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Old 01-13-2010, 06:25 AM   #1
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Ryan Leech and Yoga - An Interview

Ryan recently became a certified yoga instructor. He tells us about the benefits of yoga and what got him hooked.

Find a comfortable pose and read on here...
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:39 AM   #2
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great article, thanks for the read. given that i'm getting old(er) and things are definitely starting to hurt more, maybe it's time to give yoga another shot. way to go ryan!
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:59 AM   #3
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Interesting read. Ryan pretty much nailed your average mountain biker's beat up body. Or at least the way mine feels sometimes - and I'd pretty much still qualify as a spring chicken.
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:10 AM   #4
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I've been going since the middle of summer. I haven't noticed too much in my riding but I do know that my legs are stronger when I'm snowboarding this season. So of the 'seat' poses really strengthen the legs amazingly. I'd definitely recommend a power yoga session and yes it does kick your arse.
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:11 AM   #5
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I do yoga since 6 years now...
I started because of the sun and the girls! I was working at Uof A in edmonton in a basement at the time. The class was two times a week just at sunrise. 30 hot students and two guys. AWESOME !!!! Did it for almost two years.
Then I got hooked. Now I do mainly DVD or alone. I m not particularly good but I have to say that he help a lot! It help with sports but also with work like being seated in front of a computer for hours long... It was also very helpful for the recovery of the knee surgery.
I forced my mom (60 years old) to start. Her first reaction was "those dumb lunatic praying at the sun" or something like that. Now that she way less back pain, less arthritic problem, better joint flexibility etc etc she is raving about it. Yoga DVD are my new family Xmas presents lol Cheap and efficient!
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:29 AM   #6
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Way to spread the word Ryan
I've been messing around semi commited to yoga for a couple years now. I do some balance ball workouts as well. I've never felt better. On and off the bike. Like Ryan professes - biking and yoga are a brilliant fit. The back pain is gone. In fact once you fall into yoga you become so aware of your skeleton and musculature - It's really like an awakening - You strive for flexibility and symmetry in your body as well as control of your breath and heartrate. Really fits well into the zen bike control that we search for on the blistering intense descents. NINJA bike powers!!!!
killer workout http://www.torrentreactor.net/torren...8155/Yoga-Zone it's actually free (not pirated)

Last edited by superl8; 01-13-2010 at 08:35 AM. Reason: added vid link
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Old 01-13-2010, 10:16 AM   #7
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Good read! I have been looking for another side hobby to go along with riding and been giving alot of thought to yoga lately. I think this article might be the little push I needed to give it a shot!
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Old 01-13-2010, 01:51 PM   #8
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I tried Yoga once, when my girlfriend dragged me to a class... it was weird... I found the supposedly easy poses really hard (I can't kneel due to knee issues, and my lower back is fused together from a crash when I was younger, so sitting cross legged is a no go without pain) but I found the harder poses really easy, as I found they relied more on core strength than flexibility. I do however accept that yoga would help me improve my flexibility, and since I am currently recovering from major surgery (they cut me open from sternum to groin) then I maybe should give it another shot. biking + climbing + yoga... hmmm they should all be benificial to each other I think.
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Old 01-13-2010, 03:47 PM   #9
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Ive been practising for years and have seen no end to the beneifts. I dont get headaches any more, my body feels fluid and less clumsy. That translates well on the bike where you need to be able to relax and breathe through the tough stuff.
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Old 01-13-2010, 05:20 PM   #10
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Thanks for this.

As I sit here at my computer after a workout this morning, I can't help but think I need to find a way to incorporate this into my lifestyle.

I'm into my 30th year of competitive soccer, and for the past 3 years I've been saying "enough, time to retire". The pain is getting unmanageable. The day after a game is these days spent on the couch, reeling in back agony. But I can't retire. I know this because for the past 7 years or so I've been taking the summers off, and come mid August, I can't wait to get back on the pitch. It's in my blood, and that's just the way it is.

Same applies in the other-season w/ riding...last year I did thousands of road KMs...although physically it was a nice break from the beating of DH, riding in the same position for hours on end can't be good. Then there is the BMX racing and regular MBT rides. I find myself in a constant state of maintenance.

My aunt asked me why I don't start Yoga, and my smart ass response was that w/ the limited time I have, why would I choose to spend 2 hours in a Yoga sudio when I can be on a mountain for that same allotment of time...and that once one resorts to Yoga, they've given up on the rest of life.

Maybe the way I have to look at it is something like this will allow me to NOT have to give up on the activities I love.

Time to make more time.
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Old 01-13-2010, 06:33 PM   #11
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highly recommended.
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Old 01-13-2010, 06:48 PM   #12
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I initially started 'practicing' yoga for my back. That's been a rocky road because of a re-injury along the way but it's coming along. What I didn't expect is that it would be so beneficial for my knees. Years of basketball, soccer, baseball and some rugby had them quite messed up but it didn't matter too much for riding. I couldn't kneel or crouch but I figured I could live with that. I felt like an old man though which sucked. My knees have improved constantly and now they are pain free. I can almost sit on my heels and crouching and kneeling are things I do without a second thought. (Maybe you'll have a similar experience Keith.)

Another fantastic side benefit has to do with crashing. I almost crash way more than I used to - because I manage to save myself. I can ride close to the edge and manage to crawl back now when previously I'd be in a heap. When I do crash it doesn't hurt nearly as much. It used to be that I'd feel messed up for the rest of the ride. Now I wipe myself off and when I take inventory (so far at least) I generally feel fine. I can take a hit dramatically better than I could before.

There have been lots of side benefits for me as well like sleeping better, improved focus and concentration and - as Ryan mentioned - I enjoy riding and pretty much all activities even more than I used to.

I now know that I'll do yoga as long as I'm able. Just like mountain biking - and I should be able to do that longer as well.
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:01 PM   #13
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What he said ^^. I also found the balance work helped with quicker recovery whenever my bike got out of shape. I put my back out last week but realized I had let things slack over the christmas eating season. I got right back on the program and inside a week was feeling normal. For those with back problem I also recommend getting a wobble board and doing some yoga-ish moves on it to work the core and shoulders.
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:08 PM   #14
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Great article/interview Cam. I started doing yoga once/week in November as part of an overall fitness program. Obviously can't speak to long term benefits, but short term it has greatly increased my flexibility, and moderately helped my balance. Next month I'll be bumping it up to 3 times/week and I expect better gains in balance.

I think many people are put off by the meditation and lululemon angles of yoga. You need to get over that, and think of it as another way to increase your flexibility, strength, and balance. Start slow, expect to get your ass kicked for a while, and try not to get frustrated.


btw, Crow is Kakasana, Crane is Bakasana. They are doing Crow in the third pic
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:15 PM   #15
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I just started last fall, 2 weeks off over Christmas and I missed it terribly. The coolest part, I do the class with fellow riders
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