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The 30-minute yoga routine every cyclist should try

When a decade ago I first started encouraging cyclists to try yoga, most of them raised an eyebrow or humoured me politely. For most riders, the word ‘yoga’ conjured up images of awkward smalltalk in fusty village halls, pretzel poses reserved for the super-bendy, mostly female practitioners, and maybe a bit of obscure chanting. Fast-forward to 2023 and most professional riders factor in a structured stretching session at least a few times a week – and many regularly practise yoga. So what’s changed and is yoga something that’s worth it for amateur riders?

Should cyclists do yoga?

Strip away the breathing and meditation elements from a typical yoga session and you have a series of physical postures that systematically work the body through various planes of motion, such as lateral flexion, rotation, and extension (side bending, twists and back bending in yoga speak). This is perfect for breaking cyclists out of their fixed riding position, relieving stiffness and potential muscle imbalances that can stem from the hours in the same posture on the bike. Observe a cyclist climb off their bike and you’ll notice they do yoga-like movements instinctively, such as arching their backs with their hands behind their heads. 

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