morning yoga pose

If you just like to go mountain biking for fun, maybe you ignore the trend toward more core conditioning and flexibility training. Even if you ride for fitness or race, maybe you think doing yoga is lame.

I mean, you go to a studio and prance around, stretching your body into weird positions. How can that make you a more skilled mountain biker?

But if you take a look at this list of yoga’s benefits for all breeds of mountain bikers, you might just change your mind…

1) Yoga Clears Your Head.

Yoga clears your head and frees your mind, so you can concentrate and focus on the trail. You definitely don’t want to be daydreaming or pondering a bad day at work while cruising down mountainside singletrack!

After yoga, my mind just seems at ease. If I go out and practice riding logs or other balance beams, I have a great session. If I haven’t done yoga for a week, my mind jumps back and forth and I simply don’t ride as well as I should be.

2) Yoga Improves Balance.

There is no doubt about it – yoga improves your balance. Constantly balancing your body in various poses improves every aspect of your balance. This is a clear example of “practice makes perfect.”

If you regularly ride narrow bridges and tight singletrack, or if you want to learn trackstands, yoga is your ticket to fast improvement.

3) Yoga Improves Riding Flexibility.

mountain bike racer

Yoga improves your flexibility, and the more flexible you are, the better bike control you will have. If you practice yoga, you’ll be able to ride smoother, lean more, shift your weight better, etc.

This is because the more flexible you are, the more you will be able to move around without becoming uncomfortable. And if you can comfortably move around, you can comfortably point the bike anywhere you want to go, from whatever position you need to be in.

Just as an example, think about riding under low-hanging tree branches. If you can lean your body over to decrease your height (without falling off the bike,) you can easily cruise under these obstacles.

4) Yoga Improves Body Awareness.

While practicing yoga to improve your balance and flexibility, you’ll also gain a tremendous amount of body awareness. Again, thanks to practicing all these new poses, moving around a lot, and fighting to keep your balance, you will get a better feeling for how your body parts are positioned in relation to each other.

Here’s why that’s important… Let’s say you’re flying through the air after a massive endo. You might have only a split second to prepare for landing. If you realize how your body is positioned, you can alter that as necessary, and you’ll have a better landing.

5) Yoga Improves Falling Flexibility.

Even with improved body awareness, it’s still possible you’ll land somewhere less than ideal. But that flexibility mentioned earlier comes back into play when you wreck!

Once you hit the dust and roll across the ground, with your arms and legs hitting rocks and logs, it’s less likely you’ll have a serious injury if your body can bend just enough to slightly soften each impact and “go with the flow” so to speak.

With reasons like that, there is no way I’ll leave yoga out of my mountain bike training plan!

Photo credits: Shayan (USA) and me’nthedogs

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  1. I have only been mtn biking since July but doing yoga for the past 15 years. You are right, it comes in handy for sports injuries- I played volleyball in college and my flexible body helped when I hit the floor!

  2. I hv recently started Mountain Biking but ya that’s true Yoga is very essential for improving our concentration and it also keeps us fit.It have helped me a lot and I hv good experience since last 3 years.

  3. Yoga is essential as you age.
    It helps every aspect of your fitness and overall training.

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