Monday, March 15, 2010

Downward Dog Days In Arizona: Desert Camp 2010 Done and dusted!

Bike Friday Desert Camp 2010 is done and dusted. Check out the full montymedia. I should say "done and frosted" - for the first time in my 7 years of attending this camp, the weather was chilly and ominous, threatening to force us jointly and severally into the luxe sag wagon. Which of course we did - the tour leaders scooped us up in the van as we struggled along in amazing Scott-in-the-Antarctic headwinds.  Just look at this sky ...

I taught a morning yoga class each morning and in the afternoon on 2 occasions. It was quite an eye opener to note very fit cyclists struggling with even basic flexibility - which makes me even more determined to develop my cyclists' yoga class ...

I held the class form 7-7.30am, which provided time to do little more than a warm up and some standing poses. On a couple of days I offered a 1 hour class in the afternoon.

The routine included lots of vinyasas (knees/chest/chin to make it easy), and lots of twists:

  • Ujayi (ocean or "Darth Vader") breathing
  • Cat/Cow
  • Downward Dog tuning (short dog)
  • Threading the needle (first twist)
  • Sun salutations 
  • Twists with feet in Tadasana (mountain pose)
  • Warrior I - Humble Warrior (the best!) - Forward bending (Parsvottasana)
  • Warrior II - Peaceful Warrior - Extended Side Angle 
  • Pigeon
  • Seated twists
  • Dolphin pose (resembles riding position on a road bike)
  • Tree pose - Yogi toe lock Warrior III
  • Janu Sirasana (seated forward bends)
  • Bridge pose (a great antidote to the crouched riding position)
-- to name the main ones.

 There wasn't much time to get beyond this in the half hour sessions, but I hope the twists, hip and shoulder openings and vinyasas were sufficient to get people warmed up - in fact, people were visibly sweating at the end of it.
    I noticed a stunning lack of flexibility in some of the fittest riders. Cyclists tend to not stretch enough, and when they do it's the usual hamstring and quad bend with one foot on a park bench. Yoga twists and bends involve the entire body. 

    Rob English, HPV champ and co-designer of the Bike Friday tikit, puts it like this: "The more flexible you are the faster you will go." He should know! 

    Glenn attempts a Dancer's post. Give the man a tutu! 

    Gal on Yoga