Why Mountain Bikers Should Do Yoga
Check out the posturing of any athlete and you might be able to identify the activity they engage in the most. Road cyclists have developed calves and glutes. Tennis players have one arm that is more developed than the other. Horseback riders have developed hips.
What about mountain bikers? A forward chest, developed legs and arms. When I see a mountain biker's body all I want to do is help them adjust so they can stand in an upright position. Like so many activities we engage in on a daily basis mountain biking requires front body strength which can create muscular imbalances among our front and back bodies.
Yoga is a practice of, first, establishing awareness of our postural habits. A well trained guide will help you to become aware of the muscles you tend to contract as well as those you lengthen more often than others. Consistently practicing engaging in complimentary movements or "opposite process" will help you to become more physically harmonious so that you can keep riding for the rest of your life.
Develop Core Strength
You might not realize it, but you may be ignoring some of the most powerful muscles in your body while you're riding. I find mountain biking to be incredibly challenging. This is mostly due to my lack of upper abdominal strength. My lower abs are really strong, but my upper abdominal muscles aren't quiet as powerful. When I get on my bike I can feel this weakness.
I've seen plenty of mountain bikers who rely on their arms to do the work on the bike. As they climb they are pumping up and down like they're doing a push-up on the handle bars. When they descend, they muscle the bike around corners and over obstacles. Building strength in your core through a variety of Yoga postures is key to feeling more in control of your body and bike while riding. It can help you to reduce the work in your arms so that you don't get fatigued and can ride longer and more challenging terrain.
Bike geometry has certainly improved over time offering more balanced bikes, more travel, increased wheel sizes and more. Whether you are developing new skills or adjusting to a new bike balance can be what keeps you on the bike or dumps you off. Developing steadiness in your body and awareness of your breath can help you to remain calm and focused while riding even when on a new trail, in tricky terrain or while getting comfortable on a new bike.
Lake Tahoe Yoga guides practices in RajaHatha Yoga. What does that mean? Every movement is combined with a breath. Learning to breathe to move when going through poses on the mat can help you to do so while on your bike. If you can keep a calm and steady breath while balancing on one foot or moving through a flowing sequence of postures, you can likely do the same while climbing over rocks or riding a log.
At the end of every Yoga practice we rest on our mats in savasana (corpse posture). The intention is to offer an opportunity to "soak it all in." Your body has been moved, manipulated, adjusted, engaged, stretched and balanced. As you lay on the earth you get an opportunity to relax physically, energetically and, maybe, mentally.
Translating this sense of tranquility onto your bike can help you to feel more calm and at ease while riding. If you take the time to stretch and prepare before and after you ride, include a moment to sit or lay down and consider your ride. What do you hope to accomplish? What are you proud of? What are you going to work on next time?
Some of you may be into riding with music in your ears. You do you. Just make sure that you're also aware of what is going on around you. There are more people out mountain biking than ever. Sharing the trails means knowing the rules and being considerate of others. Your bliss experience may include your favorite playlist. Other's may find bliss through peace and quiet.
In a group class we have to consider how our actions might effect others. Falling over and onto your neighbor's mat could disrupt the entire group. Chatting with your friend would be distracting. Snoring during savasana might disrupt others, but it might also be out of your control. Hey, if you're tired, you're tired.
Yoga philosophy discusses practices that are for ourselves and that help us to be considerate of others. Many can be applied to mountain biking: be honest, be helpful, share, take only what you need, practice moderation, be content with what you have, learn from every experience and leave things as they were.
Ride Like a Local
Want to learn more about mountain biking in Lake Tahoe? The Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association (TAMBA) brings the community together through rides, trail development and maintenance, mtb events and more.
Need guidance and gear for riding? Tahoe Sports LTD is one of Tahoe's best shops staffed with local pros who know about mountain biking from tires to trails.
Are you a mountain biker who wants to try Yoga? Lake Tahoe Yoga is a supporter of TAMBA and offers classes for you.
Do you travel to ride? LocalFreshies.com features articles and videos about the best places to ride and how to "Be a local wherever you go."
Visiting Lake Tahoe during the Fall opens the door to places and experiences often too busy or inaccessible during the Summer and Winter. Leaf your stress behind when you join Bliss Experiences this Autumn.
Today is a Great Day to Begin Practicing Yoga
Bliss Food & Wine Experiences: Dare to Pair
There’s a perfect pairing for every meal, and Dare to Pair seminars will teach you how to find it, whether you’re craving a classic steak au poivre or spicy Thai takeout. In each interactive tasting event, learn the basic science behind food and drink pairings before experimenting with classic and innovative combinations. Discover the nuances of your palate, how childhood nostalgia affects even our most refined tastes, and learn how to create perfect pairings at home to suit any meal or event.
