around competitions yoga helps me calm my mind and focus only on what is important: The Now.  Performing a pose properly requires attention in the moment to alignment and breathing.  You tune out the distractions around you and listen to what your body has to say.  Even just a couple of poses grounds me, my focus and improves my energy

After training yoga gently helps restore your tight muscles to their natural length so that next time you are on the bike you can get optimal performance.  You do not need to overstretch your muscles, but giving a little attention to those tight and restricted hips and hamstrings can leave you feeling more comfortable on and off the bike and even sleeping better.

Yoga involves self-awareness, focused attention to alignment and breath as well as coordination.  It requires you to slow down your brain and body, at least for a few minutes, enabling the necessary physical and mental recovery to perform at your best.  Recognizing the need for this balance and focus in our busy racing and training schedules, last year Luna added PrAna clothing and Yoga accessories to our supporters. 

Thanks for your support!

No comments: