There are three pieces to the bike riding portion of the practice:
- Breathing observation and correction
- A common problem is something called Paradoxical Breathing (also referred to as chest or shallow breathing). In some cases there may be a physical issue or limitation (for instance scoliosis) or injury to the chest or back that's at the root of the breathing problem. During the ride we'll observe our breathing patterns and practice diaphragmatic breathing. See the links at the bottom of this post to a site that has a great discussion on these topics.
- Shoulder alignment
- Relaxed shoulders are also strong shoulders, because often a tight muscle is a weak muscle. We'll want to observe whether our current fit on the bike is correct - are the shoulders hunched forward or is the top of the humerus seated, where it should be, in the shoulder socket. This can also play into the breathing by providing space in the thoracic region of the chest and up through the collar bones.
- Maximizing rest stops
- There are several stretches that can be used at rest stops (especially on extended rides) to help: avoid numbness, increase circulation and give some opposition to the forward fold position that we're in while cycling.
- Seated or table pigeon (according to personal flexibility)
- Prone mountain
- Baby Cobra
- Basic hamstring stretch (or projected lunge)
This month I present the Yoga Ride Project to the Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) class (and the other students will present their projects as well). In January I'll graduate with my 200Hr YTT certificate.
Paradoxical Breathing and Diaphragmatic Breathing