pedal, stretch breathe review

This guest post by bikecarrboro member Kate will be published in a future copy of our newsletter.

Pedal, Stretch, Breathe: The Yoga of Bicycling, by Kelli Refer

Ever flip off the driver that whips by a little to close, or mutter unpleasant words under your breath when abruptly cut off by a turning vehicle? Kelli Refer advises cyclists to align our spines and breathe deeply. The yoga of bicycling is about staying present in the mind and cultivating awareness of your surroundings, through body and breath-work.

Refer provides simple, yet detailed descriptions of stretches to complete before, after, and even during your ride. She reminds us to give our tight hamstrings and lower backs a daily dose of tender loving care. A few restorative yoga poses after a long ride (or stressful day!) will relax and replenish the body for tomorrow. Refer also connects cycling to the yogic chakras, which she defines as “spinning wheels of energy inside the body, propelling us forward through time and space.” Fine-tuning both the flow of energy through your body as well as your breaks, gears and chain will keep you balanced and pedaling with ease.

If you’ve ever felt the freedom, joy and sense of connectedness that comes with riding your bike, this “zine” is for you. Read it while curled up with a cup of hot tea, then hit the road! No need to have ever set foot inside a yoga studio to enjoy Kelli Refer’s Pedal, Stretch, Breathe: The Yoga of Bicycling.

[Note: the copy reviewed is now out of print, but an expanded update will be available August 1st and is available for preorder now. -CMP]

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