The Full-Body Benefits of Cycle + Yoga
- By Morgan Horton
- January 16, 2020
Let me give it to you straight – yoga after cycle is just ideal. Together, they are the ultimate balanced workout. Your muscles are strengthened and stretched, your heart gets a fierce pumping & your mind goes on a calming inner journey.
You can think of cycle as the Yang workout. It is high energy, high cardio (hello elevated heart rate!) and high effort. Cycle is a contracting workout whereas yoga is more expanding – Yin. Yoga is a controlled, strengthening, and stretching practice. Practicing yoga after the stimulating aerobic effects of cycle can help restore balance – helping the body to recover more quickly, therefore getting better results from your cycle workout.
Both workout styles have a lot in common. Both require knowledge of your body – you need to know how to engage & feel your body. For example, asanas from Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose) to Utkatasana (Fierce Pose) require strength and energy in the core, & cycling at high revolutions requires balance beginning with the low back to the abs. Your awareness of your body helps you to engage the proper muscles for the appropriate workout.
Cycle & yoga also share use of breath – proper use of your breath eases effort. You can use the pranayama you learn in yoga to enhance your cycle class experience. When your breath is harnessed correctly, you can drop your heart rate while keeping the workload up. That’s a win-win!
Awareness of your breath brings awareness to your body, allowing you to bring your attention inward. Both yoga & cycle require inward awareness of the body & self. In yoga, you listen to your body to determine how far you go into a pose. While in cycling, the instructor may tell you where you are going & how hard to go, but don’t you also go within to decide what pace is right for your body in that moment? Whether you are on the bike or on the mat, staying centered, present & grounded is essential.
If you take the time to loosen up your muscles with yoga right after tightening them in cycle, you will improve your strength & flexibility, ultimately improving your hill-climbing game. So, bring your sweaty, warmed-up booty across the hall to yoga after cycle on Monday and Wednesday evenings – 6:15PM at Fly SOLNK.
Brianne is a Fly yoga instructor, bringing her fun, yet challenging power style to SOLNK every Monday & Wednesday evening.