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Spinning and outdoor cycling are high-octane cardio workouts that require powerful legs and knees, flexible hips, and a strong back and core. If you recruit that kind of energy on a regular basis, it’s easy for your body and mind to get out of sync. But spending time on your yoga mat is an ideal means to regain much-needed balance. “Both together are an amazing combination of yin-yang,” says Kimberly Fowler, founder of YAS (Yoga and Spinning) Fitness Centers in California and Oregon. “Yoga is the calming, and Spinning is the aggression.” These poses can soothe body aches for faster recovery and lowered risk of injury, as well as stretch and strengthen your muscles to prep you for your next stint in the saddle.
1. Easy Spinal Twist
Good for stretching the lower back and hips
Lie on your back and bring your knees to your chest. Keep your right knee into your chest and extend your left leg straight out onto the mat. Bring your left hand to the outside of your right knee. On an exhale, pull your right knee across your body to the left, keeping both shoulder blades pressed to the mat. Extend your right arm to the side and look out over your right shoulder. Hold for 60 seconds; switch sides.
2. Reclining One-Legged King Pigeon Pose
Supta Eka Pada Rajakapotasana
Good for stretching and opening tight hips and knees
Lie on your back, bend your left leg, and rest the outside edge of your right shin above your left knee. Reach your right hand between your thighs and grab the back of your left thigh with both hands. On an exhale, gently pull your thigh toward your chest. Relax your neck and shoulders. Hold for 1 to 3 minutes. Lower the leg; switch sides.
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
Good for stretching chest and neck, and strengthening the lower back by reversing the standard, hunched-over Spinning position
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the mat, hip-distance apart. Reach down along the mat with your fingertips close to your heels, palms down. On an exhale, push into your feet to lift your hips. Once your hips are fully lifted, your knees should be directly above your ankles. Try to roll your shoulder blades toward each other. Hold for about 10 breaths. Release your arms; slowly roll down, one vertebra at a time.
Bound Angle Pose
Good for stretching and toning the lower back, hips, and inner thighs
From a seated position, bring the soles of your feet together close to your body, with knees dropping to the sides. Walk your hands out in front of you as far as is comfortable until you feel a good stretch in your low back and inner thighs. Look down while keeping an extension in your spine. If your knees are high in the air, modify the pose by moving your feet a little farther from your body. Hold for 10 breaths.
Teacher Kimberly Fowler is the owner of YAS (Yoga and Spinning) Fitness Centers located in Southern California and Portland, Oregon. Model Jasmine Anderson is a Spinning instructor based in Denver, Colorado, and founder of Rhythm Revolution teacher trainings.
See also 7 Steps to Master Bound Angle Pose