stretches for cyclists

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. 

2) Lunge

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.

Photo by  Christen Kinard

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!

Chriopractic and Yoga - A combination for better results

Both yoga and chiropractic center many of their principles on the idea of balance. In yoga, balance exists between a pose and counterpose, effort and rest, and prana (the breath that enters the body) and apana (the breath that exits the body). In chiropractic, balance exists in the assessment and treatment of  restricted and hyper mobile joints, taut and lax ligaments, and strong and weak muscles. Both yoga and chiropractic aim to balance the body to improve posture, range of motion, and strength in order to obtain optimal health.


Most people come to me as a chiropractic patient because they are in pain. If I've had the opportunity to teach them in a yoga class, I already have a fair assessment of what spine and joint dysfunctions they are experiencing. When I get them in the office, I do a few more functional screenings to confirm the issues that are causing them pain or reducing their ability to reach their full potential in yoga and other activities. Our goal through chiropractic is to treat the cause of the symptom - not just the symptom itself.


On the other side, I generally encourage people who are regular chiropractic patients to begin a yoga practice. During their chiropractic treatment, proprioception (awareness of the position of one's body) is heightened, making patients more aware of their posture. While I am correcting imbalances with adjustments, adding yoga helps patients recover and heal even faster while helping prevent future injuries. Additionally, patients who add yoga to their routine will develop the skills to keep themselves healthy and balanced so they can go longer between chiropractic visits. They ultimately become in tune with their bodies and become self aware of when something is off and when they need to come in for an adjustment instead of waiting until they experience pain - which is typically a longer recovery process.

If more of my patients practiced yoga, I wouldn’t have to see them nearly as frequently. Alternatively, if more of my yoga students received adjustments, their practice would improve and they would prevent injuries. While I do, in fact love, seeing every one of my patients, my goal is to get them feeling and moving better so they can come see me to maintain health, not just recover from an injury or get out of pain.

You don't have to keep coming back for adjustments once you start (which I've found to be a belief that some people have) although you may want to. Just like in your yoga practice, you can have a great class and feel amazing for a day or two after, but ideally you want to maintain that so you can continue to stay healthy and move uninhibitedly as you progress in life. A healthy individual who practices yoga, exercises, and eats a healthy diet may just need to come in every few months for an adjustment to maintain health and prevent injury.

Bottom Line:

Along with breathing and meditation, the physical practice of yoga promotes balance, strength and flexibility, making chiropractic care and manipulation easier and more effective. Having a yoga practice in conjunction with chiropractic care empowers patients to understand their own misalignments and imbalances, allowing them to have more control over the correction of their spine in their yoga practice and in other daily activities. When combined, yoga and chiropractic care work together to make you stronger, more flexible and happier.