Yin yoga: Yin is a practice of yoga that involves long holds and more seated or reclined positions. It focuses on releasing deep layers of fascia and mindfulness.
When: Evening, or after training or a ride.
- Practicing Yin yoga helps relax your body and mind after a hard day on the bike. The calm breath work that takes place during Yin yoga is in contrast to your breathing while your body is in a “stress” state during training. This can help improve your sleep and recovery by bringing your body back to a state of calmness.
- Releasing deeply-held tension from hard training efforts is another benefit of Yin yoga.
Best yoga poses for cycling recovery:
Many of these stretches are meant to open your shoulders and chest, which can become tight and closed-off when cycling. Also look for poses that are focus on hips, IT-band, quadriceps, back muscles, calves, hamstrings, and piriformis gluteus.
Pro Tip: Back stiffness, tension, and pain isn’t always caused by the back muscles, but rather, the hips! Releasing hip tension (common among cyclists) can often releive back pain.
- Child’s pose
- Thread the needle (shoulder release)
- Yogi squat
- Toe squat
- Pigeon or half-pigeon
- Dragonfly/ half-dragonfly
- Reclining twist
- Happy baby
How often: You don’t need to do an hour or more of yoga every day to feel the benefits on the bike. Consistency is more important than length of your practice. It’s better to practice yoga for five mintues every day than one hour every few weeks. Make it a part of your routine, and above all, enjoy it!