Why should I do it?
What will it do for me?
I am stiff as a board,
I don't think I will be able for it?
I have heard them all before and believe me, if you are asking these questions then I can tell you, Yoga is definitely for you!
Well, Yoga is a way of life! There are 4 pathways to self realisation, true Yoga, including scriptures, chanting, asanas (yoga poses and meditation) and karma yoga, (what goes around comes around).
Here in the western world though we think of Yoga as a class, funny moves, tie me up in knots, legs over heads and hippy breathing.
No matter what you think, or what your expectations are, I would strongly recommend giving a class a try and come with an open mind.
Class is an hour long and we start with a little breathing exercise. This is to settle everyone down after a stressful commute to class. When we breath deeply, control our exhale and notice our breath, we begin to relax. get the body oxygenated and ready for class.
So what is the opposite of bike posture?
In class we focus on opening out the chest and getting our breath down into the diaphragm. Often our diaphragm is compressed on the bike, rounded shoulders restrict lung function. Back bends are used to reverse the hours spent in flexion, whether from the bike or desk. We lengthen the hip flexors and hamstrings to improve flexibility. Strengthen the whole back in order to support the spin and mid section, improve posture and stability. We focus on core and balance, both important for keeping the pelvis centered on the saddle. Focus, concentration, core strength, stamina and flexibility are all worked and improved.
During class the Asanas (poses) are held for a few breath to allow the body time to adjust, sometimes we find it hard to stop and just allow our breath to flow. The Asanas can be challenging, tight hamstrings, tight quads, poor ankle mobility and so on can really make the class tough. Don't despair, like everything, including cycling, it gets easier in time.
You will leave class feeling taller, straighter, stronger and relaxed! Lot's of people report sleeping heavily after a class.
What is the class format?
Expect in the class some sun salutations to warm up the whole body and mobilize the spine. Standing poses, balance poses, seated and lying down poses. The class always finishes with a few minutes of breathing /relaxation, Savasana, this is to allow the body to heal. You have just given it one hell of a boost so let it have time to re-boot.
Benefits of Yoga:
- Promotes over all Health and Well being
- Improves flexibility
- Boost circulation/ flushes out toxins
- Improves Joint mobility
- Lengthens and strengthens muscles
- Improves core strength
- Challenges balance, nervous system response mechanisms activated
- Gives you time to your self, you will be too busy concentration to think about your life
- Massages your Internal Organs
- relieves cramps and bloating
- Reduces Stress
- Your Cycling will improve and you will be more happy! (Hopefully)
- Meet like minded people and have fun.
Just remember no one in class is an expert including the teacher. there are many poses that I still can't do, and some I will never be able to master. It is important to work with your body, have a go at least, sure if you can't, so what. Yoga is a personal practice, there are no medals.
What do I need to bring?
just yourself, I provide the mats and support blocks. All you need is some loose fitting, comfortable clothes. Un-padded cycling type shorts are great, they provide support and should avoid any accidental flashing! (it has happened.)
Like any class you need to the energy to participate, however we don't want to see any dinners re appearing! Eat something light a couple of hours before, remember we will be twisting and bending over, keep it plain!
I farted in class and I am mortified!
Don't worry, it happens! We are squeezing, pushing, pulling, bending and twisting. Your body probably doesn't know what has hit it! Laugh it off.
How do I join the class?
Booking is essential, you can contact me on 086 6047945, email me, facebook me or tweet!
Come and give a class a go, if you don't like it you never have to come back! It's good to get out of your comfort zone every now and again.
Class is on Every Monday from the 6th January 2014.
Raw Condition Gym
Please call or text 086 6047945 to secure your space.
About the Author:
Sinéad Kennedy is a Physical Therapist, Yoga Siromani and Pilates Instructor, based in South County Dublin. She treats and teaches people from all walks of life, including many athletes, especially cyclists, runners and golfers. A keen cyclist and proud member of Orwell Wheelers she is currently training for the Marmotte Sportive, Alps, July 2014. Sinéad has completed two Dublin City Marathons, numerous Adventure Races, Half Marathons and Cycling Events.