Bathe in the Forest
Taking a walk in an unfamiliar forest, on new trails, with limited time
can be more stressful than relaxing.
Join our guide; Felix. He knows the way along the path and will manage time so you can wander the woods and truly enjoy our alpine forest. Relinquish control over where and when you are. Instead, bathe in the sounds, smells, and energy of the mountains. Felix will share his knowledge of the outdoors while allowing you the time to reconnect with nature and your Self.
Relax Body & Mind
Reiki & Sound Healing is offered as a virtual experience you can tune into from anywhere. With the provided link you can attend from the comfort of your home and don't need to worry about logging out. If you drift away into a peaceful place you can remain there knowing you don't have to leave.
Harpist Anne Roos, longtime resident of South Lake Tahoe, follows the Siddha Yoga meditation path and has improvised live music to accompany relaxing yoga classes. Each session includes mindfulness instructions followed by relaxing harp music, and then a closing reflection.
Tour Tahoe from the Water
Confident Paddlers can enjoy the glassy waters of Tahoe all year long during our Stand Up Paddle Board Tours. Private Tours are available as long as the winds and weather permit. Experience Tahoe without boats and experience bliss on the water.
Retreats, Wellbeing, Yoga
We Create Custom Curated Experiences for Renewal and Reconnection
Our mission is to connect you with the best small businesses and professionals we can find who are passionate about Lake Tahoe, nature, and self care. Before you travel to the basin check out our curated experiences, customizable retreats, and connected providers.
We look forward to sharing Bliss Experiences with you.
We have lived through an historical moment. Has it changed you? It has certainly changed me and reinforced my desire for Bliss.
Less is Good
The transition from "stay at home" to "normal" has an interesting vibration to it. There is an energetic buzz and a sense of exploding excitement over the opportunity to return to doing all the things we did before the pandemic.
While following the directives to stay at home I learned a valuable lesson: I don't need very much. I don't need fancy food or cocktail service. I don't need live concerts (although they are fun) or pedicures. I don't need to go shopping for new clothes, toys, or belongings. I don't need to be doing things all of the time. Less is more.
I grew up playing with whatever was available. We would run around the fields, climb trees, build rock & tree forts, and build mud pies. Our imaginations allowed us to create anything out of anything.
The first time my sister visited me in Tahoe she said, "You live in a postcard." When I guide tours and classes people ask, "do you ever get tired of this?" My answer is, "Never." I get to live the dream and value that I do it in Lake Tahoe and recognize how the choices I made in life helped me to get here. At Bliss Experiences our intention is to help you develop similar values for your life.
Every day I get to look at a beautiful lake, run through the forest, walk on the beach, stand on top of a mountain, hike through the desert, bike, ski, paddle and play. The pandemic has added stress to my life, but enjoying Tahoe has helped me to manage it.
Patience & Empathy
People fled the cities when the pandemic hit. There was a general perception shift that the mountains are safer than the seaside. Our tiny community became inundated with visitors and new residents. The lack of infrastructure, staff, response teams, inability to educate, and enforcement became increasingly evident and the impact has been significant.
Tahoe runs on tourism. We have gotten better, throughout the years, at supporting and sharing information with the influx of visitors that come to the basin every Winter and Summer. This year was a new opportunity for us to learn and change our practices.
As a business owner I had to become more patient. Messaging from my business had to change. I had to constantly remind myself to try to understand the perspective others have; they are just trying to do something "normal" The pandemic has helped me become more patient and empathetic with myself and others.
Sense of Community
Small businesses are the soul of our country. As businesses began to shutter it was obvious that the corporations and larger ones would survive. Small, individually and family owned business needed our patronage.
Bliss Experiences promotes and partners with the small businesses and professionals in our community. The pandemic further reminded me to remain in touch and to continue to bolster them. As we emerge from this historical moment we will continue to grow our list of providers so that you can continue to experience Bliss with them.
I believe that when spending time with someone it is important that your full attention be dedicated to that experience. When teaching classes, guided lessons, or out on a tour I am fully focused upon making the experience special for those joining in.
Now that we are using more virtual tools including live video streams it's easy to be doing many things at once: live feed while recording for later while doing an Instagram live and chatting over text.
I chose to continue to practice focusing upon the task at hand even while learning to use new formats for teaching. I have noticed that, as I venture back out into the world, I would rather be with a small group and have dedicated conversations than in a place where there is a larger crowd and many distractions. Being present and enjoying the moment makes for a far better experience.
When Bliss Experiences opens we will continue to honor quality of experience over quantity of participants so that we can be dedicated to making yours the best.
Bliss Experience creates custom curated opportunities for connecting with nature and your Self. Join one of our scheduled experiences or book a Private Session.
Jenay Aiksnoras, Experience Curator