International cycling stars Chris Froome, Bradley Wiggins as well as infamous Lance Armstrong all incorporate yoga in their training regimens. Other famous sports personalities practising yoga to enhance their performance include soccer players Ryan Giggs and Roy Keane, basketball superstars LeBron James and Shaquille O’Neill and the New Zealand All Blacks as well as Irish rugby teams! Long hours in the saddle invariably lead to tightness in key areas in the bodies.

A cyclist’s posture in the saddle with the neck raised leads to shortening in the spine and causing of tightness in the lower back, sacrum and hips as well as tension in the neck, shoulders, hamstrings.  A sequence of key Yoga poses provides cyclists with all-round conditioning that help alleviate the after-effects of riding, strengthening the core to protect the lower back and lengthening the spine to relieve tightness.  

Relieving this strain and tightness with gentle stretching before and after ride is a major physical benefit of yoga. Core work is also integral in most yoga poses, thus developing this in a yoga practise assists in maintaining a smooth steady position on the bike, avoiding the sideways rocking which wastes energy. It also helps in maintaining stability in the body and protecting the lower back from strain, particularly important for longer rides. However, applying the breathing techniques and mental focus derived from yoga are also extremely beneficial to cyclists.

The position of a cyclist on the bike is such that the lungs and diaphragm are restricted which results in a reduction of air being taken in. Proper breathing and back extension will facilitate deeper inhalations and enhanced performance. The breath-work creates physical and mental calmness by controlling and manipulating the breath which also helps maintain even, controlled breathing during prolonged or intense training.

Yoga Warrior holds occasional workshops and offers private lessons specifically targeted to sportsmen and women. Our aim is attract followers of other sporting disciplines to share the benefits from the powerful effects of yoga in enhancing their sporting performance.