For a long time, people believed that the ribcage was like a stiff, static barrel. Maybe you feel that way about yours, but really, I hope not! A much more useful ( and body-friendly) way of relating to your rib- basket is that its a bit like a mobile, dynamic stack of rings that functions more like a slinky or a spring. Imbalances between muscles around the ribs are super common amongst bike riders and these can lock down and restrict the full natural movement of our ribs. When we’re riding we use abdominals, pectoral muscles and lats to steady and support us over the bars. Spend hours in the saddle without releasing the chest and arms in the opposite direction afterwards and the connective tissues remember the position your challenged it in- you become tighter in your shoulders and chest unless you release those tissues.
Your breath is your best friend for releasing the chest region.The 136 joints in the thoracic region exist to give your breath space and power.
Through warming up, moving and releasing the connective tissues of the chest area, the joints of the chest can do their job better.
Your diaphragm, the key muscle of power in your body is freed up to make every breath you take more efficient. Your breath feels more free, your shoulders feel better, and you’ll feel the power of your body on hill climbs as you get over the bike more easily and for longer before fatigue sets in. Becoming more aware of our breathing helps set us up with an open chest and great alignment for weights and whatever other training you do- in fact alignment becomes less of an issue when you breath into a more symmetrical, balanced rib- basket because your breath shape is able to adapt better to maintain length and stability right through your centre or “ core”.
Dynamic yoga that over challenges your breath doesn’t allow you the time to feel, or truly release your breathing, especially those tight, persistent spots around your shoulders that really need your time and mental attention to let go.
Bike yoga isn’t gym yoga- we use the tools of yoga, breath awareness, asana and awareness in sequences and practices especially for riders, by a yoga teacher/physiotherapist who rides.
Come to Sukha Bike Yoga at 7:30- 8:30pm every Monday for a practice that will free your breath. Your body will love you for it.