Come for the Suffering, Namaste for the Yoga: Yoga for Cyclists with Abi Carver of Yoga 15 Available with The Sufferfest App
I know what some of you are thinking. You’re only comfortable when you’re above threshold. You never take the easy route. You beat your own ass twice a day just because you can, only to yell, “Thank you, Grunter, may I have another!”
And yoga? That seems to be straying a little too close to Couchlandrian territory. Anything that uses a mat not intended to catch copious amounts of Holy Water...seems suspicious.
Well, The Minions have news for you: yoga is one of the best kept secrets in cycling. By the end of this post you won’t be able to imagine doing “Downward Spiral” without downward dog and wouldn’t think of leaving the “OM” out of “The Omnium”. Yes, there’s a reason you can’t spell ‘Agony’ without ‘Yoga’.
FORGET WHAT YOU THINK YOU KNOW ABOUT YOGA FOR CYCLISTS
Yoga isn’t just for the patchouli-scented set. It also isn’t tied to any kind of spiritual practice and doesn’t require you to grow a beard or join a drum circle. Though it is low impact, yoga helps develop real, functional strength in a way that just riding your bike can't.
Elite athletes, especially in endurance sports like cycling, routinely adopt yoga as part of their regular training routine. Yoga develops power, flexibility, balance and agility, as well as increasing your ability to focus. All of those skills transmit directly to being a better bike rider, whether you’re set on dominating the local TT or crushing the cyclocross course. Who doesn’t want better power on the bike, the ability to stay in an efficient, aero position without pain, or cat-like reflexes that allow you to stay upright while your competitors flounder in the sandpit.
The strength gains and improved range of motion that yoga facilitates also help prevent injury and speed recovery. That means less time spent convalescing and more time spent making your competitors beg for mercy. Talk to any coach or sports scientists and you’ll hear the same refrain: gains are made during rest and recovery. If you don’t recover properly, cumulative fatigue will start to wear you down, preventing you from getting the most out of your workouts. Less Return on Suffering? No. Thank. You.
THE SUFFERFEST MAKES YOGA FOR CYCLISTS EASY AND ACCESSIBLE
We’ve talked about why you need to incorporate yoga into your training, but the question now is, how? Few of us have the luxury to find a yoga studio, figure out which class to take and then worry about whether the routines are actually going to translate into on-the-bike performance gains. Not to mention the additional investment, both in time and money.
Fear not, Sufferlandrians, we have you covered. The Sufferfest app has an entire Yoga for Cyclists Programme, developed in partnership with Abi Carver, founder of Yoga 15 and one of the most recognized names in yoga for endurance and action sports athletes.
Subscribers to The Sufferfest Training Centre App have access to 30 videos of routines developed by Abi specifically for cyclists. These routines are designed to strengthen notoriously weak areas for cyclists—core, back, and upper body— as well as improve overall flexibility, posture, balance, and focus. Additional breathing and meditation exercises will help you quash those pre-race nerves, allowing you to find the calm before the storm and deliver your best performance when it matters most. On the road or stuck in the office? The Yoga in Couchlandria sessions are just the ticket, whether you’re travelling or putting in long hours at work.
INTEGRATING YOGA FOR CYCLISTS INTO YOUR ROUTINE
Now, you’re probably thinking, “I don’t have the time for yoga.” Think again. Just as The Sufferfest workouts are designed to give you maximum benefit in a short amount of time, so is the Yoga for Cyclists Programme. Most of The Sufferfest yoga sessions are 15 minutes or less, making them perfect for the time-crunched Sufferlandrian looking to improve full-body strength and flexibility.
They’re also performance-oriented, getting you straight to the exercises that matter without any fuss. You’ll easily be able to fit them in at home a few times a week, without having to stare at some stranger’s Downward Dog in a crowded yoga studio.
Even better: if you’re using one of The Sufferfest training plans that are now included free with your app subscription, you’ll find that Abi and Mac Cassin at APEX Coaching have integrated the Yoga for Cyclists Programme into each plan. We make it easy. All (all?) you have to do is Suffer, Yoga, Breathe, Dominate.
Not an app subscriber yet? You need to fix that pronto.
Check out this sneak peek of one of Abi's routines developed for The Sufferfest Training Centre app.
About Abi Carver
Abi Carver’s fitness career started out in personal training, before later branching out into yoga. She completed her yoga teacher training in Guatemala, and has since grown a huge online following with Yoga 15, her comprehensive yoga system designed specifically for athletes. Abi now teaches in Europe, South America and Indonesia, tailoring her classes and routines specifically to the athletes she’s teaching. With her own interests including surfing, climbing and running, she uses yoga to improve her performance through conditioning, recovery, and mental skills training. You can find more by Abi at www.yoga15.com and www.instagram/yoga15abi