So you just finished indoor cycling and you're feeling energized from your workout. But you want to try to avoid the next day aches while cooling down from your high-intensity workout. A little yoga stretching can really help with that. Here are some restorative poses you can try to top off any indoor cycling workout.
This one is a popular cool down pose. Get into a low lunge position by starting with your hands down on the mat in downward dog. Step your right foot in between your hands and drop your left knee onto the mat. Then inhale and sweep your arms above your head, keeping them in line with your ears and look up at the sky. You are now in crescent lunge. Repeat this for the left foot and right knee. This yoga pose is a great way to help relieve tight muscles in the hips and legs, muscles that may be strained during indoor cycling.
This one is a well known restorative and rest pose. You start by kneeling on the floor with your big toes touching and sitting on your heels. Then you separate your knees about as wide as your hips and lay your torso down forward while extending your hands forward on the floor, palms facing down. Finally, you may rest your forehead on the mat. An alternative is to lay your arms beside you, palms facing up, instead of extending them forward. Child's pose has a host of benefits, including relieving stress, easing lower back pain, increasing circulation, and calming the mind. It also eases lower back pain and allows for a stretch of the hips and thighs.
This one is more challenging because it requires a bit of flexibility. Be careful with regards to attempting this stretch and always be sure to first consult a medical professional if you have any back conditions. The benefits of bow pose include spine, upper back, hip flexors, shoulders, and hamstrings strengthening. It helps improve posture and opens up the chest in the opposite direction of one's posture while indoor cycling. Begin lying belly down on the mat, and squeeze the shoulder blades backwards while bending your knees up towards the ceiling. Finally, reach for your ankles with your arms extended back.
Cobra or Sphinx Pose
Start with the Sphinx pose, which is a great stretch of your abs that engages your upper body. Lie on your belly with your palms facing down and your elbows under your shoulders. To bend deeper into your lower back and open up your chest more, you can extend up into the Cobra pose by slowly pushing up so that your palms are under your shoulders and your arms are straight. These poses serve to open up the heart and ground energy imbalances to help you cool down from your workout.
Finally we have this relaxing supine pose that is often performed at the conclusion of yoga. While lying down on your back, bend your right knee and hug your leg with your arms into your chest. You may rock side to side to help release tension in the lower back. Hold this pose for some time and release, then repeat with your left leg. This pose stretches and stabilizes the pelvis and lower back. It can help relieve any back pain, anxiety, and tension in your hamstrings or glutes. It also feels great after an intensive cycling workout.