Tag Archives: the grinning yogi

Yoga for Cyclists

On Sunday my father and I went to a “yoga for cyclists” seminar hosted by teacher Kelli Refer from The Grinning Yogi in Seattle. I do not cycle, but my retired father rides every day, about 100 miles a week, sometimes more.

One thing I know for sure- whatever you do, yoga makes you do it better. So, I dragged him to the seminar, thinking something catered to cyclists would be a better time for a somewhat inexperienced yogi.

It was a great seminar, it was obvious the girl leading it had spent much time and energy writing and illustrating a book of yoga poses and breathing techniques for a cyclist.

Everything was very appropriate for the typical cyclist- there were sequences for 2 minutes and 5 minutes. Modified half sun salutations, quads, heart openers, and hips were emphasized.

At the end I asked what two stretches would be the best to do. I couldn’t imagine my father in our garage busting out sun salutations. She decided on a modified ‘wing pose’ and a modified dancer’s pose. My very favorite stretch was a super intense quad stretch we did by placing our shin flush to the wall and bending the opposite knee.

We all left with a poster and information sheet to refer to.

Kelli’s official Yoga for Bikers blog is here.

Buy a copy of Pedal, Stretch, Breathe here.

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olympians & Yoga

I had to talk about this great video if only for the fact that my home studio, Urban Yoga Spa, is featured. Olympic soccer player Alex Morgan has practiced yoga for four years. She does hot power vinyasa, which she says makes her muscles recover from long practices, and helps her focus and mental stamina. She goes on to say that yoga is ‘rehab for her body,’ and that she needs an hour every once in a while to focus on her breath.

I love hearing about athletes doing yoga because it does so much for the body and mind. It reminded me of an article last week about an Olympian doing yoga at The Grinning Yogi on Capitol Hill. With all the intense training they do, yoga must feel like a treat to their muscles and joints.

I highly encourage you to watch this video filmed at my home studio, it’s beautiful and reaffirms why we all spend the time we do practicing yoga.

Here are some articles on the benefits of athletes doing yoga.

Yoga training with Olympians

Why every athlete should do yoga

Pro athletes who practice yoga: Lebron, Shaq, Andy Murray, the Philly Eagles & more!

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yoga & music

I know there are a lot of people  in debate about the concept of playing music in yoga class. I see your point- yoga should be for quieting the mind, listening to only your breath and your body. But I LOVE music during yoga. I was raised in a musical family, and have been a pianist for years so I might be extra sensitive to the feelings that music can evoke. Anything to enhance the experience of the student and help them connect is a good thing, in my opinion.

Urban Yoga Spa occasionally offers amazing themed classes “Get the Led Out” Led Zeppelin power vinyasa, “Lighten Up” pop music power vinyasa, Madonna, etc. They are fun and really get you out of your routine. I recently did a two hour ‘music intense’ class and what really picked me up was “Don’t Stop Believin'” played right in the middle of our flow. That’s all it takes- something to break you out of any frustration you have and get you to smile. I think it’s very possible to have a focused practice accompanied by music. At The Grinning Yogi, a new studio in Seattle, the concept of every class is based around music.

I am CONSTANTLY looking for new music for my practice and imagining what songs I’ll play in classes of my own someday. I’ll only share two today, because if you’re like me, you get excited to get brand new music all the time. I swear, this is good shit.

My Current playlists-

Salutations. A high energy playlist I pair with a modified Baptiste flow. It was made for Vinyasa!

Don’t Panic. For a more mellow, restorative session with lots of fun, focused experimentation.

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