Tomorrow (May 20th) is bike to work day! (If you haven't registered yet, you can do so here).
In the spirit of bike commuting, and cycling in general, I've put together a few of my favorite yoga poses that are great both before and after you ride.
1) Downward facing dog
This posture is excellent for stretching hamstrings and the low back. To do this pose, think of making a triangle shape with your body and reach your tailbone up and back while pressing your chest gently toward your thighs to keep your back flat. It's ok if your heels don't touch the ground! Feel free to experiment with keeping the knees slightly bent if the hamstrings are very tight.
This pose lengthens the front of the body, opens the chest, and stretches the hip flexors of the back leg. Make sure your front knee is over your ankle, and your hips stay square. Lengthen through the torso and through the back leg.
3) Half Pigeon
This pose opens the hip flexors, hip rotator muscles, and groin muscles. If the hip of your front (bent) knee does not feel supported or is not resting on the ground, consider putting a folded blanket under that hip for support to keep the pelvis in a neutral alignment.
Start sitting tall with your spine long for a few deep breaths, then progress to folding forward over the front leg.
Remember that alignment is important. If these stretches aren't quite getting you to feeling your best, make an appointment today so we can get you back on your bike and feeling pain free!