Yoga for cyclists summer workshops for the Women's Festival of Cycling
Yoga for cyclists summer workshops for the Women's Festival of Cycling
The Women’s Festival of Cycling takes place from 17 July to 1 August 2021 with a host of events across the UK.
We’ll be raising the profile of women’s cycling, putting on various events to encourage more women to cycle, and featuring the women in cycling who inspire others. By reminding women of the incredible benefits cycling can have from tackling air pollution, physical health, improving mental wellbeing and ill health from inactivity, we want to make sure cycling becomes a sustained activity.
Yoga is a great compliment to cycling, aside from helping ease those aches and pains, it can help you improve performance, make you feel more comfortable on a bike, reduce chances of injury and can even help you to overcome some of the psychological challenges cycling presents.
During the Women’s Festival of Cycling, we’ll be bringing you a free progressive four-part yoga series, designed specifically for cyclists by yoga and stand-up paddle-board teacher, and keen cyclist Karen Maidment of Soul Connection Yoga.
Even if you have never practised yoga before, if you love to move your body, learn, and have fun, you’ll enjoy these sessions. Karen’s yoga classes focus on alignment and are designed to create a strong and flexible body that allows you to do the things you love (like cycling) with ease.
The sessions are aimed at nurturing and moving your body in ways that are fun and sustainable. Karen’s approach is wholly inclusive, creative and progressive with a real element of fun.
Ride faster, sharper, with a strong, pain free body and enjoy smiles for miles.
Practise in your shorts and t-shirt, or whatever you are comfortable in, there’s no requirement to wear yoga specific attire.
These 30-minute sessions are suitable for absolutely anybody, high levels of flexibility are not a pre-requisite. Karen has designed the sessions as part of a series, with each class delving into the key rider specific areas of the body needing support. That said, if you can’t attend every session, you will still benefit and hopefully enjoy the classes you can attend.
Yoga for cyclists: Spine, neck, lower back
Tuesday 20 July, 7.30-8pm
This first session will focus on the spine, neck, lower and middle back. Whether you’re a roadie or an off-road mountain biker your body is forced into an unnatural unusual position. After spending so much time in the same hunched position the neck, back and chest can all start to feel very tight. As a result of dropped handlebars, the attack position and peering up under your helmet, these areas of the body are often in need of some attention. In this session we’ll focus on mobilisation to lubricate and free up the back area which should help maintain a better riding posture.
Yoga for cyclists: Shoulders and wrists
Thursday 22 July, 8-8.30am
This second session focuses on the all important shoulders and wrists. Cycling on and off-raid puts pressure and strain through these areas of the body. The more saddle time you get in the more niggles you’re likely to feel, whether that's stiffness and tightness or reduced flexibility. This session will focus on building strength and stability to carry you through an active season of bike related fun.
Yoga for cyclists: Hips, hip flexors and glutes
Tuesday 27 July, 7.30-8pm
The repetitive nature of pushing power through the pedals in an unusual bent over position towards the handlebars isn’t natural for the body. This position can commonly cause tightness all around the hip area. Session 3 will focus on the hips, hip flexors and glutes. As riders we are all too familiar with tight hips and hip associated pain such as ‘sciatica’. We’ll focus on increasing mobility and flexibility to release pain and discomfort whilst cycling. This should also help reduce the chance of future injuries.
Yoga for cyclists: Quads and hamstrings
Thursday 29 July, 8-8.30am
Whether on-road or off-road, whilst cycling, your legs are constantly engaged. The repetitive movements through the legs can lead to tightness and imbalances as we often all have one preferred leg to lead with. Session four will focus on the quads and hamstrings, for every cracking descent there’s a challenging climb and thus tight quads muscles and hammies. We’ll focus on flexibility to unravel knotty muscles post ride.
Questions and answers from specialist yoga instructor Karen Maidment
Do you have any advice to those who are nervous about trying yoga for the first time?
I think as adults we can often feel nervous about trying new activities. The fear of looking foolish, of not being as good as others. Finding a Yoga teacher you feel connected to really helps. A teacher you feel reflects your interests, speaks your language. Online Yoga classes can also be a great way of dipping your toe in, without the associated fears of rocking up to a live class.
If someone can't attend a session can they still continue the course?
The Yoga course we are offering as part of the Women’s Festival of Cycling has been designed so that you can dip in and out. There are definite benefits of being able to attend each class but they work just as well as standalone sessions.
Is any equipment needed?
I often use yoga blocks to help access stretches more effectively. As riders we often experience tight hips and hamstrings, and blocks really help us get into those areas. However, books and even water filled sports bottles work just as well! A Yoga mat or something similar is helpful but not essential. You could use a towel, or even just practice straight on to carpeted floor.
What kind of yoga do you teach?
I teach a functional flow yoga. I focus on movement patterns that help mobilise, stretch and strengthen the body. Helping us enjoy everyday life and our hobbies, like cycling, free from discomfort.
How did you get into practising yoga?
I started practising over ten years ago when I needed a way of moving body that helped me feel good about myself! I was struggling with workplace burn-out and low self-esteem. A few years later I started training as a teacher in my own studio space. At the time I was running my own clinic/studio and working as a Health & Nutrition Specialist. Soul Connection Yoga and its online Yoga studio were part a vision that started forming around 7 years ago. When lockdown hit last year, I was out in Bali for six weeks with little to do but soak up the sun and create. My dream for SCY as I call it was to create an on-line Yoga platform that brought together my love for Yoga, Functional Movement and Health. To bring together like-minded health and movement enthusiasts.
What is your relationship with cycling?
When I am not on the yoga mat my favourite place to be is in the woods on my mountain bike. I really fell in love with MTB when I moved to the Forest of Dean. I was looking for a way to get fit, and make new friends and joined The Dames women’s cycling group. Cycling for me has become a way to defrag, laugh and connect with friends. Yoga is the perfect antidote to time in the saddle, keeping me free from pain and that tin man feeling. It also provides a way for me to lift my mood. Endorphins flooding as I ride my fav trails with the pups in tow.
|Title of session||Sessions||Click to register|
|Yoga for cyclists: Spine, neck and lower back||Tuesday 20 July, 7-.7.30pm||Register now|
|Yoga for cyclists: Shoulders and wrists||Thursday 22 July 8-8.30am||Register now|
|Yoga for cyclists: Hips, hip flexors and glutes||Tuesday 27 July 7.30-8pm||Register now|
|Yoga for cyclists: Quads and hamstrings||Thursday 29 July 8-8.30am||Register now|
Women's Festival of Cycling
The Women's Festival of Cycling will be taking place from 17 July to 1 August 2021 and aims to encourage more women to cycle.
Join us for organised rides, digital events, advice and more.