The combination of yoga and sport is endless.
There’s yoga for golfers, yoga for runners, yoga for cyclists, yoga for—just about anything! Some may view this as an exploitation of the history and sacredness of yoga. Personally, I see the lines of yoga and life activities as neither parallel or perpendicular, but rather as one intricate matrix.
Take the experience of mountain biking—out in nature, mountain biking (for many) is their religion, just like a daily yoga practice is for others. It has ritual, community and a sense of feeling connected.
For myself, biking and yoga connect in perfect symmetry. My biking-battered body loves the compliment of a soothing yoga practice. This Yin/Yang experience brings balance into my physical body, which then naturally extends into my emotional and mind body.
On the spectrum of philosophy Dharana—the Sanskrit word for single pointed focus or presence—is required during technical biking moments or is naturally absorbed for the duration of the entire ride itself. The breath rhythm in yoga is the same as the pedal tempo when biking.
The balance and gyro needed to stay on the bike—when maneuvering uphill, around roots and ruts or descending downhill around bends and drops—is the same fluidity and flow needed in a yoga practice. It is the experience of effortless effort or “being in the zone” that most of us can relate to through sport, yet it can also arise through asana on the mat.
Gary Klein (founder of Klein bikes) says it best: “Biking is about rhythm and flow. It’s the wind in your face and the challenge of hammering up a long hill. It’s the reward at the top and the thrill of a high-speed descent. Biking lets you come alive in both body and spirit. After awhile, the bike disappears beneath you, and you feel as if you’re suspended in midair.”
The experience of being on the bike is so much more than just a ride. It is a lifestyle that has the potential to expand and create both social change and personal growth. It can transmute for many into a way of being. These same words can be shared by another individual describing their experience of yoga. They are one in the same.
If we can find symmetry in two seemingly contrasting activities, it stems the question: “Where else in my life can I open my eyes and begin to look for parallels rather than paradoxes?”
This is how we become positive change agents in the world.
Author: Heather Ivany
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Photo: Flickr/Darren Moloney