Yoga for Cyclists with Taylor Phinney Yoga for Cyclists with Taylor Phinney

Pro-cyclist and Olympian Taylor Phinney shares the yoga poses that help him both on and off the bike.

When Taylor isn’t on his bike, you can more than likely find him meditating, painting, or spending time on his yoga mat. In this post, we asked Taylor to share with us why he enjoys yoga, and what poses help him both on and off the bike.

__________

"I do yoga out of necessity to return a sense of balance to my body and mind. While cycling all day is liberating and beautiful in its own right, adapting your asymmetrical body to a symmetrical piece of carbon or titanium (or steel for you badasses) for hours on end causes unforgiving misalignment that can only be remedied off the bike. Yoga is not a workout, yoga is whatever you want it to be. The term yoga encompasses all of life, what we are getting into here is asana and pranayama, or simply; movement and breath. Here are some poses that have been handed down through thousands of years to help you to realign your fluid body, cleanse yourself of impurities and reverse the trend of injury that can result from excessive stress on the body and mind.


Simplicity is key in this restoration process. Move with your breath and listen to your body, your overall intention will sculpt itself and continue to evolve as you move. All you have to do is show up and honor yourself." - Taylor Phinney

__________

The below yoga poses were led by yoga teacher Dan Carbonell.

 

Crescent Moon

IMG_7559.jpg
IMG_7541.jpg

Benefits: Stretches hip flexors (especially psoas muscle) and obliques. Brings balance to cyclists that repeatedly engage their hip flexors to lift their thighs.

Where you’ll feel it: hip flexors and obliques

 

Seated Figure Four

IMG_7680.jpg
IMG_7676.jpg
IMG_7700.jpg

Benefits: Stretches "deep six" muscles (external hip rotators); improves mobility through the hip joint to promote a more efficient stride.

Where you'll feel it: back of hips

 

Twisted Monkey Lunge

IMG_7594.jpg
IMG_7571.jpg

Benefits: Stretches hip flexors, quads, and abs; opens the front of the body to balance cycling position.

Where you’ll feel it: abs, hip flexors and quads

 

Wide-Legged Forward Fold

IMG_7612.jpg
IMG_7605.jpg

Benefits: Stretches hamstrings, leg adductors, and calves

Where you’ll feel it: hamstrings

Half Splits

IMG_7644.jpg
IMG_7641.jpg
IMG_7652.jpg

Benefits: Stretches the hamstrings. Notice the different positions of Taylor's toes in the photos to get a different stretch in the hamstring.

Where you’ll feel it: mainly in the front extended hamstring and the back leg quad.

Locust Pose

IMG_7528.jpg
IMG_7511.jpg

Benefits: Strengthens glutes and muscles that support the spine; strengthens the muscles that stretch on the bike. Working the upper back muscles improves posture and helps relieve stress and fatigue caused by slouching forward.

Where you'll feel it: glutes and back muscles

Supported Fish

IMG_7722.jpg
IMG_7726.jpg

Benefits: Stretches the front of the body, particularly the throat, chest, shoulders, abs, leg adductors (inner legs), and intercostals (the muscles between your ribs). Strengthens the upper back muscles and the back of the neck, which improves spinal flexibility and posture.

Where you’ll feel it: Shoulders, hip flexors, and spine

Half Lord of the Fishes

IMG_7775.jpg
IMG_7779.jpg

Benefits: Stretches shoulders, hips, and neck. Releases the whole back and realigns the spine. Also helps counteract the crouching inherent in cycling.

Where you’ll feel it: shoulders, hips and spine

Open Wing

IMG_7737.jpg
IMG_7742.jpg

Benefits: Opens up the chest and shoulders which feels great after being hunched over on a bike for hours on end.

Where you’ll feel it: chest and shoulders

Legs Up The Wall

IMG_7819.jpg
IMG_7803.jpg

Benefits: Elevating the legs promotes drainage from excess fluid build-up. In addition, gravity assists circulation by facilitating the return of blood back to the heart. Soothes swollen or cramped feet and legs, stretches hamstrings, and relieves lower back tension.

Where you’ll feel it: mainly in your legs and low back

 

About Dan Carbonell

IMG_7667.jpg

A lifelong athlete, Dan first came to his yoga mat looking to build core strength and improve flexibility for his other endeavors. However, it only took one vinyasa class for him to understand the practice’s transformational power. A successful thirty-day challenge followed and he was hooked. After bouncing around a few studios in the Washington, DC area, Dan moved to Boulder, CO and jumped head first into its amazing yoga community. When not immersed in the world of yoga, you can find Dan climbing, running, and enjoying all the outdoor activities Colorado has to offer.

Dan's classes are accessible to practitioners of all ability levels and he loves guiding students down the difficult, but rewarding path of extraordinary consciousness and self-empowerment. For Dan, yoga isn't about flexibility, yoga is about meeting the sensation of your own inflexibility with compassion and using the breath as a vehicle for cultivating bodily awareness. For this reason, Dan's classes place a high emphasis on the breath practice and he encourages his students to come to their mats with an open mind, a light heart, and most importantly, a willingness to have fun! In Boulder? Attend one of Dan's classes at Yoga Pod.