6 Essential Yoga Poses for Cyclists
Bridge1 of 7
Lie on your back with your knees bent. Position your feet about six inches away from your hips. Make sure that your feet are pointing straight ahead. On an inhale, press your feet into the floor and lift your pelvis as high as you comfortably can. Move your arms underneath your body and clasp your hands together between your feet. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds, breathing evenly. Slowly lower to start position, one vertebra at a time.
Camel2 of 7
Kneel upright with your knees hip-distance apart. Press your shins and the top of your feet into the floor. Rest your hands on your lower back with your fingers pointing to the floor. Gently lean back. Beginners can hold this position. If you are comfortable here, reach down and hold on to each heel. Keep your head in a neutral position, or allow it to drop back. Hold for about 30 to 60 seconds. To release, bring your hands to the front of your hips. Inhale, lead with your heart, and lift your torso by pushing your hips down toward the floor. Your head should come up last.
Cat-Cow3 of 7
Start on all fours, with your knees directly below your hips. Keep your wrists, elbows, and shoulders in line and perpendicular to the floor. Center your head in a neutral position, eyes looking at the floor. As you exhale, round your spine toward the ceiling. Allow your head to drop toward the floor, but don't force your chin to your chest (left). As you inhale, arch your lower back and allow your belly to sink toward the floor. Lift your head to look straight forward (right). Repeat several times.
Pigeon4 of 7
Start on all fours. Slide your right knee forward toward your right hand, then angle it at two o'clock. Next, slide your left leg back as far as your hips will allow. Keep your hips square to the floor (in other words, don't let them twist). If you're not feeling a deep stretch in your right glute, slide the right foot forward little by little toward your left hand. Walk your hands forward over your right leg. If you are not comfortable extending that far down, hold the pose with your arms or forearms on your mat or the floor in front of you, and let your hips sink forward and down. To get full release in the hips, breathe and release the belly. Stay in this position anywhere from 10 breaths to five minutes.
Hero-Reclining Hero5 of 7
Kneel with your thighs perpendicular to the floor and the top of your feet facing down. Bring your knees together and slide your feet apart so they are on each side of your hips. Press the top of your feet evenly into your mat or the floor. Slowly sit down between your feet. Use your hands to turn the top of your thighs inward (left). Lean back onto your forearms and slowly lower your torso to the floor (right). Hold for at least 30 seconds.
Reclining Bound Angle6 of 7
Lie on your mat with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Bring the soles of your feet together and let your knees fall out to each side. Place one hand on or near your heart and one hand on your belly. Close your eyes and breathe deeply. Hold for at least 30 seconds.