A biker has to be fit and healthy on all levels to ride consistently for long hours on exciting motorcycle tours. When investing ample time in motorcycle riding, there is no doubt that your body needs adequate rest and serious relief. Rather than trying temporary healing methods like soaking in a bath, sitting on a couch or putting ice packs on aching legs and arms, one of the best and gentlest ways to heal and relax is through yoga.
Sure, there are various ways to keep fit, but no other exercise is as effective and restorative as performing yoga asanas. To many people, the Internet brings images of yoga as people meditating, chanting mantras for hours or molding the body in complicated ways. But, the reality is quite different. Yoga is a gentle form of exercise that reduces muscle tightness, increases flexibility, prevents injury, and enhances your overall well-being.
Image credit: Jennifer Peris
Spending long hours in the saddle hunched over handlebars can result in muscle tightness, body aches, and reduced flexibility. Do not let these minor issues become an obstacle in your journey. Yoga has the ideal solution for your back, legs, joints, and mental health too. With a combination of stretching and strengthening poses, deep breathing exercises, and meditation, it works as a total mind-body workout.
Yoga has gazillions of benefits for bikers. It keeps muscles and joints stay strong, stable, and supple, calms the nervous system and helps the biker remain mindful during the ride. It also reduces recovery time and helps you get back on the bike quicker after a demanding off-road motorcycle tour. Let us have a look at some of the best ways yoga helps motorcycle riders:
Improves Balance and Core Stability
While practicing yoga, you learn to balance your body in various poses, thus improving every aspect of body balance. Yoga enables you to feel what the body is doing and increases bodily awareness, which is very important while riding. Also, yoga improves core stability and reinforces the muscles around the spine. Strong lower back muscles, hip flexors, and sections of the glutes protect the back. The more balance and core stability you have, the more control you have over your bike.
To have a better control over the bike, one must be flexible. A supple and flexible body is much less prone to injury. With regular practice of yoga, your muscles will start to open up, particularly in your hips and hamstrings. Yoga postures stretch, tone, and strengthen the body’s muscles and increase the range of motion, making you more flexible. You are able to ride smoother, shift your weight back and forth better, lean more, etc. The more flexible you are, the better you can drive around without any difficulty.
Yoga Eases Your Muscles
Lots of hours riding your motorcycle require strength and stamina, but it also means that you must be able to relax during each break and after long tours. Yoga offers plenty of relaxing poses, deep breathing exercises, and meditation that provide instant relaxation and supply the much-needed energy required by the body. A few minutes of yoga allows you to lie down, breathe, relax, and listen to your body and mind before you get back in the saddle.
Improves Your Focus
You require some serious mental focus when riding your motorcycle. A biker has to be always mentally alert and focused to avoid any unexpected events and possibly even accidents. Yoga is not only about stretching and strengthening, it is a great way to calm the mind and increase your focus. Unique breathing techniques help the practitioner stay calm and build better focus.
There are various yoga poses, like the eagle pose, that increase your ability to blank out distractions such as body ache, bothering thoughts, helping you focus on the roads ahead. When you are on a long ride, you will be able to stay calm and focused by using your breath, as you do in yogic practices.
Riding your motorbike for continuous long hours requires strength, and yoga can help you build that strength. The process of holding and maintaining the poses is an excellent way to build and strengthen the muscles of the core, arms, and legs. Yoga postures like the Warrior Pose and Chair Pose build core muscles and make the practitioner more powerful while preventing injury too. Yoga poses strengthen the muscles of the entire body, including core, lower body, and the upper body and provide the strength required for long hours of riding.
Get started with yoga and enjoy those long rides on an adventure motorcycle tour!