Yoga: Chest openers for cyclists – Bike Magazine Australia

By  Kylie Terraluna  Photos Jamie Cleary

Yoga’s chest opening postures are designed to counter balance that ‘hunched-over effect’ cycling has on your body – to realign your posture by stretching you back out again and releasing you from pain. You’ve possibly spent long periods bent over to ride, so it makes sense to hold some restorative, releasing poses to get some relief.

This sequence can be strong, yet blissfully relaxing. Enjoy the repose, and next time you take to your bike, look forward to the counter-work that this well sequenced yoga practice brings. 

Set up

This sequence is designed to be performed well away from the bike, preferably at home where household props are fully available. You will need a thick blanket, or a large beach towel, and possibly another two rolled up blankets/towels. You also need a yoga mat, a bolster or firm cushions, a strap, and a chair with an open back. 

Practice this sequence in a warm place, free of distractions, and set aside some time for healing, balance and freedom.

1. Reclining bound angle

Place your three-fold blanket to act as a pillow onto the bolster or long firm cushions. Sit, with buttocks against the back of bolster. Bend your knees to place the soles of your feet together. Loop the strap around hips near the sacrum, place over the top of your thighs and under ankles. Pull the strap to a snug position. Gently recline over the cushion on an out-breath, adjusting the blanket to support your head and neck.

Allow hands to rest at your sides, palms facing up. Relax. Soften into the support of the props, allowing the muscles to let go. Close your eyes. Breathe. If your hips become uncomfortable, place a rolled up towel or blanket underneath the outside edge of each knee and thigh evenly for support, then rest back down. Relax in the pose for three minutes if possible.