Today marks the start of the Tour de France – the highlight of the professional cycling calendar, All eyes will be on Chris Froome and whether he can win his 5th general classification title and equal legendary cyclists such as Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain in winning the most Tour de France titles in its 115 year history.
Of course, for many of us casual cyclists, the closest we will come to wearing the famous yellow jersey in the Tour de France is by buying a replica jersey from our local bike shop and wearing on a social ride. Whether you are a professional or amateur cyclist and whatever your reason for cycling, we mostly get on our bikes because it is so enjoyable.
We often gauge our enjoyment levels on a number of factors – it may be the scenery, weather, distance travelled and at what speed, who we ride with or whether we win. On the flip-side, when we are carrying injuries, suffering from aches and pains and ultimately cannot perform to our best, this negatively affects our enjoyment on a bike.
There is increasing recognition of the benefits a yoga practice can bring to cycling. Through a sequence of poses cyclists can not only prevent injuries and reduce aches and pains but also strengthen without bulk, lengthen to ease tension and create space to improve breathing. All with the added bonus of having a calming effect on the mind.
Although yoga provides many benefits to cyclists, the challenge most often is finding a class that focuses on yoga for cyclists. In addition, a range of poses that can be practiced at home pre-, during or post-ride. I’ve started running classes in Keynsham and central Bristol over the past few weeks targeted at cyclists and these are proving very popular,
Not everyone can get to a class, so over the course of the Tour de France I am going to post my own ‘Tour de Yoga Poses’. This will be a pose a day that can support cyclists. I have selected poses that reflect the type of stage being ridden. For example, flat stages will typically be poses laying on the mat and mountain stages will be standing poses. The videos will be posted on Yogadad social media with text on cues and benefits of the pose.
Rest assured, the poses I demonstrate will be very accessible to beginners. There will be no complex poses that can only be done by the equivalent of Chris Froome in the yoga world. I will include instructions on how to modify the pose to make it more comfortable so that the benefits can be maximised. In addition, which body parts are being targeted.
I hope you enjoy practicing the poses as much as you enjoy watching the Tour de France over the coming weeks i would love to hear how you get on.